EPIGENETICS: SCOPE AND MECHANISMS
Evolution beyond neo-Darwinism: a new conceptual framework
Journal of Experimental Biology 2015 218: 7-13; doi: 10.1242/jeb.106310
Experimental results in epigenetics and related fields of biological research show that the Modern Synthesis (neo-Darwinist) theory of evolution requires either extension or replacement. This article examines the conceptual framework of neo-Darwinism, including the concepts of ‘gene’, ‘selfish’, ‘code’, ‘program’, ‘blueprint’, ‘book of life’, ‘replicator’ and ‘vehicle’. This form of representation is a barrier to extending or replacing existing theory as it confuses conceptual and empirical matters. These need to be clearly distinguished. In the case of the central concept of ‘gene’, the definition has moved all the way from describing a necessary cause (defined in terms of the inheritable phenotype itself) to an empirically testable hypothesis (in terms of causation by DNA sequences). Neo-Darwinism also privileges ‘genes’ in causation, whereas in multi-way networks of interactions there can be no privileged cause. An alternative conceptual framework is proposed that avoids these problems, and which is more favourable to an integrated systems view of evolution.
Origin of this article
This paper represents the culmination of ideas previously developed in a book, The Music of Life (Noble, 2006), and four related articles (Noble, 2011b; Noble, 2012; Noble, 2013; Noble et al., 2014). Those publications raised many questions from readers in response to which the ‘Answers’ pages (http://musicoflife.co.uk/Answers-menu.html) of The Music of Life website were drafted. Those pages, in particular the page entitled The language of Neo-Darwinism, were written in preparation for the present article. The ideas have been extensively honed in response to further questions and comments.
FREE PDF GRATIS: The Journal of Experimental Biology
NOTA DESTE BLOGGER:
O artigo de Denis Noble é de 2015, e a nova teoria geral da Evolução - a SÍNTESE EVOLUTIVA AMPLIADA/ESTENDIDA foi anunciada em agosto de 2015, mas a Nomenklatura científica pouco fala publicamente, e a Galera dos meninos e meninas de Darwin ouviram, mas nem saber o que dizer o que isso significa em termos de justificação teórica: Darwin não fechou a conta com a Síntese Evolutiva Moderna...