Nicholas Keynes Humphrey is an English neuropsychologist, based in Cambridge, known for his work on the evolution of primate intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide-ranging, he studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of "blindsight" after brain damage in monkeys, he proposed the celebrated theory of the "social function of intellect" and he is the only scientist to edit the literary journal Granta. Humphrey played a significant role in the anti-nuclear movement in the late 1970s and delivered the BBC Bronowski memorial lecture titled "Four Minutes to Midnight" in 1981, his ten books include Consciousness Regained, The Inner Eye, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh, Seeing Red, Soul Dust. He has been the recipient of several honours, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the Pufendorf Medal and the British Psychological Society's book award, he has been lecturer in psychology at Oxford, assistant director of the Subdepartment of Animal Behaviour at Cambridge, senior research fellow at Cambridge, professor of psychology at the New School for Social Research, New York, school professor at the London School of Economics.
Humphrey is the son of the immunologist John H. Humphrey and his wife Janet Humphrey, daughter of the Nobel Prize–winning physiologist Archibald Hill, his great uncle was the economist John Maynard Keynes. Humphrey married Caroline Waddington, daughter of C. H. Waddington, in 1967. From 1977 to 1984 he was the partner of the English actress Susannah York. In 1994 he married Ayla Kohn, with whom he has two children and Samuel. Nicholas Humphrey was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, his doctoral research at Cambridge, supervised by Lawrence Weiskrantz, was on the neuropsychology of vision in primates. He made the first single cell recordings from the superior colliculus of monkeys, discovered the existence of a unsuspected capacity for vision after total lesions of the striate cortex. On moving to Oxford, he turned his attention to evolutionary aesthetics, he did research on monkey visual preferences and wrote the essay "The Illusion of beauty", which, as a radio broadcast, won the Glaxo Science Writers Prize in 1980.
He returned to Cambridge, to the Sub Department of Animal Behaviour in 1970, there met Dian Fossey, who invited him to spend three months at her gorilla study camp in Rwanda. His experience with the gorillas, a subsequent visit to Richard Leakey's field-site on Lake Turkana, set Humphrey thinking about how cognitive skills – intelligence and consciousness – could have arisen as an adaption to social life. In 1976 he wrote an essay titled "The Social Function of Intellect", regarded as one of the foundational works of evolutionary psychology and the basis for Machiavellian intelligence theory; this paper formed the basis of his first book, Consciousness Regained: Chapters in the Development of Mind. In 1984 Humphrey left his academic post at Cambridge to work on his Channel 4 television series The Inner Eye, on the development of the human mind; this series was finished in 1986 with the release of a book of the same name. In 1987, Daniel Dennett invited Humphrey to work with him at his Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.
They worked on developing an empirically based theory of consciousness, undertook a study on Multiple Personality Disorder. Humphrey's next book, A History of the Mind, put forward a theory on how consciousness as feeling rather than thinking may have evolved; this book won the inaugural British Psychological Society's annual Book of the Year Award in 1993. His writings on consciousness continued in The Mind Made Flesh: Essays from the Frontiers of Evolution and Psychology, Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness, most Soul Dust: the Magic of Consciousness. In this last book he puts forward a radical new theory. Consciousness, he argues, is nothing less than a magical-mystery show that we stage inside our own heads – a show that paves the way for spirituality, allows us to reap the rewards, anxieties, of living in what he calls the "soul niche". Humphrey became active in the anti-nuclear movement in the late 1970s; this led to an invitation to deliver the Bronowski lecture on the BBC in 1981. He titled his lecture, on the dangers of the arms race, "Four Minutes to Midnight".
