Sunday, January 6, 2013

Notes on Simpson's Tempo and Mode in Evolution:

  • Tempo: evolutionary rates under natural conditions, the measurement and interpretation of rates, their acceleration and deceleration, the conditions of exceptionally slow or rapid evolutions, and phenomena suggestive of inertia and momentum. (p. xxix)
  • Mode: study of the way, manner, or pattern of evolution, how populations become genetically and morphologically differentiated, and how they have passed from one way of living to another or failed to do so. (p. xxx)
Chapter I: Rates of evolution
  • Four basic theorems concerning rates of evolution (p. 12)
    • Rate of evolution of one character may be a function of another character and not genetically separable even though the rates are not equal
    • Rate of evolution of any character or combination of characters may change markedly at any time in phyletic evolution, even though the direction of evolution remains the same. 
    • Rates of evolution of two or more characters within a single phylum may change independently 
    • Two phyla of common ancestry may become differentiated by different rates of evolution of different characters, without any marked qualitative differences or differences in direction of evolution
  • Need to come up with a way to not only think in terms of unit characters--might be better to think of the organism as a whole

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