Advertisement

A Darwinian Way of Thinking

  • Milind Watve
Chapter

Abstract

Ernest Rutherford, a renowned physicist of the last century, is not only known for his discoveries but also for an often-quoted and apparently rude comment, “Only physics is science—all else is stamp collecting” [1, 2]. He was not wrong perhaps at least with reference to the mainstream biology of his times, although a conceptual revolution had already happened. Biology in its early days was nothing more than collecting information and classifying it, precisely what stamp collectors do with stamps instead of information. Physics on the other hand was able to predict things ahead of finding them based on sound theoretical foundation. For example the existence of Pluto, the ninth planet in the solar system, was predicted first and discovered eventually. So is the case with existence of some of the subatomic particles and phenomena which were predicted much before any experiments could demonstrate them. This hardly happened in biology at that time. Biology has come a long way since Rutherford’s days. The number of examples where some phenomenon in biology is predicted first and experimentally demonstrated later is on a steep rise.

Keywords

Evolutionary Game Theory Snowdrift Game Sound Theoretical Foundation Biological Inheritance Lamarckian Inheritance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    Birks JB (1962/1963) Rutherford at Manchester. Heywood/Benjamin, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pepper FS (1987) The Wit and wisdom of the 20th century: a dictionary of quotations. P. Bedrick Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ferreras P et al (2004) Proximate and ultimate causes of dispersal in the Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus. Behav Ecol 15:31–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Drickamer LC, Gillie LL (1998) Integrating proximate and ultimate causation in the study of vertebrate behavior: methods considerations. Am Zool 38:43–58Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Drickamer LC (1998) Vertebrate behavior: integration of proximate and ultimate causation. Am Zool 38:39–42Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thierry B (2004) Integrating proximate and ultimate causation: just one more go! Curr Sci 89:73–79Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mayr E (1988) Toward a new philosophy of biology, observations of an evolutionist. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dawkins R (1999) The extended phenotype: the long reach of the gene. University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ridley M (1994) The Red Queen: sex and the evolution of human nature. Macmillan Publishing Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dawkins R (1989) The selfish gene. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Futuyma DJ (2009) Evolution. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Strickberger MW (2005) Evolution. Jones & Bartlett Learning, SudburyGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Thakar JD, Kunte K, Chauhan AK, Watve AV, Watve MG (2003) Nectarless flowers: ecological correlates and evolutionary stability. Oecologia 136:565–570PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Anand C et al (2007) Presence of two types of flowers with respect to nectar sugar in two gregariously flowering species. J Biosci 32:769–774PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Belsare PV, Sriram B, Watve MG (2009) The co-optimization of floral display and nectar reward. J Biosci 34:963–967PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gould SJ, Vrba ES (1982) Exaptation – a missing term in the science of form. Paleobiology 8:4–15Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tinbergen N (1953) The herring gull’s world: a study of the social behavior of birds. Praeger, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    King MC, Wilson AC (1975) Evolution at two levels in humans and chimpanzees. Science 188:107–116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tinbergen N (1965) Animal behavior. Time-Life Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wells JCK (2010) Maternal capital and the metabolic ghetto: An evolutionary perspective on the transgenerational basis of health inequalities. Am J Hum Biol 22:1–17PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ng SF et al (2010) Chronic high-fat diet in fathers programs β-cell dysfunction in female rat offspring. Nature 467:963–966PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Trivers RL, Willard DE (1973) Natural selection of parental ability to vary the sex ratio of offspring. Science 179:90–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cameron EZ, Lemons PR, Bateman PW, Bennett NC (2008) Experimental alteration of litter sex ratios in a mammal. Proc Biol Sci 275:323–327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cameron EZ (2004) Facultative adjustment of mammalian sex ratios in support of the Trivers-Willard hypothesis: evidence for a mechanism. Proc Biol Sci 271:1723–1728PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gore J, Youk H, van Oudenaarden A (2009) Snowdrift game dynamics and facultative cheating in yeast. Nature 459:253–256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Korte SM, Koolhaas JM, Wingfield JC, McEwen BS (2005) The Darwinian concept of stress: benefits of allostasis and costs of allostatic load and the trade-offs in health and disease. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 29:3–38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milind Watve
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune (IISER-P)PuneIndia

Personalised recommendations