Children of time: the major metaphors of evolution

25 Apr 2014

Daniel Brooks
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto


It is time for an expansion and enrichment of evolutionary theory. The "back to the future" proposal that I will describe here is based on three postulates: (1) neo-Darwinism is too impoverished for the task; (2) its predecessor, Darwinism, contained the necessary breadth of vision and metaphor to be the basis for an inclusive and unifying theory of biology; and (3) the necessary framework for this new stage in the evolution of evolutionary theory is largely in place. I will make this case through three metaphorical dualisms designed to help focus discussions toward a more cooperative and productive approach to the study of living systems: time – circular and linear; space – information space and function space and sloppy fitness space; complexity – cohesion and compensatory changes.

current theory lunch schedule