With Robert Lifton he edited an anthology of writings on war and peace, In a Dark Time, released in 1984 and was awarded the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize. In 1992, Humphrey was appointed to a Senior Research Fellowship at Darwin College, Cambridge funded by the Perrott-Warwick Fellowship in parapsychology, he undertook a sceptical study of parapsychological phenomena such as extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis, resulting in his book Soul Searching: Human Nature and Supernatural Belief. Humphrey has worked on a number of radio documentaries as well as The Inner Eye; the topics range from the psychology of paranormal belief to the psycho-history of mediaeval animal trials. In 2005, he visited the Ulas family of human quadrupeds in southern Turkey and published a report on them with John Skoyles and Roger Keynes. A documentary entitled The Family That Walks on All Fours based on this visit was broadcast on BBC2 in March 2006, on NOVA in November 2006. Over the last ten years Humphrey has been investigating the placebo effect, has put forward a novel theory of what he calls the "hea
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, historian of science. He was one of the most influential and read authors of popular science of his generation. Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1996, Gould was hired as the Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University, where he divided his time teaching there and at Harvard. Gould's most significant contribution to evolutionary biology was the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which he developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972; the theory proposes that most evolution is characterized by long periods of evolutionary stability, infrequently punctuated by swift periods of branching speciation. The theory was contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the popular idea that evolutionary change is marked by a pattern of smooth and continuous change in the fossil record. Most of Gould's empirical research was based on the land snail genera Poecilozonites and Cerion.
He made important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology, receiving broad professional recognition for his book Ontogeny and Phylogeny. In evolutionary theory he opposed strict selectionism, sociobiology as applied to humans, evolutionary psychology, he campaigned against creationism and proposed that science and religion should be considered two distinct fields whose authorities do not overlap. Gould was known by the general public for his 300 popular essays in Natural History magazine, his numerous books written for both the specialist and non-specialist. In April 2000, the US Library of Congress named him a "Living Legend". Stephen Jay Gould was born in Queens, New York on September 10, 1941, his father Leonard was a World War II veteran in the United States Navy. His mother Eleanor was an artist, whose parents were Jewish immigrants living and working in the city's Garment District. Gould and his younger brother Peter were raised in Bayside, a middle class neighborhood in the northeastern section of Queens.
He attended P. S. 26 graduated from Jamaica High School. When Gould was five years old his father took him to the Hall of Dinosaurs in the American Museum of Natural History, where he first encountered Tyrannosaurus rex. "I had no idea there were such things—I was awestruck," Gould once recalled. It was in that moment. Raised in a secular Jewish home, Gould did not formally practice religion and preferred to be called an agnostic; when asked directly if he was an agnostic in Skeptic magazine, he responded: If you forced me to bet on the existence of a conventional anthropomorphic deity, of course I'd bet no. But Huxley was right when he said that agnosticism is the only honorable position because we cannot know, and that's right. I'd be real surprised. Though he "had been brought up by a Marxist father" he stated that his father's politics were "very different" from his own. In describing his own political views, he has said they "tend to the left of center." According to Gould the most influential political books he read were C. Wright Mills' The Power Elite and the political writings of Noam Chomsky.
While attending Antioch College in the early 1960s, Gould was active in the civil rights movement and campaigned for social justice. When he attended the University of Leeds as a visiting undergraduate, he organized weekly demonstrations outside a Bradford dance hall which refused to admit black people. Gould continued these demonstrations. Throughout his career and writings, he spoke out against cultural oppression in all its forms what he saw as the pseudoscience used in the service of racism and sexism. Interspersed throughout his scientific essays for Natural History magazine, Gould referred to his nonscientific interests and pastimes; as a boy he remained an avid New York Yankees fan throughout his life. As an adult he was fond of science fiction movies, but lamented their poor storytelling and presentation of science, his other interests included singing baritone in the Boston Cecilia, he was a great aficionado of Gilbert and Sullivan operas. He collected rare antiquarian books, possessed an enthusiasm for architecture, delighted in city walks.
