Chapter

The Shape of Evolution: The MBL Model and Clade Shape

John Huss

in The Paleobiological Revolution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226748610
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226748597 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226748597.003.0017
The Shape of Evolution: The MBL Model and Clade Shape

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This chapter discusses how the so-called “MBL Radical” model of simulated clade shape was developed. Paleontologist Tom Schopf organized a meeting in the winter of 1972 at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts which was attended by Stephen Jay Gould, Dave Raup, and Dan Simberloff. There were problems in analyzing raw data for patterns and trends. This led Simberloff to propose a null hypothesis for evaluating the effects of natural selection on phylogenetic patterns, and Raup wrote the simulation program that reflected this picture of evolution. This chapter suggests that the MBL model offers important lessons about theory testing and simulation that resonate beyond paleobiology.

Keywords: MBL model; clade shape; Tom Schopf; Stephen Jay Gould; Dave Raup; Dan Simberloff; natural selection; phylogenetic patterns; paleontology

Chapter.  7857 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palaeontology

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