The Geometry of Evolution: Adaptive Landscapes and Theoretical Morphospaces

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The metaphor of the adaptive landscape - that evolution via the process of natural selection can be visualized as a journey across adaptive hills and valleys, mountains and ravines - permeates both evolutionary biology and the philosophy of science. The focus of this 2006 book is to demonstrate to the reader that the adaptive landscape concept can be put into actual analytical practice through the usage of theoretical morphospaces - geometric spaces of both existent and non-existent biological form - and to demonstrate the power of the adaptive landscape concept in understanding the process of evolution. The adaptive landscape concept further allows us to take a spatial approach to the concepts of natural selection, evolutionary constraint and evolutionary development. For that reason, this book relies heavily on spatial graphics to convey the concepts developed within these pages, and less so on formal mathematics.