Presenting a historical analysis of the evolution of systematics during the last one hundred years, Milestones in Systematics reviews many of the major issues in systematic theory and practice that have driven the working methods of systematics during the 20th century and looks at the issues most likely to preoccupy systematists in the immediate future.
The book highlights:
§ The development of evolutionary, phenetic and cladistic methods of phylogenetic analysis and the associated computer algorithms
§ The changing influence of paleontological techniques
§ The impact of new molecular data and the relationships between systematics, development, and evolution
The authors stress the importance of understanding the past to make sense of the future. They present a general assessment of comparative biology's recent past and how it has matured and blossomed. Exploring the full impact of the cladistics revolution, a phenomenon that has yet to be fully appreciated, the book provides a platform for further debate and discussion.
Setting Up Milestones: Sneath on Adanson and Mayr on Darwin, M.P. Winsor
Launching the Society of Systematic Zoology in 1947, J. Cain
Explanations in Systematics, W.J. Bock
What Happens When the Language of Science Threatens to Break Down in Systematics - A Popperian Perspective, O. Rieppel
Hennig's 'Phylogenetic Systematics' Brought up to Date, J.-W. Wägele
Cladistics: Its Arrested Development, G. Nelson
Systematics and Paleontology, P.L. Forey
Parsimony and Computer, A.W.F. Edwards
Homologues and Homology, Phenetics and Cladistics: 150 Years of Progress, D.M. Williams
From Dispersal to Geographic Congruence: Comments on Cladistic Biogeography in the 20th Century, C.J. Humphries
The Fall and Rise of Evolutionary Developmental Biology, P.W.H. Holland
"This volume would be useful as a reference in graduate courses. … Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through faculty/researchers."
- CHOICE, February 2005, Vo. 42, No. 06
"[The authors] provide an intriguing set of snapshots of the discipline and the issues that animate contemporary debates in systematics. They also raise many questions of potential interest to historians…this volume is well worth a look by historians interested in recent developments in systematics."
-Journal of the History of Biology 38, No. 1, 2004