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Biology and Values: A Fresh Look

DOI: 10.1016/s0049-237x(09)70706-2
  • Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology


Publisher Summary The chapter presents some of those factors that have led to doubt the value-neutrality of evolutionary biology. The chapter analyzes some of the ways values can (and possibly should) enter into biology, and perhaps into the rest of science. The chapter discusses five areas that are most central of evolutionary thought. First, there is the central mechanism of neo-Darwinian biology, natural selection or the survival of the fittest. Second, the origin of life: in which life might have been formed here on earth, naturally, from nonliving components. Third area deals with ecology. In the past two decades it has been seen that a merging of evolutionary population thinking with ecological population thinking, to form an extended and more powerful core to evolutionism. Fourth area deals with the instinct and behavior. Today, the study of behavior from an evolutionary perspective—called “sociobiology”—is one of the brightest, albeit most controversial, stars in the evolutionary firmament. The last one is the paleontology. The fossil record is key evidence for evolution.

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