He traveled to Europe, spoke French, German and Italian. He sometimes alluded ruefully to his tendency to put on weight. Gould married artist Deborah Lee on October 3, 1965. Gould met Lee, they had two sons and Ethan, were married for 30 years. His second marriage in 1995 was to sculptor Rhonda Roland Shearer. In July 1982 Gould was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer affecting the abdominal lining; this cancer is found in people who have ingested or inhaled asbestos fibers, a mineral, used in the construction of Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. After a difficult two-year recovery, Gould published a column for Discover magazine titled "The Median Isn't the Message", which discusses his reaction to discovering that, "mesothelioma is incurable, with a median mortality of only eight months after discovery." In his essay he describes the actual significance behind this fact, his relief upon recognizing that statistical averages are useful abstractions, by themselves do not encompass "our actual world of variation and continua."
The median is the halfway point. Howev
Murray Gell-Mann is an American physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. He is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, a distinguished fellow and co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, a professor of physics at the University of New Mexico, the Presidential Professor of Physics and Medicine at the University of Southern California. Gell-Mann has spent several periods at CERN, among others as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellow in 1972. Gell-Mann was born in lower Manhattan into a family of Jewish immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire from Chernivtsi in present-day Ukraine, his parents were Arthur Isidore Gell-Mann, who taught English as a Second Language. Propelled by an intense boyhood curiosity and love for nature and mathematics, he graduated valedictorian from the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and subsequently entered Yale College at the age of 15 as a member of Jonathan Edwards College.
At Yale, he participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition and was on the team representing Yale University that won the second prize in 1947. Gell-Mann earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Yale in 1948 and a PhD in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951, his supervisor at MIT was Victor Weisskopf. In 1958, Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman, in parallel with the independent team of George Sudarshan and Robert Marshak, discovered the chiral structures of the weak interaction in physics; this work followed the experimental discovery of the violation of parity by Chien-Shiung Wu, as suggested by Chen Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao Lee, theoretically. Gell-Mann's work in the 1950s involved discovered cosmic ray particles that came to be called kaons and hyperons. Classifying these particles led him to propose that a quantum number called strangeness would be conserved by the strong and the electromagnetic interactions, but not by the weak interactions. Another of Gell-Mann's ideas is the Gell-Mann–Okubo formula, a formula based on empirical results, but was explained by his quark model.
Gell-Mann and Abraham Pais were involved in explaining several puzzling aspects of the physics of these particles. In 1961, this led him to introduce a classification scheme for hadrons, elementary particles that participate in the strong interaction; this scheme is now explained by the quark model. Gell-Mann referred to the scheme as the Eightfold Way, because of the octets of particles in the classification. In 1964, Gell-Mann and, George Zweig went on to postulate the existence of quarks, particles of which the hadrons of this scheme are composed; the name is a reference to the novel Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce. Zweig had referred to the particles as "aces". Quarks and gluons were soon established as the underlying elementary objects in the study of the structure of hadrons, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics in 1969 for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions. In 1972 he and Harald Fritzsch introduced the conserved quantum number "color charge", together with Heinrich Leutwyler, they coined the term quantum chromodynamics as the gauge theory of the strong interaction.
The quark model is a part of QCD, it has been robust enough to accommodate in a natural fashion the discovery of new "flavors" of quarks, which superseded the eightfold way scheme. He is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at California Institute of Technology as well as a University Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Presidential Professor of Physics and Medicine at the University of Southern California, he is a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 1984 Gell-Mann co-founded the Santa Fe Institute—a non-profit theoretical research institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico—to study complex systems and disseminate the notion of a separate interdisciplinary study of complexity theory, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1951, a visiting research professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign from 1952 to 1953. He was a visiting associate professor at Columbia University and an associate professor at the University of Chicago in 1954–55 before moving to the California Institute of Technology, where he taught from 1955 until he retired in 1993.
