Milestones in Systematics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Milestones in Systematics

1st Edition

Edited by David M. Williams, Peter L. Forey

CRC Press

312 pages | 60 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2004-05-12
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Presenting a historical analysis of the evolution of systematics during the last one hundred years, Milestones in Systematics reviews many of the major issues in systematic theory and practice that have driven the working methods of systematics during the 20th century and looks at the issues most likely to preoccupy systematists in the immediate future.

The book highlights:

§ The development of evolutionary, phenetic and cladistic methods of phylogenetic analysis and the associated computer algorithms

§ The changing influence of paleontological techniques

§ The impact of new molecular data and the relationships between systematics, development, and evolution

The authors stress the importance of understanding the past to make sense of the future. They present a general assessment of comparative biology's recent past and how it has matured and blossomed. Exploring the full impact of the cladistics revolution, a phenomenon that has yet to be fully appreciated, the book provides a platform for further debate and discussion.


"This volume would be useful as a reference in graduate courses. … Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through faculty/researchers."

- CHOICE, February 2005, Vo. 42, No. 06

"[The authors] provide an intriguing set of snapshots of the discipline and the issues that animate contemporary debates in systematics. They also raise many questions of potential interest to historians…this volume is well worth a look by historians interested in recent developments in systematics."

-Journal of the History of Biology 38, No. 1, 2004

Table of Contents

Setting Up Milestones: Sneath on Adanson and Mayr on Darwin, M.P. Winsor

Launching the Society of Systematic Zoology in 1947, J. Cain

Explanations in Systematics, W.J. Bock

What Happens When the Language of Science Threatens to Break Down in Systematics - A Popperian Perspective, O. Rieppel

Hennig's 'Phylogenetic Systematics' Brought up to Date, J.-W. Wägele

Cladistics: Its Arrested Development, G. Nelson

Systematics and Paleontology, P.L. Forey

Parsimony and Computer, A.W.F. Edwards

Homologues and Homology, Phenetics and Cladistics: 150 Years of Progress, D.M. Williams

From Dispersal to Geographic Congruence: Comments on Cladistic Biogeography in the 20th Century, C.J. Humphries

The Fall and Rise of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, P.W.H. Holland

About the Series

Systematics Association Special Volumes

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Animals / General
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Evolution