On having a world view
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On Having a World View. LIFS 691 Advanced Evolution. My Dissertation Advisor. Arthur E. Dunham, Ph.D. Think deeply about your world view. A good world view enables one to achieve a greater understanding with less work.

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On Having a World View

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On Having a World View

LIFS 691

Advanced Evolution


My Dissertation Advisor

Arthur E. Dunham, Ph.D.


Think deeply about your world view.

  • A good world view enables one to achieve a greater understanding with less work.

  • Ineffective world views are ultimately replaced by more effective ones (in the sense of a scientific revolution, but the process is not necessarily that dramatic).

  • If you cannot identify factors that have influenced your world view, you probably do not have one.


Close-minded Open-minded

Unopinionated Cynical Wishy-washy

Opinionated Stubborn know-it-all Constructive

Typology of a Scientist


My World View

Natural selection is the primary process by which evolution proceeds; over long time scales, this process occurs most strongly at the level of the individual (or below). Macroevolution is merely microevolution over a long period of time.


My World View

A proximate cause must be known before an ultimate cause can be identified because proximate (behavioral, physiological, or developmental) processes determine the costs and benefits of phenotypes.


My World View

A general theory can explain phenomena in the majority of cases. Such theories are bound to be complex because ecological and evolutionary phenomena stem from multiple causes.


“Competing” Views in Evolution

  • Neutral Theory vs. Selectionist Theories

  • Adaptationist vs. Anti-adaptationist

  • Optimization vs. Quantitative Genetic Theories


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