New species book contract!

Hi all. I have signed a new contract with Taylor and Francis for my revision of the species book, which is now to be known as Species: The History and Philosophy of the Idea. Much will be new in it – I will be fixing and expanding on many topics, adding an entire review of the Read More…

Speciation – a brief history: The eighteenth century evolutionist Lamarck

Eighteenth century ideas From Buffon we see that geographical factors are what caused novel forms for eighteenth century naturalists. Buffon’s view is a degenerative view of transformism. “Species” for him are degenerate forms of the premiere souche or first stock. The varieties we see around us are caused by local adaptation, through processes that are direct: Read More…

Speciation – A brief history: The late eighteenth century

After Linnaeus had settled on the older mechanism of hybridisation of genera with other genera or with varieties formed by geographical conditions as the cause of new species, the topic began to pick up speed. Hybridisation remained the usual method as late as the 1830s (e.g., in Lindley) but two developments were crucial in the Read More…

Speciation – a brief history: Linnaeus

One of the fundamental aspects of evolution is speciation. This is the process by which more species come into being, and there are many different definitions and mechanisms that have been proposed by biologists in the last couple of centuries. I aim to write an occasional series on what it is supposed to be at Read More…

The origins of “speciation”

As I do some research on the history of speciation theories, I came across this, which is perhaps the original coining of the term: Evolution is a process of organic change and development, universal and continuous, and due to causes resident in species. Speciation, to give the other process a name, is the origination or Read More…