Publications and drafts by topic: Book review
Ehud Lamm & Eva Jablonka, Essay Review of Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice, Edited by Roger Sansom and Robert N. Brandon. In Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Vol. 51, No. 4, Autumn, 2008 [Page]
This volume joins a growing list of books, monographs, and proceedings from scientific meetings attempting to consolidate the wide spectrum of approaches emphasizing the role of development in evolution into a coherent and productive synthesis, often called evo-devo. Evo-devo is seen as a replacement or amendment of the modern synthesis that has dominated the field of evolution since the 1940s and which, as even its architects confessed, was fundamentally incomplete because development remained outside its theoretical framework (Mayr and Provine 1980). As the volume attests, there is now a strong feeling that the time is ripe for the consolidation of evo-devo, and that the field is mature enough so that mapping the theoretical terrain and experimental approaches is both feasible and scientifically productive. Now is an appropriate time to try and weave the strands of reasoning leading to the developmental perspective and offer a synthesis.
Adam Krashniak and Ehud Lamm, Was regression to the mean really the solution to Darwin’s problem with heredity?. In Biology & Philosophy, 32(5), 749-758, 2017 [Page]
Statistical reasoning is an integral part of modern scientific practice. In The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom Stephen Stigler presents seven core ideas, or pillars, of statistical thinking and the historical developments of each of these pillars, many of which were concurrent with developments in biology. Here we focus on Stigler’s fifth pillar, regression, and his discussion of how regression to the mean came to be thought of as a solution to a challenge for the theory of natural selection. Stigler argues that the purely mathematical phenomenon of regression to the mean provides a resolution to a problem for Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Thus, he argues that the resolution to the problem for Darwin’s theory is purely mathematical, rather than causal. We show why this argument is problematic.
Unpublished drafts and work in progress
Ehud Lamm, What passes for population thinking? Reflections on Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection.