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    HCR Veterano thakiddd's Avatar
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    Default The civil war of evolutionary sciences has begun

    http://www.nature.com/news/does-evol...ethink-1.16080

    Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?
    Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Marc Feldman, Kim Sterelny, Gerd B. Müller, Armin Moczek, Eva Jablonka, John Odling-Smee, Gregory A. Wray, Hopi E. Hoekstra, Douglas J. Futuyma, Richard E. Lenski, Trudy F. C. Mackay, Dolph Schluter& Joan E. Strassmann
    08 October 2014
    Researchers are divided over what processes should be considered fundamental.

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    Evolution Developmental biology Philosophy

    Illustration by R. Craig Albertson
    Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika (left) and from Lake Malawi (right) evolved similar body shapes.
    YES, URGENTLY — Kevin Laland and colleagues

    NO, ALL IS WELL — Gregory A. Wray, Hopi E. Hoekstra and colleagues

    Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? Yes, urgently
    Without an extended evolutionary framework, the theory neglects key processes, say Kevin Laland and colleagues.

    Charles Darwin conceived of evolution by natural selection without knowing that genes exist. Now mainstream evolutionary theory has come to focus almost exclusively on genetic inheritance and processes that change gene frequencies.


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    Yet new data pouring out of adjacent fields are starting to undermine this narrow stance. An alternative vision of evolution is beginning to crystallize, in which the processes by which organisms grow and develop are recognized as causes of evolution.

    Some of us first met to discuss these advances six years ago. In the time since, as members of an interdisciplinary team, we have worked intensively to develop a broader framework, termed the extended evolutionary synthesis1 (EES), and to flesh out its structure, assumptions and predictions. In essence, this synthesis maintains that important drivers of evolution, ones that cannot be reduced to genes, must be woven into the very fabric of evolutionary theory.

    We believe that the EES will shed new light on how evolution works. We hold that organisms are constructed in development, not simply ‘programmed’ to develop by genes. Living things do not evolve to fit into pre-existing environments, but co-construct and coevolve with their environments, in the process changing the structure of ecosystems.

    The number of biologists calling for change in how evolution is conceptualized is growing rapidly. Strong support comes from allied disciplines, particularly developmental biology, but also genomics, epigenetics, ecology and social science1, 2. We contend that evolutionary biology needs revision if it is to benefit fully from these other disciplines. The data supporting our position gets stronger every day.

    Yet the mere mention of the EES often evokes an emotional, even hostile, reaction among evolutionary biologists. Too often, vital discussions descend into acrimony, with accusations of muddle or misrepresentation. Perhaps haunted by the spectre of intelligent design, evolutionary biologists wish to show a united front to those hostile to science. Some might fear that they will receive less funding and recognition if outsiders — such as physiologists or developmental biologists — flood into their field.

    However, another factor is more important: many conventional evolutionary biologists study the processes that we claim are neglected, but they comprehend them very differently (see ‘No, all is well’). This is no storm in an academic tearoom, it is a struggle for the very soul of the discipline.

    Here we articulate the logic of the EES in the hope of taking some heat out of this debate and encouraging open discussion of the fundamental causes of evolutionary change (see Supplementary Information).

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    faylor (10-14-2014), shekinahsmoke (10-13-2014)

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    HCR Ole' Head shekinahsmoke's Avatar
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    thanks for finding this.,
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    HCR Veterano faylor's Avatar
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    I have no idea where you find this stuff, but you consistently post the most interesting links on the board. Keep up the good work.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to faylor For This Useful Post:

    shekinahsmoke (10-14-2014), thakiddd (10-15-2014)

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    HCR Veterano thakiddd's Avatar
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    Thanks, ive had a lot of time on my hands lately lol

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