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Not by DesignRetiring Darwin's Watchmaker$
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John Reiss

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258938

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258938.001.0001

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How to Talk about Macroevolution

How to Talk about Macroevolution

(p.278) (p.279) 11 How to Talk about Macroevolution
Not by Design

John O. Reiss

University of California Press

This chapter addresses how we can talk about macroevolution without lapsing into teleology, and shows that the principle of the conditions for existence can play a key role here, first discussing how natural selection enters into explanations of macroevolutionary changes. It then looks at a simple example of macroevolution—evolution of bird flight—and considers the question of how the process of evolutionary adaptation should be represented. In particular, the chapter addresses how the role of narrow sense natural selection and of the conditions for existence in this process should be represented.

Keywords:   macroevolution, teleology, conditions for existence, natural selection, bird flight, evolutionary adaptation

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