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The Paleobiological RevolutionEssays on the Growth of Modern Paleontology$
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David Sepkoski and Michael Ruse

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226748610

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226748597.001.0001

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The Shape of Evolution: The MBL Model and Clade Shape

The Shape of Evolution: The MBL Model and Clade Shape

(p.326) Chapter Sixteen The Shape of Evolution: The MBL Model and Clade Shape
The Paleobiological Revolution

John Huss

University of Chicago Press

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

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