Evolutionary Biology

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 427–445 | Cite as

Guest-Editorial Introduction: Converging Evolutionary Patterns in Life and Culture

Synthesis Paper

Abstract

The natural world demonstrates signs of spatial–temporal order, an order that appears to us through a series of recognizable, recurring and consecutive patterns, i.e. regularities in forms, functions, behaviors, events and processes. These patterns lend insight into the modes and tempos of evolution and thus into the units, levels, and mechanisms that underlie the evolutionary hierarchy. Contributors to this special issue analyze converging patterns in the biological and sociocultural realm across and beyond classic divisions between micro- and macro-evolution; horizontal/reticulate and vertical evolution; phylogeny, ontogeny and ecology; synchronic and diachronic sociocultural and linguistic research; and tree and network diagrams. Explanations are sought in complexity theory, major transitions of evolution, and process and mechanism approaches to change; and consequences for notions such as “life”, “species”, “biological individuality”, “units” and “levels” of evolution are given.

Keywords

Evolutionary patterns Horizontal transmission Vertical transmission Microevolution Macroevolution Hierarchy theory Systems theory Diachronic versus synchronic research Mode and tempo of evolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Philosophy of Science, Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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