You say "ambiguity", I say "richness"

Cameron Laird claird at NeoSoft.com
Fri May 28 16:03:54 EST 1993


In
	Futuyma, Douglas J.
	1993	"Attention to Terms", Science, volume 260,
		pages 1153-1154 (21 May 1993),

renowned biologist Futuyma argues that

	Keller, Evelyn Fox, and Elisabeth A. Lloyd
	1992	Keywords in Evolutionary Biology.  Harvard
		University Press, Cambridge

is "thought-provoking" and more.  "This book consists of 51
essays, ... on 37 keywords or topics in evolutionary biology
and ecology, alphabetically arranged (from 'adaptation' to
'unit of selection').  . . .  The book should be ideal for
graduate seminars, endless hours of debate, and serious study."
Assigning it as required reading for talk.origins participants
certainly would yield some changes.

Futuyma has favorites.  He's severe with Kimura and Dawkins
(justifiably at least in the latter case), friendly toward
Kitcher and Fristrup, and uses the contributions of Donoghue,
Griesemer, and Hull to demonstrate, with evident satisfaction,
that perfectly good words can have different meanings within
different domains of biology (genetic, developmental, ...),
and through the history of individual domains.

I haven't had the book in my hands yet, but the review
convinces me that I should, soon.

Note for non-native speakers of biology:  what does "evolu-
tionary biology" mean?  Is there some other kind?  In this
context, yes, the complement is "functional biology", en-
compassing narrowly synchronic physiology, cytology, ...

I suggest that follow-ups be to sci.bio.
-- 

Cameron Laird
claird at Neosoft.com (claird%Neosoft.com at uunet.uu.net)	+1 713 267 7966
claird at litwin.com (claird%litwin.com at uunet.uu.net)  	+1 713 996 8546



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