Publications of Daniel W. McShea    :chronological  alphabetical  combined  bibtex listing:

search PubMed.


  1. McShea, DW; Brandon, RN, Biology's First Law The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems (July, 2010), pp. 184 pages, University of Chicago Press  [abs].
  2. D.W. McShea and Robert Brandon, Biology's First Law (2010), University of Chicago Press .
  3. Rosenberg, A; McShea, DW, Philosophy of biology: A contemporary introduction (2007), pp. 1-241, Routledge. [doi]  [abs].

Papers Published

  1. Heim, NA; Payne, JL; Finnegan, S; Knope, ML; Kowalewski, M; Lyons, SK; McShea, DW; Novack-Gottshall, PM; Smith, FA; Wang, SC, Hierarchical complexity and the size limits of life., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 284 no. 1857 (June, 2017) [doi]  [abs].
  2. McShea, DW, Logic, passion and the problem of convergence., Interface Focus, vol. 7 no. 3 (June, 2017), pp. 20160122 [doi]  [abs].
  3. McShea, DW, Three Trends in the History of Life: An Evolutionary Syndrome, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 43 no. 4 (December, 2016), pp. 531-542, Springer Nature [doi] .
  4. McShea, DW, Freedom and purpose in biology., Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 58 (August, 2016), pp. 64-72 [doi]  [abs].
  5. Smith, FA; Payne, JL; Heim, NA; Balk, MA; Finnegan, S; Kowalewski, M; Lyons, SK; McClain, CR; McShea, DW; Novack-Gottshall, PM; Anich, PS; Wang, SC, Body Size Evolution Across the Geozoic, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, vol. 44 no. 1 (June, 2016), pp. 523-553, ANNUAL REVIEWS [doi] .
  6. McShea, DW, Bernd Rosslenbroich: On the origin of autonomy: a new look at the major transitions in evolution, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 30 no. 3 (May, 2015), pp. 439-446, Springer Nature [doi] .
  7. McShea, DW, Machine wanting, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 44 no. 4 (December, 2013), pp. 679-687 [doi]  [abs].
  8. Brandon, RN; McShea, DW, Four solutions for four puzzles, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 27 no. 5 (September, 2012), pp. 737-744, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  9. McShea, DW, Upper-directed systems: A new approach to teleology in biology, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 27 no. 5 (2012), pp. 663-684, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  10. Kowalewski, M; Payne, JL; Smith, FA; Wang, SC; McShea, DW; Xiao, S; Novack-Gottshall, PM; McClain, CR; Krause, RA; Boyer, AG; Finnegan, S; Lyons, SK; Stempien, JA; Alroy, J; Spaeth, PA, The geozoic supereon, Palaios, vol. 26 no. 5 (2011), pp. 251-255, Society for Sedimentary Geology [doi] .
  11. Liow, LH; Simpson, C; Bouchard, F; Damuth, J; Hallgrimsson, B; Hunt, G; McShea, DW; Powell, JR; Stenseth, NC; Stoller, MK; Wagner, G, Pioneering paradigms and magnificent manifestos--Leigh Van Valen's priceless contributions to evolutionary biology., Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 65 no. 4 (April, 2011), pp. 917-922 [21463292], [doi] .
  12. Payne, JL; McClain, CR; Boyer, AG; Brown, JH; Finnegan, S; Kowalewski, M; Krause, RA; Lyons, SK; McShea, DW; Novack-Gottshall, PM; Smith, FA; Spaeth, P; Stempien, JA; Wang, SC, The evolutionary consequences of oxygenic photosynthesis: a body size perspective., Photosynthesis Research, vol. 107 no. 1 (January, 2011), pp. 37-57 (Published online 7 Sept 2010, DOI 10.1007/s11120-010-9593-1.) [20821265], [doi]  [abs].
  13. McShea, DW, Evolutionary progress, in Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, edited by Ruse, M; Travis, J (2011), pp. 550-557, Harvard University Press .
  14. McShea, DW; Simpson, CG, The miscellaneous transitions in evolution, in The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited, edited by Calcott, B; Sterelny, K (2011), M I T PRESS .
  15. Payne, JL; Boyer, AG; Brown, JH; Finnegan, S; Kowalewski, M; Krause, RA; Lyons, SK; McClain, CR; McShea, DW; Novack-Gottshall, PM; Smith, FA; Stempien, JA; Wang, SC, Two-phase increase in the maximum size of life over 3.5 billion years reflects biological innovation and environmental opportunity., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 106 no. 1 (2009), pp. 24-27 [19106296], [doi]  [abs].
  16. McShea, DW, Evolutionary Trends, in Palaeobiology II (December, 2007), pp. 206-211 [doi] .
  17. Marcot, JD; McShea, DW, Increasing hierarchical complexity throughout the history of life: Phylogenetic tests of trend mechanisms, Paleobiology, vol. 33 no. 2 (March, 2007), pp. 182-200, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi]  [abs] [author's comments].
  18. McShea, DW, A universal generative tendency toward increased organismal complexity, in Variation: A Central Concept in Biology, edited by B. Hallgrimsson and B. Hall (2005), pp. 435-453, Elsevier [doi]  [abs].
  19. McShea, DW, The evolution of complexity without natural selection, a possible large-scale trend of the fourth kind, Paleobiology, vol. 31 no. 2 SUPPL. (2005), pp. 146-156, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi]  [abs].
  20. D.W. McShea and C. Anderson, The remodularization of the organism, in Modularity: Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems, edited by W. Callebaut and D. Rasskin-Gutman (2005), pp. 185-206, The MIT Press .
  21. Marino, L; McShea, DW; Uhen, MD, Origin and evolution of large brains in toothed whales., The Anatomical Record. Part A, Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology, vol. 281 no. 2 (2004), pp. 1247-1255 [15497142], [doi]  [abs].
  22. D.W. McShea, (Abstract) The evolution of complexity without natural selection, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, vol. 36 (2004), pp. A-18 .
  23. Marcot, J.D. and D.W. McShea, (Abstract) Phylogenetic tests of directional bias in hierarchical evolution, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, vol. 36 (2004), pp. A-18 .
  24. McShea, DW; Changizi, MA, Three puzzles in hierarchical evolution., Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 43 no. 1 (February, 2003), pp. 74-81 [21680411], [doi]  [abs].
  25. Novack Gottshall, PM; McShea, DW, (Abstract) Quantifying ecological disparity: comparative paleoecology of Ordovician and Recent marine assemblages, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, vol. 35 (2003) .
