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Jeffrey Schwartz
KLI Brown Bag
Toward Resolving Almost 150 Years of the Darwinism EvoDevo Debate: the Difference between the Emergence and Persistence of Novelty
Jeffrey H. SCHWARTZ (University of Pittsburgh)
2005-10-13 13:15 - 2005-10-13 13:15
KLI for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg, Austria
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) contrasts with present-day Darwinism by emphasizing change via the recruitment of an existing "internal" developmental potential of an organism, rather than via the modification of an organism by a continual yet mild barrage of external demands that somehow become incorporated into its developmental program. The essence of this intellectual standoff was enacted in the early years of evolutionary biology, in the debate between Darwin and Mivart. This debate also rests on envisioning the bases of the "emergence of novelty" and the "persistence of novelty" as either one and the same, or as fundamentally different. Clearly, the expectation of each perspective leads to (and may be informed by) differences in how one perceives evolutionary change or "transformation" and in how one imbues only some, rather than all natural or experimental observations with biological credibility. I shall argue that there is a very real difference between the emergence and persistence of novelty, but also that both phenomena can be accounted for by known properties of cellular biology.


Biographical note:
Jeffrey H. Schwartz is a professor in the Departments of Anthropology and History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD from Columbia University in 1974. He is a physical anthropologist whose research areas include the evolutionary relationships and systematics of fossil and living primates, including humans, and aspects of evolutionary theory, especially phylogenetic reconstruction and models of change. Most recently he has been involved in the first study of virtually the entire human fossil record (which is being published as a series) and has also been collaborating on a project that seeks to meld mechanisms of cell biology, the regulation of organismal development, and the pattern of the fossil record with evolutionary theory. Dr. Schwartz has done fieldwork in the United States, England, Israel, Cyprus, and Tunisia and museum research in the mammal and vertebrate paleontology collections of major museums. His many publications include "Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to Human Skeletal Morphology, Development, and Analysis" (Oxford UP, 1995), "What the Bones Tell Us" (University of Arizona Press, 1998), "Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species" (Wiley, 1999), "Extinct Humans" (with Ian Tattersall; Westview Press, 2000): "The Human Fossil Record," Vol. 1, "Terminology and Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Europe)" (with Ian Tattersall; Wiley, 2002), Vol. 2, "Craniodental Morphology of Genus Homo (Africa and Asia)" (with Ian Tattersall; Wiley, 2003), Vol. 3, "Brain Endocasts" (with Ralph L. Holloway, Michael S. Yuan, Douglas C. Broadfield, and Ian Tattersall; Wiley, 2004); Vol. 4, "Craniodental Morphology of Australopithecus, O´Paranthropus, and Orrorin (with Ian Tattersall; Wiley, 2005); "The Red Ape : Orangutans and Human Origins" (Westview Press, 2005)