Classic Works in Evolutionary Biology S2014

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Course Information

Instructors: Kurt Schwenk and Elizabeth Jockusch
Meeting time: Tuesdays, 4-5 pm
Meeting place: Bamford Room


Classic Works in Evolutionary Biology List
Ned Friedman's page on early Evolutionists link
course pdf upload link
Class email list Pdficon small.gif

Discussion Schedule

Date Discussion Leader(s) Readings Additional Resources
Jan 21

Jan. 28 Kurt and Elizabeth Excerpts from William Paley's "Natural Theology"
Pdficon small.gif Design Argument
Pdficon small.gif Paley on Selection

Excerpts from William Whewell's 1845 "Indications of the Creator"

Pdficon small.gif Final Causes
Pdficon small.gif Transmutation of Species
Feb. 4 Bill Lamarck's Physiological Zoology (1809)
Pdficon small.gif Ch. 7-Influence of the Environment

Excerpts from Owen on Homology and Types

Pdficon small.gif 1846 Pdficon small.gif 1848 Pdficon small.gif 1849
Feb. 11 Veronica Darwin's and Wallace's 1858 Linnean Society Texts
Pdficon small.gif Text with Ghiselin commentary
Pdficon small.gif Original
Visualization: The Preservation of Favored Traces
-- a graphic representation of the changes to *On the Origin of Species* through its six editions.

Owen's (anonymous) review of the Origin link
Wallace Appreciations

Pdficon small.gif Red-hot radical Pdficon small.gif Biogeographer

Wallace-Darwin similarities: more than a coincidence?

Pdficon small.gif Davies Pdficon small.gif Smith
Feb. 18

Feb. 25 Cera Heredity and Variation
Pdficon small.gif Weismann (1893) Introduction to the Germ-Plasm--Read part B, Descriptive part (p. 20-end)
Pdficon small.gif Bateson (1899)

Also worth a look, to see how rapidly genetics progressed

Pdficon small.gif Morgan (1915)
Classic Literature in Genetics link

Morgan, T.H. (1916) A Critique of the Theory of Evolution—Morgan reviews evolution and theories of heredity to that time: Morgan (1916) link
Pdficon small.gif Grant (1900)-Overview of the heredity debate for general public

March 4 Brigette Population Genetic Groundwork for the Modern Synthesis

Focus of Discussion

Pdficon small.gif Wright (1932)-includes adaptive landscape metaphor

Also have a look at the beginning and end of these (but skip the math in between)

Pdficon small.gif Haldane (1924)-mathematical theory of selection, pp. 19, 37 (end)-39
Pdficon small.gif Fisher (1918)-Mendelian inheritance, pp. 399-401, 432 (end)-433
Pdficon small.gif Wright's (1960) perspective on the history of genetics
Pdficon small.gif James Crow's obituary of Wright
Pdficon small.gif Fisher Retrospective
March 11 Suman Excerpt from Dobzhansky (1937) Genetics and the Origin of Species
Pdficon small.gif Chapter 8-Isolating Mechanisms

Also have a look at Dobzhansky's work on isolating mechanisms in Drosophila

Pdficon small.gif Dobzhansky (1936); read "The Problem" and "Discussion"
Pdficon small.gif Dobzhansky (1937); read "Introduction" and "Summary"
Bateson (1909) includes statement of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility model of speciation

Pdficon small.gif H. J. Muller (1942) on the genetics of isolating mechanisms
Pdficon small.gif Emerson's (1938) review of Genetics and the Origin of Species
Pdficon small.gif Ayala's (1985) Dobzhansky Memoir
Pdficon small.gif Orr (1996) reflections on Dobzhansky and the genetics of speciation

March 25 Velotta, Michael
Pdficon small.gif Excerpt from George Gaylord Simpson's (1953) Major Features of Evolution
Pdficon small.gif Whittington's (1986) Simpson memoir
April 1 Katie, Sara Speciation and hybridization

Zoological perspective--Mayr on genetic revolutions; also includes his historical perspective and a bit on hybridization
if short on time, skip pp. 535-546

Pdficon small.gif Excerpts from Mayr (1963) Animal Species and Evolution

Botanical perspective--focused on hybridization

Pdficon small.gif Excerpts from Stebbins (1950) Variation and Evolution in Plants
Some biographical information on Stebbins:
Pdficon small.gif By the National Academy of Sciences
Pdficon small.gif By Peter Raven

Although not 'officially' accepted into the Synthesis fold (i.e., approved by Ernst Mayr), another important botanist contributor is Verne Grant, member of the National Academy of Sciences, who wrote a significant, early book called, The Origin of Adaptations (Columbia Univ. Press, 1963). You can still buy used copies inexpensively.

April 8 Ellen, Bill Evo-Devo: outside the synthesis:
(1) Pdficon small.gif Richard Goldschmidt's (1940) Material Basis of Evolution ('hopeful monsters')
Some interesting papers about Goldschmidt and his work:
Pdficon small.gif Goldschmidt and Evo-Devo (2000)
Pdficon small.gif Overview of Goldschmidt and his work (2003)
Pdficon small.gif Goldschmidt's use of metaphors (2008)
April 15 Johana, Manette Gould and Lewontin, Spandrels
April 22 Jimmy, Jessie Tentative: Van Valen, Red Queen
April 29 Nora, Tim Tentative: Felsenstein, Phylogeny and the Comparative Method and/or Grant & Grant: Galapagos finch microevolution