  26. Marino, L; Uhen, MD; McShea, D, (Abstract) Encephalization trends in cetacean evolution: New data and new analyses, Brain, Behavior, and Evolution (2003) .
  27. McShea, DW, A complexity drain on cells in the evolution of multicellularity., Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 56 no. 3 (2002), pp. 441-452 [11989676]  [abs].
  28. McShea, DW; Venit, EP, Testing for bias in the evolution of coloniality: A demonstration in cyclostome bryozoans, Paleobiology, vol. 28 no. 3 (2002), pp. 308-327, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi]  [abs].
  29. McShea, DW, Three provocative patterns in hierarchical evolution., American Zoologist, vol. 41 no. 6 (December, 2001), pp. 1522-1522 [Gateway.cgi] .
  30. McShea, DW, The minor transitions in hierarchical evolution and the question of a directional bias, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, vol. 14 no. 3 (2001), pp. 502-518, WILEY [doi]  [abs].
  31. Anderson, C; McShea, DW, Individual versus social complexity, with particular reference to ant colonies., Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, vol. 76 no. 2 (2001), pp. 211-237 [11396847], [doi]  [abs].
  32. Anderson, C; Franks, NR; McShea, DW, The complexity and hierarchical structure of tasks in insect societies, Animal Behaviour, vol. 62 no. 4 (2001), pp. 643-651, Elsevier BV [doi]  [abs].
  33. Ciampaglio, CN; Kemp, M; McShea, DW, Detecting changes in morphospace occupation patterns in the fossil record: Characterization and analysis of measures of disparity, Paleobiology, vol. 27 no. 4 (2001), pp. 695-715, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi]  [abs].
  34. McShea, DW, The hierarchical structure of organisms: A scale and documentation of a trend in the maximum, Paleobiology, vol. 27 no. 2 (2001), pp. 405-423, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [doi]  [abs].
  35. Anderson, C; McShea, DW, Intermediate-level parts in insect societies: Adaptive structures that ants build away from the nest, Insectes Sociaux, vol. 48 no. 4 (January, 2001), pp. 291-301, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  36. D.W. McShea, Parts and integration: consequences of hierarchy, in Evolutionary Patterns: Growth, Form, and Tempo in the Fossil Record, pp. 27-60, edited by JBC Jackson, S Lidgard, and FK McKinney (2001), Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press .
  37. D.W. McShea, Evolutionary trends, in Palaeobiology II, pp. 206-210, edited by DEG Briggs and PR Crowther (2001), Oxford: Blackwell .
  38. D.W. McShea and E.P. Venit, What is a part?, in The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology, edited by G.P. Wagner (2001) .
  39. McShea, DW, Functional complexity in organisms: Parts as proxies, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 15 no. 5 (2000), pp. 641-668, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  40. McShea, DW, Sex and death: An introduction to the philosophy of biology, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 15 no. 5 (November, 2000), pp. 751-758 [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  41. Mcshea, DW, Trends, tools, and terminology, Paleobiology, vol. 26 no. 3 (2000), pp. 330-333, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  42. D.W. McShea, A hypothesis about hierarchies, in Unifying Themes in Complex Systems, edited by Y. Bar-Yam (2000) .
  43. R.J. McShea and D.W. McShea, Biology and value theory, in Biology and the Foundation of Ethics, edited by J. Maienschein and M. Ruse (1999), Cambridge University Press .
  44. D.W. McShea, Feelings as the proximate cause of behavior, in Where Psychology Meets Biology: Philosophical Essays, edited by V.G. Hardcastle (1999), Cambridge University Press .
  45. McShea, DW; Venit, EP; Simon, VB, Hierarchical complexity of organisms: dynamics of a well-known trend, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, vol. 31 (1999), pp. A-171 (Abstract only.) .
  46. McShea, DW, Possible largest-scale trends in organismal evolution: Eight 'live hypotheses', Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, vol. 29 no. 1 (1998), pp. 293-318, ANNUAL REVIEWS [doi]  [abs].
  47. McShea, DW, Comments on “evolutionary complexity,” H. Morowitz, complexity 3(6): pp. 12–14., Complexity, vol. 4 no. 2 (January, 1998), pp. 11-12, WILEY [doi] .
  48. D.W. McShea, Dynamics of large-scale trends, in Biodiversity Dynamics, edited by M.L. McKinney and J.A. Drake (1998) .
  49. McShea, DW, PERSPECTIVE METAZOAN COMPLEXITY AND EVOLUTION: IS THERE A TREND?, Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 50 no. 2 (April, 1996), pp. 477-492 [doi]  [abs].
  50. Mcshea, DW, Unpredictability! and the Function of Mind in Nature, Adaptive Behavior, vol. 4 no. 4 (January, 1996), pp. 466-470, SAGE Publications [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  51. McShea, DW, MECHANISMS OF LARGE-SCALE EVOLUTIONARY TRENDS., Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 48 no. 6 (December, 1994), pp. 1747-1763 [doi]  [abs].
  52. McShea, DW, Evolutionary Trends and the Salience Bias (with Apologies to Oil Tankers, Karl Marx, and Others), Technical Communication Quarterly, vol. 3 no. 1 (January, 1994), pp. 21-38, Informa UK Limited [doi]  [abs].
  53. McShea, DW, Evolutionary Change in the Morphological Complexity of the Mammalian Vertebral Column, Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution, vol. 47 no. 3 (June, 1993), pp. 730-730, JSTOR [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  54. Mcshea, DW, Arguments, tests, and the Burgess Shale � a commentary on the debate, Paleobiology, vol. 19 no. 4 (January, 1993), pp. 399-402, Cambridge University Press (CUP) [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  55. McSHEA, DW, A metric for the study of evolutionary trends in the complexity of serial structures, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 45 no. 1 (January, 1992), pp. 39-55, Oxford University Press (OUP) [doi]  [abs].
  56. McShea, DW, Complexity and evolution: What everybody knows, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 6 no. 3 (July, 1991), pp. 303-324, Springer Nature [doi]  [abs].
  57. McShea, DW; Raup, DM, Completeness of the geological record., The Journal of Geology, vol. 94 (1986), pp. 569-574 [11542057]  [abs].
  58. Golob, RS; McShea, DW, IMPLICATIONS OF THE IXTOC 1 BLOW-OUT AND OIL SPILL. (December, 1981), pp. 743-759 .

