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Podlich Distinguished Fellow

Darwin's Ancestors and Descendants

Michael Ghiselin is one of the pioneers of modern evolutionary theory. His unique interdisciplinary approach has brought together philosophy, economics, history, and biology in a synthesis that promises to make biology the historical science that Darwin envisioned 150 years ago.

In his recent magisterial Metaphysics and the Origin of Species, (SUNY 1997), Ghiselin addresses one of the fundamental problems that confronts biology and evolution-the definition and relation of individuals and species. Ghiselin argues that species are not kinds of organisms but wholes composed of organisms-individuals in the broadest ontological sense.

The recipient of a 1981 MacArthur Prize, Professor Ghiselin has long been recognized a leader in the philosophy of biology. His 1969 landmark The Triumph of the Darwinian Method, received the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society. A Senior Research Fellow at the California Academy of Science, he is also the author of Intellectual Compromise: The Bottom Line (1989) and The Economy of Nature and the Evolution of Sex (1974). In addition to dozens of articles in various fields, Professor Ghiselin is editor of the journal Bioeconomics and of the CD-ROM, Darwin (1997). He joins us at Claremont McKenna College as a Podlich Distinguished Fellow for the month of February.