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Limits to Our Knowledge of Evolution

  • Michael Ruse
Part of the Evolutionary Biology book series (EBIO, volume 32)

Abstract

In this discussion I want to raise the question of whether there are limits to our knowledge of evolution, and if so of what form? Are we barred from full understanding by irretrievable loss of information, or by a complexity of a degree that cannot be untangled, or by more profound and far-reaching factors pertaining to the very nature of the scientific enterprise itself? To structure my discussion I will make the customary threefold distinction between the fact of evolution, the path or paths of evolution, and the theory or mechanisms or causes of evolution (Ayala, 1985; Ruse, 1982, 1984). It is not always possible to adhere rigorously to this trichotomy, nor is it necessary, but it is a useful way of keeping things clear and separate.

Keywords

Human Nature Fossil Record Mass Extinction Island Biogeography Punctuate Equilibrium 
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.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Ruse
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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