Cover: Punctuated Equilibrium, from Harvard University PressCover: Punctuated Equilibrium in PAPERBACK

Punctuated Equilibrium

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Product Details


$29.50 • £23.95 • €26.50

ISBN 9780674024441

Publication Date: 05/31/2007

Academic Trade

408 pages

6 x 9 inches

5 halftones, 36 line illustrations

Belknap Press


  • Introduction
  • 1. What Every Paleontologist Knows
    • An Introductory Example
    • Testimonials to Common Knowledge
    • Darwinian Solutions and Paradoxes
    • The Paradox of Insulation from Disproof
    • The Paradox of Stymied Practice
  • 2. The Primary Claims of Punctuated Equilibrium
    • Data and Definitions
    • Microevolutionary Links
    • Macroevolutionary Implications
    • Tempo and the Significance of Stasis
    • Mode and the Speciational Foundation of Macroevolution
  • 3. The Scientific Debate on Punctuated Equilibrium: Critiques and Responses
    • Critiques Based on the Definability of Paleontological Species
    • Empirical Affirmation
    • Reasons for a Potential Systematic Underestimation of Biospecies by Paleospecies
    • Reasons for a Potential Systematic Overestimation of Biospecies by Paleospecies
    • Reasons Why an Observed Punctuational Pattern Might Not Represent Speciation
    • Critiques Based on Denying Events of Speciation as the Primary Locus of Change
    • Critiques Based on Supposed Failures of Empirical Results to Affirm Predictions of Punctuated Equilibrium
    • Claims for Empirical Refutation by Cases
    • Phenotypes
    • Genotypes
    • Empirical Tests of Conformity with Models
  • 4. Sources of Data for Testing Punctuated Equilibrium
    • Preamble
    • The Equilibrium in Punctuated Equilibrium: Quantitatively Documented Patterns of Stasis in Unbranched Segments of Lineages
    • The Punctuations of Punctuated Equilibrium: Tempo and Mode in the Origin of Paleospecies
    • The Inference of Cladogenesis by the Criterion of Ancestral Survival
    • The “Dissection” of Punctuations to Infer Both Existence and Modality
    • Time
    • Geography
    • Morphometric Mode
    • Proper and Adequate Tests of Relative Frequencies: The Strong Empirical Validation of Punctuated Equilibrium
    • The Indispensability of Data on Relative Frequencies
    • Relative Frequencies for Higher Taxa in Entire Biotas
    • Relative Frequencies for Entire Clades
    • Causal Clues from Differential Patterns of Relative Frequencies
  • 5. The Broader Implications of Punctuated Equilibrium for Evolutionary Theory and General Notions of Change
    • What Changes May Punctuated Equilibrium Instigate in Our Views about Evolutionary Mechanisms and the History of Life?
    • The Explanation and Broader Meaning of Stasis
    • Frequency
    • Generality
    • Causality
    • Punctuation, the Origin of New Macroevolutionary Individuals, and Resulting Implications for Evolutionary Theory
    • Trends
    • The Speciational Reformulation of Macroevolution
    • Ecological and Higher-Level Extensions
    • Punctuation All the Way Up and Down? The Generalization and Broader Utility of Punctuated Equilibrium (in More Than a Metaphorical Sense) at Other Levels of Evolution, and for Other Disciplines In and Outside the Natural Sciences
    • General Models for Punctuated Equilibrium
    • Punctuational Change at Other Levels and Scales of Evolution
    • A Preliminary Note on Homology and Analogy in the Conceptual Realm
    • Punctuation Below the Species Level
    • Punctuation Above the Species Level
    • Punctuational Models in Other Disciplines: Towards a General Theory of Change
    • Principles for a Choice of Examples
    • Examples from the History of Human Artifacts and Cultures
    • Examples from Human Institutions and Theories about the Natural World
    • Two Concluding Examples, a General Statement, and a Coda
  • Appendix: A Largely Sociological (and Fully Partisan) History of the Impact and Critique of Punctuated Equilibrium
    • The Entrance of Punctuated Equilibrium into Common Language and General Culture
    • An Episodic History of Punctuated Equilibrium
    • Early Stages and Future Contexts
    • Creationist Misappropriation of Punctuated Equilibrium
    • Punctuated Equilibrium in Journalism and Textbooks
    • The Personal Aspect of Professional Reaction
    • The Case Ad Hominem against Punctuated Equilibrium
    • An Interlude on Sources of Error
    • The Wages of Jealousy
    • The Descent to Nastiness
    • The Most Unkindest Cut of All
    • The Wisdom of Agassiz’s and von Baer’s Threefold History of Scientific Ideas
    • A Coda on the Kindness and Generosity of Most Colleagues
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Illustration Credits
  • Index

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