Theoretical Morphology: State of the Art
The morphological diversity of life has captivated systematists in the construction of classifications, embryologists in the study of development, and evolutionists in the formulation of theories of organic change. In a century marked by the advances of molecular biology, has the discipline of morphology produced anything...new? Yes. The solidification of paleontology and systematics and the emergence of macroevolution as a legitimate field owe much to an increased rigor in the analysis of morphological data. The discipline of morphology has also achieved an unprecedented sophistication through another development, the very expression of its maturity: theoretical morphology. Theoretical morphology forms the subject of McGhee's landmark book, an elegant combination of compendium and manifesto. Its richness and scope provide fodder for a critical appraisal of the discipline of morphology, particularly quantitative and developmental morphology.
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