Daniel W. McShea

Duke University, Biology department, Duke's Center for Philosophy of Biology

Dan McShea (Ph.D. 1990, University of Chicago) is associate professor at Duke's Biology Department. He is interested in large-scale evolutionary trends, that is, trends that include a number of higher taxa and span a large portion of the history of life. Features that have been said to show such trends include complexity, size, fitness, and others. In his research he has been developing operational measures of these features, devising methods for testing empirically whether trends have occurred, and studying the causes and correlates of trends. His major work so far has been on trends in complexity. He is also interested in: (1) The relationships among the various evolutionary forces acting on animal form functional, formal, and phylogenetic; (2) Theoretical aspects of animal psychology; (3) The philosophy of biology.

Recent articles:

''The evolution of complexity without natural selection, a possible large-scale trend of the fourth kind.'' (2005)

''A universal generative tendency toward increased organismal complexity''. In: Variation: A Central Concept in Biology. (2005).

(with M.A. Changizi) ''Three puzzles in hierarchical evolution.'' (2003)

The complete list of his aticles and samples are available on his personal web site.