During the 1990s, Gell-Mann's interest turned to the emerging study of complexity. He played a central role in the founding of the Santa Fe Institute, where he continues to work as a distinguished professor, he wrote a popular science book about these matters, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex. The title of the book is taken from a line of a poem by Arthur Sze: "The world of the quark has everything to do with a jaguar circling in the night"; the author George Johnson has written a biography of Gell-Mann, Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann, the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics, shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. Gell-Mann has criticized it as inaccurate; the Nobel Prize–winning physicist Philip Anderson, in his chapter on Gell-Mann from a 2011 book, says that Johnson's biography is excellent. Both Anderso
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
Presentations – Presentations from both guest speakers and OCLC research from conferences and other events. The presentations are organized into five categories: Conference presentations, Dewey presentations, Distinguished Seminar Series, Guest presentations, Research staff
Marvin Lee Minsky was an American cognitive scientist concerned with research of artificial intelligence, co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, author of several texts concerning AI and philosophy. Marvin Lee Minsky was born in New York City, to an eye surgeon father, to a mother, an activist of Zionist affairs, his family was Jewish. He attended the Bronx High School of Science, he attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1945, he received a B. A. in mathematics from Harvard University and a Ph. D. in mathematics from Princeton University. He was on the MIT faculty from 1958 to his death, he joined the staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 1958, a year he and John McCarthy initiated what is known now as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He was the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Minsky's inventions include the confocal microscope.
He developed, with Seymour Papert, the first Logo "turtle". Minsky built, in 1951, the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, SNARC. In 1962, Minsky came up with a 7,4 Turing machine. At that point in time, it was known to be the simplest universal Turing machine–a record that stood for 40 years until Stephen Wolfram published a 2,5 universal Turing machine in his 2002 book, A New Kind of Science. Minsky wrote the book Perceptrons, which became the foundational work in the analysis of artificial neural networks; this book is the center of a controversy in the history of AI, as some claim it to have had great importance in discouraging research of neural networks in the 1970s, contributing to the so-called "AI winter". He founded several other famous AI models, his book A framework for representing knowledge created a new paradigm in programming. While his Perceptrons is now more a historical than practical book, the theory of frames is in wide use. Minsky has written on the possibility that extraterrestrial life may think like humans, permitting communication.
In the early 1970s, at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab and Papert started developing what came to be known as the Society of Mind theory. The theory attempts to explain how what we call intelligence could be a product of the interaction of non-intelligent parts. Minsky says that the biggest source of ideas about the theory came from his work in trying to create a machine that uses a robotic arm, a video camera, a computer to build with children's blocks. In 1986, Minsky published The Society of Mind, a comprehensive book on the theory which, unlike most of his published work, was written for the general public. In November 2006, Minsky published The Emotion Machine, a book that critiques many popular theories of how human minds work and suggests alternative theories replacing simple ideas with more complex ones. Recent drafts of the book are available from his webpage. Minsky was an adviser on Stanley Kubrick's movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Minsky himself is explicitly mentioned in Arthur C. Clarke's derivative novel of the same name, where he is portrayed as achieving a crucial break-through in artificial intelligence in the then-future 1980s, paving the way for HAL 9000 in the early 21st century: In the 1980s, Minsky and Good had shown how artificial neural networks could be generated automatically—self replicated—in accordance with any arbitrary learning program.
Artificial brains could be grown by a process strikingly analogous to the development of a human brain. In any given case, the precise details would never be known, if they were, they would be millions of times too complex for human understanding. In 1952, Minsky married pediatrician Gloria Rudisch. Minsky was a talented improvisational pianist who published musings on the relations between music and psychology. Minsky was an atheist, a signatory to the Scientists' Open Letter on Cryonics, he was a critic of the Loebner Prize for conversational robots, argued that a fundamental difference between humans and machines was that while humans are machines, they are machines in which intelligence emerges from the interplay of the many unintelligent but semi-autonomous agents that comprise the brain. He argued that "somewhere down the line, some computers will become more intelligent than most people," but that it was hard to predict how fast progress would be, he cautioned that an artificial superintelligence designed to solve an innocuous mathematical problem might decide to assume control of Earth's resources to build supercomputers to help achieve its goal, but believed that such negative scenarios are "hard to take seriously" because he felt confident that AI would go through a lot of testing before being deployed.
