Timothy Mark Lewens
|Born||29 June 1974|
|History and philosophy of science|
Tim Lewens (born 29 June 1974)is a professor in the history and philosophy of biology, medicine, and bioethics at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. Lewens is a Fellow of Clare College, where he serves as Director of Studies in Philosophy and he is a member of the academic staff and lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS).
Lewens completed his PhD thesis at the Department of HPS, Cambridge University in 2001. He became a lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge soon after completing his doctoral thesis. He now serves as a governor at Exeter School where he was formerly a pupil.He was member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 2009 to 2015 and a member of the Council's Working Party on human bodies in medicine and research (report published autumn 2011).
Lewens has written and lectured extensively on evolution and his book on this subject, Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere (2004) received wide critical acclaim,as did his 2007 monograph on Charles Darwin.
In 2008, Lewens was one of eleven recipients of the University of Cambridge's Pilkington Prize for the quality of his teaching.
Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Also called Darwinian theory, it originally included the broad concepts of transmutation of species or of evolution which gained general scientific acceptance after Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, including concepts which predated Darwin's theories. English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley coined the term Darwinism in April 1860.
Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. It is a key mechanism of evolution, the change in the heritable traits characteristic of a population over generations. Charles Darwin popularised the term "natural selection", contrasting it with artificial selection, which is intentional, whereas natural selection is not.
The teleological argument is an argument for the existence of God or, more generally, that complex functionality in the natural world which looks designed is evidence of an intelligent creator.
Teleology or finality is a reason or an explanation for something which serves as a function of its end, its purpose, or its goal, as opposed to something which serves as a function of its cause.
Steven Peter Russell Rose is an English neuroscientist, author, and social commentator. He is emeritus professor of biology and neurobiology at the Open University and Gresham College, London.
Stephen C. Meyer is an American author and former educator. He is an advocate of the pseudoscience of intelligent design and helped found the Center for Science and Culture (CSC) of the Discovery Institute (DI), which is the main organization behind the intelligent design movement. Before joining the DI, Meyer was a professor at Whitworth College. Meyer is a senior fellow of the DI and director of the CSC.
Michael Ruse is a British-born Canadian philosopher of science who specializes in the philosophy of biology and works on the relationship between science and religion, the creation–evolution controversy, and the demarcation problem within science. Ruse currently teaches at Florida State University.
Thomas R. Baldwin is a British philosopher and has been a professor of philosophy at the University of York since 1995. He has written generally on 20th century analytic and Continental philosophy, as well as bioethics, the philosophy of language and of mind, particularly with regard to G. E. Moore, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Bertrand Russell.
Peter Lipton was the Hans Rausing Professor and Head of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, and a fellow of King's College, until his unexpected death in November 2007. According to his obituary on the Cambridge web site, he was "recognized as one of the leading philosophers of science and epistemologists in the world."
Evolutionary psychology seeks to identify and understand human psychological traits that have evolved in much the same way as biological traits, through adaptation to environmental cues. Furthermore, it tends toward viewing the vast majority of psychological traits, certainly the most important ones, as the result of past adaptions, which has generated significant controversy and criticism from competing fields. These criticisms include disputes about the testability of evolutionary hypotheses, cognitive assumptions such as massive modularity, vagueness stemming from assumptions about the environment that leads to evolutionary adaptation, the importance of non-genetic and non-adaptive explanations, as well as political and ethical issues in the field itself.
John A. Dupré is a British philosopher of science. He is the director of Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, and professor of philosophy at the University of Exeter. Dupré's chief work area lies in philosophy of biology, philosophy of the social sciences, and general philosophy of science. Dupré, together with Nancy Cartwright, Ian Hacking, Patrick Suppes and Peter Galison, are often grouped together as the "Stanford School" of philosophy of science. In 2023, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is a UK-based independent charitable body, which examines and reports on bioethical issues raised by new advances in biological and medical research. Established in 1991, the Council is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The Council has been described by the media as a 'leading ethics watchdog', which 'never shrinks from the unthinkable'.
What Darwin Got Wrong is a 2010 book by philosopher Jerry Fodor and cognitive scientist Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, in which the authors criticize Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. It is an extension of an argument first presented as "Why Pigs Don't Have Wings" in the London Review of Books.
The Department of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS), of the University of Cambridge is the largest department of history and philosophy of science in the United Kingdom. A majority of its submissions received maximum ratings of 4* and 3* in the 2014 REF. Located in the historic buildings of the Old Physical Chemistry Laboratories on Free School Lane, Cambridge, the department teaches undergraduate courses towards the Cambridge Tripos and graduate courses including a taught Masters and PhD supervision in the field of HPS. The department shares its premises with the Whipple Museum and Whipple Library which provide important resources for its teaching and research.
This bibliography of biology is a list of notable works, organized by subdiscipline, on the subject of biology.
Cognitive biology is an emerging science that regards natural cognition as a biological function. It is based on the theoretical assumption that every organism—whether a single cell or multicellular—is continually engaged in systematic acts of cognition coupled with intentional behaviors, i.e., a sensory-motor coupling. That is to say, if an organism can sense stimuli in its environment and respond accordingly, it is cognitive. Any explanation of how natural cognition may manifest in an organism is constrained by the biological conditions in which its genes survive from one generation to the next. And since by Darwinian theory the species of every organism is evolving from a common root, three further elements of cognitive biology are required: (i) the study of cognition in one species of organism is useful, through contrast and comparison, to the study of another species’ cognitive abilities; (ii) it is useful to proceed from organisms with simpler to those with more complex cognitive systems, and (iii) the greater the number and variety of species studied in this regard, the more we understand the nature of cognition.
Sherrie Lynne Lyons is an American author, science historian and skeptic.
Teleology in biology is the use of the language of goal-directedness in accounts of evolutionary adaptation, which some biologists and philosophers of science find problematic. The term teleonomy has also been proposed. Before Darwin, organisms were seen as existing because God had designed and created them; their features such as eyes were taken by natural theology to have been made to enable them to carry out their functions, such as seeing. Evolutionary biologists often use similar teleological formulations that invoke purpose, but these imply natural selection rather than actual goals, whether conscious or not. Biologists and religious thinkers held that evolution itself was somehow goal-directed (orthogenesis), and in vitalist versions, driven by a purposeful life force. With evolution working by natural selection acting on inherited variation, the use of teleology in biology has attracted criticism, and attempts have been made to teach students to avoid teleological language.
"The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme", also known as the "Spandrels paper", is a paper by evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin, originally published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences in 1979. The paper criticizes the adaptationist school of thought that was prevalent in evolutionary biology at the time using two metaphors: that of the spandrels in St Mark's Basilica, a cathedral in Venice, Italy, and that of the fictional character "Pangloss" in Voltaire's novella Candide. The paper was the first to use the architectural term "spandrel" in a biological context; the term "spandrel" has since gained currency in biology to refer to byproducts of adaptation.