Form, function, transformation

Jean-Pierre GASC

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (3-4) - Pages 489-498

Published on 30 April 2006

This article is a part of the thematic issue One hundred years after Marey: some aspects of Functional Morphology today

No transformational theory could have been proposed before clear definitions were derived for the concepts of form and function. The maturation of these concepts followed the slow discovery of the rules that underlie the structural and functional basis of living beings. This question raises apparent contradictions that were overcome, but still left some pitfalls for evolutionary biology. The main one is the remnants of teleology in the heart of the adaptation concept, necessary to recognize the effects of natural selection. Functional Morphology has the hard task to navigate through these difficulties.


History of Sciences, Morphology, Physiology, Evolution, Functional morphology, Biomechanics

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