Science & Education

, Volume 24, Issue 9–10, pp 1231–1235 | Cite as

Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development

Alan C. Love (ed) (2015) Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development (Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, 307). Springer, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, New York, London, ISBN 978-94-017-9411-4, xvii + 490 pp, Price: €135.19 (hardback)
  • Alessandro Minelli
Book Review

Were it not for the subtitle, where evolution and development are explicitly mentioned, what would a reader expect to find in a book on conceptual change in biology? To be sure, Dobzhansky’s (1973) dictum that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution has still widespread currency, and at least rumors of disquiet in respect to standard neo-Darwinism have certainly been heard even by biologists with little interest in evolution or conceptual issues at large. Therefore, it cannot be a surprise that evolution features center stage in this book. By comparison, as much as eight of the ten Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology of a recent collection (Ayala and Arp 2010) were about evolutionary biology. However, less obvious is the equally central position assigned to development in the book edited by Alan C. Love. Developmental biology, indeed, has never enjoyed the credit of being a scientific discipline so rich in concepts as evolutionary biology. At present,...


  1. Ayala, F. J., & Arp, R. (Eds.). (2010). Contemporary debates in philosophy of biology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Bonner, J. T. (Ed.). (1982). Evolution and development. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Davidson, E. H. (2001). Gene regulatory systems: Development and evolution. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  4. de Beer, G. R. (1930). Embryology and evolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  5. de Beer, G. R. (1940). Embryos and ancestors. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dobzhansky, T. (1973). Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. American Biology Teacher, 35, 125–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fontana, W., & Buss, L. W. (1994). The arrival of the fittest. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 56, 1–64.Google Scholar
  8. Gould, S. J. (1977). Ontogeny and phylogeny. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Haeckel, E. (1866). Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz-Theorie, vol. 1: Allgemeine Anatomie der Organismen. Berlin: Reimer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hall, B. K. (2012). Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo): Past, present, and future. Evolution Education and Outreach, 5(2), 184–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hendrikse, J. L., Parsons, T. E., & Hallgrímsson, B. (2007). Evolvability as the proper focus of evolutionary developmental biology. Evolution & Development, 9(3), 393–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Laubichler, M. D. (2010). Evolutionary developmental biology offers a significant challenge to the neo-Darwinian paradigm. In F. J. Ayala & R. Arp (Eds.), Contemporary debates in philosophy of biology (pp. 199–212). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. Love, A. C. (2014). The erotetic organization of development. In A. Minelli & T. Pradeu (Eds.), Towards a theory of development (pp. 33–55). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Minelli, A. (2010). Evolutionary developmental biology does not offer a significant challenge to the neo-Darwinian paradigm. In F. J. Ayala & R. Arp (Eds.), Contemporary debates in philosophy of biology (pp. 213–226). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  15. Minelli, A. (2015). Grand challenges in evolutionary developmental biology. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2, 85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Minelli, A., & Pradeu, T. (Eds.). (2014). Towards a theory of development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Müller, G. B. (2008). Evo-devo as a discipline. In A. Minelli & G. Fusco (Eds.), Evolving pathways. Key themes in evolutionary developmental biology (pp. 5–30). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

Personalised recommendations