Chapter

Conclusion Paleontology at the High Table?

David Sepkoski

in Rereading the Fossil Record

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226748559
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226748580 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226748580.003.0012
Conclusion Paleontology at the High Table?

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This chapter provides conclusion to the effort made by paleontologists to place paleobiology at the high table of evolutionary biology. This might be resolved, for example by counting the number of citations to paleobiological papers in biology journals, or by surveying geneticists and population biologists about their attitudes towards paleobiology. Mostly paleontologists, have lamented the extent to which the promise of the high table remains unfulfilled, or conversely have argued that it has been or will soon be achieved. This chaper first reflects upon whether the success of paleobiology genuinely depended on the opinion of scientists outside the discipline of paleontology. The Fruitful interactions is examined—in particular, the cross-fertilization of paleobiology and theoretical ecology, so it is concluded that paleontologists had increasing and profitable contact with biological disciplines. But outside recognition was only one—and not necessarily the most important—of the goals of the paleobiological movement. The major result of the paleobiological revolution, then, was not that it secured a place at anybody's table by the standards of any other discipline, but that it quite legitimately produced a subdiscipline of its own—paleobiology.

Keywords: evolutionary biology; paleobiology; paleobiological movement; paleontology; theoretical ecology; paleontologists

Chapter.  3888 words. 

Subjects: Palaeontology

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