Description : Evolution, biology, and society is a catch-all phrase encompassing any scholarly work that utilizes evolutionary theory and/or biological or behavioral genetic methods in the study of the human social group, and The Oxford Handbook of Evolution, Biology, and Society contains an much needed overview of research in the area by sociologists and other social scientists. The examined topics cover a wide variety of issues, including the origins of social solidarity; religious beliefs; sex differences; gender inequality; determinants of human happiness; the nature of social stratification and inequality and its effects; identity, status, and other group processes; race, ethnicity, and race discrimination; fertility and family processes; crime and deviance; and cultural and social change. The scholars whose work is presented in this volume come from a variety of disciplines in addition to sociology, including psychology, political science, and criminology. Yet, as the essays in this volume demonstrate, the potential of theory and methods from biology for illuminating social phenomena is clear, and sociologists stand to gain from learning more about them and using them in their own work. The theory focuses on evolution by natural selection, the primary paradigm of the biological sciences, while the methods include the statistical analyses sociologists are familiar with, as well as other methods that they may not be familiar with, such as behavioral genetic methods, methods for including genetic factors in statistical analyses, gene-wide association studies, candidate gene studies, and methods for testing levels of hormones and other biochemicals in blood and saliva and including these factors in analyses. This work will be of interest to any sociologist with an interest in exploring the interaction of biological and sociological processes. As an introduction to the field it is useful for teaching upper-level or graduate students in sociology or a related social science.
Description : In spite of the fact that parasites represent more than half of all living species of plants and animals, their role in the evolution of life on earth has been substantially underestimated. Here, for the first time within an evolutionary and ecological framework, Peter Price integrates the biological attributes that characterize parasites ranging from such diverse groups as viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi, to helminths, mites, insects, and parasitic flowering plants. Synthesizing systematics, ecology, behavioral biology, genetics, and biogeography, the author outlines the success of parasitism as a mode of life, the common features of the wide range of organisms that adopt such a way of life, the reasons for parasites' extraordinary potential for continued adaptive radiation, and their role in molding community structure by means of their impact on the evolution of host species. In demonstrating the importance of parasitic interactions for determining population patterns and geographical distributions, Dr. Price generates further discussion and suggests new areas for research.
Description : Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology is the definitive go-to reference in the field of evolutionary biology. It provides a fully comprehensive review of the field in an easy to search structure. Under the collective leadership of fifteen distinguished section editors, it is comprised of articles written by leading experts in the field, providing a full review of the current status of each topic. The articles are up-to-date and fully illustrated with in-text references that allow readers to easily access primary literature. While all entries are authoritative and valuable to those with advanced understanding of evolutionary biology, they are also intended to be accessible to both advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Broad topics include the history of evolutionary biology, population genetics, quantitative genetics; speciation, life history evolution, evolution of sex and mating systems, evolutionary biogeography, evolutionary developmental biology, molecular and genome evolution, coevolution, phylogenetic methods, microbial evolution, diversification of plants and fungi, diversification of animals, and applied evolution. Presents fully comprehensive content, allowing easy access to fundamental information and links to primary research Contains concise articles by leading experts in the field that ensures current coverage of each topic Provides ancillary learning tools like tables, illustrations, and multimedia features to assist with the comprehension process
Description : The central thesis of this book is that the semantic conception is a logical methodologically and heuristically richer and more accurate account of scientific theorizing, and in particular of theorizing in evolutionary biology, than the more widely adhered to syntactic conception. In this book, the author outlines both the conceptions indicating the significant problems with the syntactic conception; explains and criticizes two influential syntactic-conception accounts of the structure of evolutionary theorizing. Thompson also argues that the semantic conception provides a richer and more accurate understanding than the syntactic conception of sociobiological explanation, of the testability of sociobiology, and of the role of culture and cognition in evolutionary explanations of human behavior.
Description : Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition. Spotlighting these conceptual difficulties and presenting alternate theoretical interpretations that alleviate this incompatibility, Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan intertwine scientific and philosophical analysis to produce a coherent picture of evolutionary biology. Innovative and controversial, Making Sense of Evolution encourages further development of the Modern Synthesis and outlines what might be necessary for the continued refinement of this evolving field.