Rereading the Fossil Record
The Growth of Paleobiology as an Evolutionary Discipline
Rereading the Fossil Record presents the first-ever historical account of the origin, rise, and importance of paleobiology, from the mid-nineteenth century to the late 1980s. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, David Sepkoski shows how the movement was conceived and promoted by a small but influential group of paleontologists and examines the intellectual, disciplinary, and political dynamics involved in the ascendency of paleobiology. By tracing the role of computer technology, large databases, and quantitative analytical methods in the emergence of paleobiology, this book also offers insight into the growing prominence and centrality of data-driven approaches in recent science.
Chapter 2. The Growth of Theoretical Paleontology
Chapter 3. The Rise of Quantitative Paleobiology
Chapter 4. From Paleoecology to Paleobiology
Chapter 5. Punctuated Equilibria and the Rise of the New Paleobiology
Chapter 6. The Founding of a Research Journal
Chapter 7. “Towards a Nomothetic Paleontology”: The MBL Model and Stochastic Paleontology
Chapter 8. A “Natural History of Data”: The Rise of Taxic Paleobiology
Chapter 9. The Dynamics of Mass Extinctions
Chapter 10. Toward a New Macroevolutionary Synthesis
Conclusion: Paleontology at the High Table?