Tempo and Mode in Evolution

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Columbia University Press, 1944 - Science - 237 pages
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User Review  - amarcobio - LibraryThing

I always found Palaeontology boring, until I read this book. I think that's the book that changed for good palaeontology, making it more a science and less a collecting enterprise. I rarely re-read ... Read full review

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I agree totally with amarcobio's review. I'm writing a book about cat evolution, without a background in evolutionary biology, and important concepts like "adaptive landscape" and "population genetics" didn't begin to make sense until I read this very accessible book.
"Tempo and Mode" was so influential that they did a 50th-anniversary update of it in the late 1990s; see the front matter of that book for a better understanding of how this book impacted the world of science. Apparently Simpson's biggest weakness was that he didn't appreciate the importance of molecular biology (not surprising for someone living with mid-20th-century technology, BTW).
And the amazing thing is that Simpson was serving in World War II at the time of "Tempo and Mode." As he says in the book, others had to actually get it together and publish it. Perhaps that helped concentrate his thoughts into the intuitive and very helpful resource on evolution principles that it is today.
 

Contents

Rates of Evolution
3
Determinants of Evolution
30
MicroEvolution MacroEvolution and Mega
97
LowRate and High Rate Lines
125
INERTIA TREND AND MOMENTUM
149
ORGANISM AND ENVIRONMENT
180
MODES OF EVOLUTION
197
WORKS CITED
219
INDEX
227
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Biological Invasions
M. Williamson
Limited preview - 1996
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