From Cells to Organisms: Re-envisioning Cell Theory
More than a history, From Cells to Organisms delves into the nature of scientific practice, showing that results are interpreted not only through the lens of a microscope, but also through the lens of particular ideas and prior philosophical convictions.
Before the twentieth century, heredity and development were considered complementary aspects of the fundamental problem of generation, but later they became distinct disciplines with the rise of genetics. Focusing on how cell theory shaped investigations of development, this book explores evolution, vitalism, the role of the nucleus, and the concept of biological individuality. Building upon the work of Thomas Huxley, an important early critic of cell theory, and more recent research from biologists such as Daniel Mazia, From Cells to Organisms covers ongoing debates around cell theory and uses case studies to examine the nature of scientific practice, the role of prestige, and the dynamics of theory change.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 296 pages
- Illustrations: 13
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.9in x 9.1in
"This important book examines how our past understanding and appreciation of cells reflected current but often outdated or incomplete ideas. It is timely, scholarly, and thorough; fills gaps in our past knowledge; and provides an integrated approach to analysis of cell theory."
Brian K. Hall, Dalhousie University
"This is a book that takes cell theory seriously – not as finished doctrine, but as an ongoing and sometimes contentious research program. Creative thinkers such as Oscar Hertwig, Thomas Huxley, Robert Remak, and Daniel Mazia take center stage in this book, showing the reciprocity of cell theories with all areas of biology."
Scott Gilbert, Swarthmore College
"Cell theory, as Sherrie L. Lyons points out, joins evolution as one of biology’s two ‘unifying theories,’ and yet evolution has received the lion’s share of historical attention. In From Cells to Organisms, Lyons fills this gap. Her fresh, insightful, succinct, and accessible reinterpretation of the history of cytology is essential reading for students and general readers who seek to understand the ideas underpinning not only cell biology but ultimately life itself."
Marsha L. Richmond, Wayne State University
Author InformationSherrie L. Lyons is the author of numerous books on the history of biology, including Evolution: The Basics and Species, Spirits, Serpents, and Skulls: Science at the Margins in the Victorian Age.
Table of contents
1. Microscopes and the Discovery of the Cell
2. The Physical Basis of Life
3. The Cell as the Unit of Heredity and Development
4. The Cell Theory in Development
5. Progress in Understanding Heredity
6. Organisms, Ebryonic Induction, and Morphogenetic Fields
8. How Does a Chicken become an Egg: Evo Devo and Ecodevo
Milestones and Controversies in the History of Cell Theory
Subjects and Courses