Minsky died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 88. Minsky was a member of Alcor's Scientific Advisory Board, is believed to have been cryonically preserved by Alcor as'Patient 144', whose cooling procedures began on January 27, 2016. 1967 – Computation: Finite and Infinite Machines, Prentice-Hall 1986 – The Society of Mind 2006 – The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, the Future of the Human Mind Minsky won the Turing Award in 1969, the Japan Prize in 1990, the IJCAI Award for Research Exce
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. The earliest roots of science can be traced to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3500 to 3000 BCE, their contributions to mathematics and medicine entered and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, whereby formal attempts were made to explain events of the physical world based on natural causes. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in Western Europe during the early centuries of the Middle Ages but was preserved in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age; the recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived natural philosophy, transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape.
Modern science is divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences, which study nature in the broadest sense. There is disagreement, however, on whether the formal sciences constitute a science as they do not rely on empirical evidence. Disciplines that use existing scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as engineering and medicine, are described as applied sciences. Science is based on research, conducted in academic and research institutions as well as in government agencies and companies; the practical impact of scientific research has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, health care, environmental protection. Science in a broad sense existed in many historical civilizations. Modern science is distinct in its approach and successful in its results, so it now defines what science is in the strictest sense of the term. Science in its original sense was a word for a type of knowledge, rather than a specialized word for the pursuit of such knowledge.
In particular, it was the type of knowledge which people can communicate to share. For example, knowledge about the working of natural things was gathered long before recorded history and led to the development of complex abstract thought; this is shown by the construction of complex calendars, techniques for making poisonous plants edible, public works at national scale, such as those which harnessed the floodplain of the Yangtse with reservoirs and dikes, buildings such as the Pyramids. However, no consistent conscious distinction was made between knowledge of such things, which are true in every community, other types of communal knowledge, such as mythologies and legal systems. Metallurgy was known in prehistory, the Vinča culture was the earliest known producer of bronze-like alloys, it is thought that early experimentation with heating and mixing of substances over time developed into alchemy. Neither the words nor the concepts "science" and "nature" were part of the conceptual landscape in the ancient near east.
The ancient Mesopotamians used knowledge about the properties of various natural chemicals for manufacturing pottery, glass, metals, lime plaster, waterproofing. The Mesopotamians had intense interest in medicine and the earliest medical prescriptions appear in Sumerian during the Third Dynasty of Ur. Nonetheless, the Mesopotamians seem to have had little interest in gathering information about the natural world for the mere sake of gathering information and only studied scientific subjects which had obvious practical applications or immediate relevance to their religious system. In the classical world, there is no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, well-educated upper-class, universally male individuals performed various investigations into nature whenever they could afford the time. Before the invention or discovery of the concept of "nature" by the Pre-Socratic philosophers, the same words tend to be used to describe the natural "way" in which a plant grows, the "way" in which, for example, one tribe worships a particular god.
For this reason, it is claimed these men were the first philosophers in the strict sense, the first people to distinguish "nature" and "convention." Natural philosophy, the precursor of natural science, was thereby distinguished as the knowledge of nature and things which are true for every community, the name of the specialized pursuit of such knowledge was philosophy – the realm of the first philosopher-physicists. They were speculators or theorists interested in astronomy. In contrast, trying to use knowledge of nature to imitate nature was seen by classical scientists as a more appropriate interest for lower class artisans; the early Greek philosophers of the Milesian school, founded by Thales of Miletus and continued by his successors A
George C. Williams (biologist)
George Christopher Williams was an American evolutionary biologist. Williams was a professor of biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, best known for his vigorous critique of group selection; the work of Williams in this area, along with W. D. Hamilton, John Maynard Smith and others led to the development of a gene-centric view of evolution in the 1960s. Williams' 1957 paper Pleiotropy, Natural Selection, the Evolution of Senescence is one of the most influential in 20th century evolutionary biology, contains at least 3 foundational ideas; the central hypothesis of antagonistic pleiotropy remains the prevailing evolutionary explanation of senescence. In this paper Williams was the first to propose that senescence should be synchronized by natural selection. According to this original formulation if the adverse genic effects appeared earlier in one system than any other, they would be removed by selection from that system more than from any other. In other words, natural selection will always be in greatest opposition to the decline of the most senescence-prone system.