Book Reviews

  1. McShea, DW, Complexity and the Arrow of Time, Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 342 no. 6164 (2013), pp. 1319-1320 [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  2. McShea, DW, Untangling the morass, American Scientist, vol. 99 no. 2 (2011), pp. 154-156, Sigma Xi [doi]  [abs].
  3. D.W. McShea, (Review of The Tangled Web, by Carl Zimmer), Quarterly Review of Biology, vol. 86 (2011), pp. 47 .
  4. McShea, DW, A revised Darwinism, Biology & Philosophy, vol. 19 no. 1 (January, 2004), pp. 45-53, Springer Nature (Review of The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould, in press.) [doi] .
  5. D.W. McShea, Adaptive glory, American Scientist, vol. 91 (November, 2003), pp. 567-569 (Review of Darwin and Design by Michael Ruse.) .


  1. McShea, DW; Hordijk, W, Complexity by Subtraction, Evolutionary Biology, vol. 40 no. 4 (2013), pp. 504-520 [doi]  [abs].
  2. McShea, DW, Machine wanting., Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 44 no. 4 Pt B (December, 2013), pp. 679-687 [23792091], [doi]  [abs].
  3. Fleming, L; McShea, DW, Drosophila mutants suggest a strong drive toward complexity in evolution., Evolution and Development, vol. 15 no. 1 (January, 2013), pp. 53-62 (Paper was written up in a Scientific American piece by Carl Zimmer. Attached.) [23331917], [doi]  [abs].

Book Chapter

  1. D.W. McShea, Freedom and purpose in biology, in Contingency and Order in History and the Sciences (working title), edited by Peter Harrison (In press) .

Published Abstracts

  1. Finnegan, Seth, Steve C. Wang, John Alroy, Alison G. Boyer, Matthew E. Clapham, Zoe V. Finkel, Matthew A. Kosnik, Michał Kowalewski, Richard A. Krause, Jr., S. Kathleen Lyons, Craig R. McClain, Daniel W. McShea, Philip M. Novack- Gottshall, Rowan Lockwood, Jonathan L. Payne, Felisa A. Smith, Paula A. Spaeth, and Jennifer A. Stempien, No consistent relationship between body size and extinction risk in the marine fossil record, GSA Abstracts (2009) .