Visiting Speakers

Prof. Lindsay Craig, University of Oklahoma

Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, 4 p.m., 607 Dale Hall Tower. Everyone is welcome!

The Developmental Synthesis in Evolutionary Biology: Reconciliation and Explanation

In recent years, ongoing scientific change in evolutionary biology has attracted considerable attention from philosophers, historians, and biologists. To date, no one has provided an adequate characterization of this episode of change. Thus, my goal is to provide an account of this period of scientific change, what I refer to as the Developmental Synthesis. That is, I aim to describe the changes taking place in the study of evolution. I argue that recent conceptual change and discovery have led to an explanatory reconciliation, which I define as the demonstration of overlapping explanatory interests between different fields within the domain of evolutionary biology. This explanatory reconciliation has fostered new empirical and theoretical inter-field work, as evidenced by the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). As a result, the Developmental Synthesis promises to provide explanations of evolutionary phenomena that current evolutionary theory cannot explain.