This important concept of synchrony of senescence was taken up a short time by John Maynard Smith, the origin of the idea is misattributed to him, including in his obituary in the journal, Nature. This paper contains the first basic outline of the so-called "grandmother hypothesis", which states that natural selection might select for menopause and post-reproductive life in females, although Williams does not explicitly mention grandchildren or the inclusive fitness contribution of grandparenting. In his first book and Natural Selection, Williams advocated a "ground rule - or doctrine would be a better term -... that adaptation is a special and onerous concept that should only be used where it is necessary", that, when it is necessary, selection among genes or individuals would in general be the preferable explanation for it. He elaborated this view in books and papers, which contributed to the development of a gene-centered view of evolution. Williams was well known for his work on the evolution of sex, was an advocate of evolutionary medicine.
In books, including Natural Selection: Domains and Challenges, Williams softened his views on group selection, recognizing that clade selection, trait group selection and multilevel selection did sometimes occur in nature, something he had earlier thought to be so unlikely it could be safely ignored. Williams became convinced that the genic neo-Darwinism of his earlier years, while correct as a theory of microevolutionary change, could not account for evolutionary phenomena over longer time scales, was thus an "utterly inadequate account of the evolution of the Earth's biota". In particular, he became a staunch advocate of clade selection – a generalisation of species selection to monophyletic clades of any rank – which could explain phenomena such as adaptive radiations, long-term phylogenetic trends, biases in rates of speciation/extinction. In Natural Selection, Williams argued that these phenomena cannot be explained by selectively-driven allele substitutions within populations, the evolutionary mechanism he had championed over all others.
This book thus represents a substantial departure from the position of Adaptation and Natural Selection. Williams received a Ph. D. in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1955. At Stony Brook he taught courses in marine vertebrate zoology, he used ichthyological examples in his books. In 1992 Williams was awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, he won the Crafoord Prize for Bioscience jointly with Ernst Mayr and John Maynard Smith in 1999. Richard Dawkins describes Williams as "one of the most respected of American evolutionary biologists". Williams, G. C. 1966. Adaptation and Natural Selection. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J. Williams, G. C. ed. 1971. Group Selection. Aldine-Atherton, Chicago. Williams, G. C. 1975. Sex and Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J. Paradis, J. and G. C. Williams. 1989. T. H. Huxley's Ethics: with New Essays on its Victorian and Sociobiological Context. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.
J. Williams, G. C. 1992. Natural Selection: Domains and Challenges. Oxford University Press, New York. Nesse, R. M. and G. C. Williams. 1994. Why We Get Sick: the New Science of Darwinian Medicine. Times Books, New York. Williams, G. C. 1996. Plan and Purpose in Nature. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. Williams, G. C.. "Pleiotropy, natural selection, the evolution of senescence". Evolution. 11: 398–411. Doi:10.2307/2406060. JSTOR 2406060. Williams, G. C.. C.. "Natural selection of individually harmful social adaptations among sibs with special reference to social insects". Evolution. 11: 32–39. Doi:10.2307/2405809. JSTOR 2405809. Williams, G. C.. "Natural selection, the costs of reproduction, a refinement of Lack's principle". The American Naturalist. 100: 687–690. Doi:10.1086/282461. JSTOR 2459305. Williams, G. C.. B.. "Why reproduce sexually?". Journal of Theoretical Biology. 39: 545–554. Doi:10.1016/0022-519390067-2. Williams, G. C.. "The question of adaptive sex ratio in outcrossed vertebrates". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
205: 567–580. Doi:10.1098/rspb.1979.0085. JSTOR 77446. PMID 42061. Hrdy, S. B.. C.. "Behavioral biolog