Prof. Massimo Pigliucci (City University of New York): Do we need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis? And if so, is it a paradigm shift?

Massimo Pigliucci, Professor of Philosophy at CUNY-City College, is visiting the Science Studies Colloquium Series. Pigliucci has a doctorate in genetics from the University of Ferrara, Italy, a PhD in biology from the University of Connecticut, and a PhD in philosophy of science from the University of Tennessee. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

The seminar is open for everyone!

Photo: CC
One often hears talk of “paradigm shifts” in science in general and in evolutionary biology in particular. In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about the differences between the Modern Synthesis of the 1940s and ‘50s and various proposals for an Extended Synthesis that accommodates novel empirical discoveries and conceptual advances made over the past several decades. But is the Extended Synthesis an example of paradigm shift in biology? What is a paradigm shift, anyway? In this talk I present two major examples of theoretical transitions in biology - the move from natural theology to Darwinism and the move from the Modern to the Extended Synthesis - and defend the view that the first but not the second one represented a genuine paradigm shift, arguably the only time in the history of biology in which any such shift has occurred.
Published Apr. 27, 2019 2:05 PM - Last modified Sep. 3, 2019 12:33 PM