O fato, Fato, FATO da evolução precisa de nova teoria geral: Síntese Evolucionária Ampliada/Estendida

quinta-feira, agosto 24, 2017

Why an extended evolutionary synthesis is necessary

Gerd B. Müller1,2

1 Department of Theoretical Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2 Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Austria

GBM, 0000-0001-5011-0193


Since the last major theoretical integration in evolutionary biology—the modern synthesis (MS) of the 1940s—the biosciences have made significant advances. The rise of molecular biology and evolutionary developmental biology, the recognition of ecological development, niche construction and multiple inheritance systems, the ‘-omics’ revolution and the science of systems biology, among other developments, have provided a wealth of new knowledge about the factors responsible for evolutionary change. Some of these results are in agreement with the standard theory and others reveal different properties of the evolutionary process. A renewed and extended theoretical synthesis, advocated by several authors in this issue, aims to unite pertinent concepts that emerge from the novel fields with elements of the standard theory. The resulting theoretical framework differs from the latter in its core logic and predictive capacities. Whereas the MS theory and its various amendments concentrate on genetic and adaptive variation in populations, the extended framework emphasizes the role of constructive processes, ecological interactions and systems dynamics in the evolution of organismal complexity as well as its social and cultural conditions. 

Single-level and unilinear causation is replaced by multilevel and reciprocal causation. Among other consequences, the extended framework overcomes many of the limitations of traditional gene-centric explanation and entails a revised understanding of the role of natural selection in the evolutionary process. All these features stimulate research into new areas of evolutionary biology.

Subject Areas: systems biology

Keywords: evolutionary biology, modern synthesis, extended synthesis, evolutionary developmental biology, niche construction, systems biology

Author for correspondence:

Gerd B. Müller
e-mail: gerhard.mueller@univie.ac.at

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"As can be noted from the listed principles, current evolutionary theory is predominantly oriented towards a genetic explanation of variation, and, except for some minor semantic modifications, this has not changed over the past seven or eight decades. Whatever lip service is paid to taking into account other factors than those traditionally accepted, we find that the theory, as presented in extant writings, concentrates on a limited set of evolutionary explananda, excluding the majority of those mentioned among the explanatory goals above. The theory performs well with regard to the issues it concentrates on, providing testable and abundantly confirmed predictions on the dynamics of genetic variation in evolving populations, on the gradual variation and adaptation of phenotypic traits, and on certain genetic features of speciation. If the explanation would stop here, no controversy would exist. But it has become habitual in evolutionary biology to take population genetics as the privileged type of explanation of all evolutionary phenomena, thereby negating the fact that, on the one hand, not all of its predictions can be confirmed under all circumstances, and, on the other hand, a wealth of evolutionary phenomena remains excluded. For instance, the theory largely avoids the question of how the complex organizations of organismal structure, physiology, development or behaviour—whose variation it describes—actually arise in evolution, and it also provides no adequate means for including factors that are not part of the population genetic framework, such as developmental, systems theoretical, ecological or cultural influences."

A rising number of publications argue for a major revision or even a replacement of the standard theory of evolution [2–14], indicating that this cannot be dismissed as a minority view but rather is a widespread feeling among scientists and philosophers alike.”
Indeed, a growing number of challenges to the classical model of evolution have emerged over the past few years, such as from evolutionary developmental biology [16], epigenetics [17], physiology [18], genomics [19], ecology [20], plasticity research [21], population genetics [22], regulatory evolution [23], network approaches [14], novelty research [24], behavioural biology [12], microbiology [7] and systems biology [25], further supported by arguments from the cultural [26] and social sciences [27], as well as by philosophical treatments [28–31]. None of these contentions are unscientific, all rest firmly on evolutionary principles and all are backed by substantial empirical evidence.”
Sometimes these challenges are met with dogmatic hostility, decrying any criticism of the traditional theoretical edifice as fatuous [32], but more often the defenders of the traditional conception argue that ‘all is well’ with current evolutionary theory, which they see as having ‘co-evolved’ together with the methodological and empirical advances that already receive their due in current evolutionary biology [33]. But the repeatedly emphasized fact that innovative evolutionary mechanisms have been mentioned in certain earlier or more recent writings does not mean that the formal structure of evolutionary theory has been adjusted to them.”
"A subtler version of the this-has-been-said-before argument used to deflect any challenges to the received view is to pull the issue into the never ending micro-versus-macroevolution debate. Whereas ‘microevolution’ is regarded as the continuous change of allele frequencies within a species or population [109], the ill-defined macroevolution concept [36], amalgamates the issue of speciation and the origin of ‘higher taxa’ with so-called ‘major phenotypic change’ or new constructional types. Usually, a cursory acknowledgement of the problem of the origin of phenotypic characters quickly becomes a discussion of population genetic arguments about speciation, often linked to the maligned punctuated equilibria concept [9], in order to finally dismiss any necessity for theory change. The problem of phenotypic complexity thus becomes (in)elegantly bypassed. Inevitably, the conclusion is reached that microevolutionary mechanisms are consistent with macroevolutionary phenomena [36], even though this has very little to do with the structure and predictions of the EES. The real issue is that genetic evolution alone has been found insufficient for an adequate causal explanation of all forms of phenotypic complexity, not only of something vaguely termed ‘macroevolution’. Hence, the micro–macro distinction only serves to obscure the important issues that emerge from the current challenges to the standard theory. It should not be used in discussion of the EES, which rarely makes any allusions to macroevolution, although it is sometimes forced to do so. (emphasis added).

E a Nomenklatura científica e a Galera dos meninos e meninas de Darwin diziam que tudo ia bem com a Síntese Evolutiva Moderna, que não havia nenhuma necessidade de mudança, que a teoria da evolução de Darwin através da seleção natural é uma teoria científica tão comprovada quanto a lei da gravidade, y otras cositas mais, e o que encontramos intramuros na literatura especializada, é que o fato, Fato, FATO da evolução não é assim uma Brastemp no contexto de justificação teórica!

Fui, nem sei porque com o sorriso maroto do gato de Cheshire...

Darwin kaput! Viva Darwin!!!