A whole issue of the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences is devoted to the topic “Replaying the Tape of Life: Evolution and Historical Explanation.” The contents are as follows:
Introduction: Evolution and historical explanation
Peter Harrison, Ian Hesketh
What was historical about natural history? Contingency and explanation in the science of living things
The “History” of Victorian Scientific Naturalism: Huxley, Spencer and the “End” of natural history
Theological presuppositions of the evolutionary epic: From Robert Chambers to E. O. Wilson
What are narratives good for?
Counterfactuals and history: Contingency and convergence in histories of science and life
The spontaneous market order and evolution
Contingency and the order of nature
Freedom and purpose in biology
Daniel W. McShea
“Replaying Life’s Tape”: Simulations, metaphors, and historicity in Stephen Jay Gould’s view of life
A case study in evolutionary contingency
Zachary D. Blount
Can evolution be directional without being teleological?
George R. McGhee Jr.
Evolutionary biology and the question of teleology
Contingency, convergence and hyper-astronomical numbers in biological evolution
Ard A. Louis
It all adds up …. Or does it? Numbers, mathematics and purpose
Simon Conway Morris