The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology

The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology

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Almost all evolutionary biologists, indeed all biologists, use particular features to study life. These characteristics or features used by evolutionary biologists are used in a particular way to unravel a tangled evolutionary history, document the rate of evolutionary change, or as evidence of biodiversity. qCharactersq are the qdataq of evolutionary biology and they can be employed differently in research providing both opportunities and limitations. The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology is about characters, their use, how different sorts of characters are limited, and what are appropriate methods for character analysis. Leading evolutionary biologists from around the world are contributors to this authoritative review of the qcharacter concept.q Because characters and the conception of characters are central to all studies of evolution, and because evolution is the central organizing principle of biology, this book will appeal to a wide cross-section of biologists. Key Features * Focuses upon qcharactersq -- fundamental data for evolutionary biology * Covers the myriad ways in which characters are defined, described, and distinguished * Includes historical, morphological, molecular, behavioral, and philosophical perspectivesNotice that the hierarchical structure of organisms based on this conceptual scheme need not accord with the classic object hierarchy in biology, also called a€œ levels of organizationa€ [not to be confused with Wimsatta#39;s (1994) more precise a€œ compositional levels of organizationa€]. ... a€œwiring diagram, a€ so to speaka€”would likely be entirely functionless, but would probably contain a number of internally integratedanbsp;...

Title:The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology
Author:Günter P. Wagner
Publisher:Academic Press - 2000-10-31


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