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Impending Paradigm Crisis in Biology
By kemokid
Associated Interests:biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, history of science, molecular biology, neo-darwinism, physiology, science
1.The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (3rd edition)
A must-read for any science-y person. Introduction of the term "paradigm shift" and an explanation of the social dynamics of fundamental shifts in scientific understanding.
2.The Century of the Gene
Keller's thesis is that reductionist molecular biology, while extraordinarily successful, is reaching limits of explanatory power. She believes a crisis in biology is clearly on the horizon.
3.The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Popular Science)
Dawkins lays out the basic neo-Darwinist position, but with an eye to effects that genes have on the environment (eg beaver dams) - the extended phenotype. Also questions why reproductive vehicles are packaged as organisms at all.
4.The Extended Organism
Follows up Dawkins's ideas. At the end, the author points out where "the evolutionary and physiological perspectives on the extended phenotype part company". Argues for a view of the organism and the environment as intrinsically blurred into one another.