Neo-Darwinism, the Modern Synthesis and selfish genes: are they of use in physiology?
- Author Affiliations
1Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK
D. Noble: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK. Email: email@example.com
A Grand Delusion/Uma grande ilusão!!!
This article argues that the gene-centric interpretations of evolution, and more particularly the selfish gene expression of those interpretations, form barriers to the integration of physiological science with evolutionary theory. A gene-centred approach analyses the relationships between genotypes and phenotypes in terms of differences (change the genotype and observe changes in phenotype). We now know that, most frequently, this does not correctly reveal the relationships because of extensive buffering by robust networks of interactions. By contrast, understanding biological function through physiological analysis requires an integrative approach in which the activity of the proteins and RNAs formed from each DNA template is analysed in networks of interactions. These networks also include components that are not specified by nuclear DNA. Inheritance is not through DNA sequences alone. The selfish gene idea is not useful in the physiological sciences, since selfishness cannot be defined as an intrinsic property of nucleotide sequences independently of gene frequency, i.e. the ‘success' in the gene pool that is supposed to be attributable to the ‘selfish' property. It is not a physiologically testable hypothesis.
© 2011 The Author. Journal compilation © 2011 The Physiological Society
NOTA CAUSTICANTE DESTE BLOGGER:
Sempre afirmei que a hipótese do gene egoísta de Richard Dawkins não era científica. Queria ver a cara de alguns cientistas na Nomenklatura científica que compraram gato por lebre. Queria ver ainda a cara da Galera dos meninos e meninas de Darwin vendo seus ídolos serem estraçalhados por cientistas que fazem ciência com C maiúsculo!
Darwin, kaput, desde 1859!!!