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Summary The Modern Synthesis (of genetics and evolutionary theory) in the early 20th Century  did not assign development a significant role in explaining why certain phenotypes were expressed. Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo-devo)  is broadly construed as the attempt to integrate developmental and evolutionary biology. Though discussions about Developmental Constraints, and morphogenetic fields (Process Structuralism) share the same goal of bringing developmental phenomena to bear on evolutionary arguments, papers included in the evo-devo sub-category will be those that argue for (or against) a contemporary re-synthesis in biology that would include developmental processes as evolvable traits. Such traits can be selected for, and in this way development is not merely a constraint on possible phenotypes but is itself, a trait that can evolve. This distinguishes the category of evo-devo from other models of the relationship between developmental phenomena and evolution.
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  1. Ron Amundson, Accounting For Vertebrate Limbs: From Owen's Homology To Novelty In Evo-Devo.
    This article reviews the recent reissuing of Richard Owen’s On the Nature of Limbs and its three novel, introductory essays. These essays make Owen’s 1849 text very accessible by discussing the historical context of his work and explaining how Owen’s ideas relate to his larger intellectual framework. In addition to the ways in which the essays point to Owen’s relevance for contemporary biology, I discuss how Owen’s unity of type theory and his homology claims about fins and limbs compare with (...)
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  2. Ronald A. Amundson (2006). EvoDevo as Cognitive Psychology. Biological Theory 1 (1):10-11.
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  3. Ping Ao (2007). Darwinian Dynamics Implies Developmental Ascendency. Biological Theory 2 (1):113-115.
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  4. Stephen T. Asma (1996). Darwin's Causal Pluralism. Biology and Philosophy 11 (1):1-20.
    Historians of Biology have divided nineteenth century naturalists into two basic camps, Functionalists and Structuralists. This division is supposed to demarcate the alternative causal presuppositions working beneath research programs. If one is functionally oriented, then organic form will be contingent upon the causal powers of the environment. If structurally oriented, one argues for nonfunctional mechanisms (e.g., internal laws of growth) to account for organic form.Traditionally, Darwin has been grouped with the functionalists because natural selection (an adaptational mechanism) plays the prominent (...)
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  5. Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins & Trevor Pearce (eds.) (2014). Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Springer.
  6. Antonio Benítez-Burraco & Cedric Boeckx (forthcoming). Universal Grammar and Biological Variation: An EvoDevo Agenda for Comparative Biolinguistics. Biological Theory.
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  7. Marion Blute (2008). Is It Time for an Updated 'Eco-Evo-Devo'definition of Evolution by Natural Selection? Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science 2 (1):1.
    Abstract A lot of science has passed under the bridge since the classic definition of evolution as a change in gene frequencies in a population became common. Much knowledge has accumulated since then about evolution, heredity, ecology, development, phenotypic plasticity, niche construction and genetic drift. Building on Van Valen’s description of evolution as “the control of development by ecology,” it is suggested that the classic definition be replaced by a updated ‘eco‐evo-evo’ definition of evolution by natural selection which acknowledges this (...)
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  8. Marion Blute (2006). Origins and the EcoEvoDevo Problem. Biological Theory 1 (2):116-118.
  9. Jessica Bolker (2013). The Use of Natural Kinds in Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Biological Theory 7 (2):121-129.
    Evolutionary developmental biologists categorize many different kinds of things, from ontogenetic stages to modules of gene activity. The process of categorization—the establishment of “kinds”—is an implicit part of describing the natural world in consistent, useful ways, and has an essentially practical rather than philosophical basis. Kinds commonly serve one of three purposes: they may function (1) as practical tools for communication; (2) to support prediction and generalization; or (3) as a basis for theoretical discussions. Beyond the minimal requirement that classifications (...)
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  10. Jessica A. Bolker (2008). From Embryology to Evo-Devo: A History of Developmental Evolution. BioScience 58 (5):461.
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  11. Ingo Brigandt (forthcoming). Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Limits of Philosophical Accounts of Mechanistic Explanation. In P.-A. Braillard and C. Malaterre (ed.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) is considered a ‘mechanistic science,’ in that it causally explains morphological evolution in terms of changes in developmental mechanisms. Evo-devo is also an interdisciplinary and integrative approach, as its explanations use contributions from many fields and pertain to different levels of organismal organization. Philosophical accounts of mechanistic explanation are currently highly prominent, and have been particularly able to capture the integrative nature of multifield and multilevel explanations. However, I argue that evo-devo demonstrates the need for a (...)
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  12. Ingo Brigandt (2015). From Developmental Constraint to Evolvability: How Concepts Figure in Explanation and Disciplinary Identity. In Alan C. Love (ed.), Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Springer. 305-325.
    The concept of developmental constraint was at the heart of developmental approaches to evolution of the 1980s. While this idea was widely used to criticize neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, critique does not yield an alternative framework that offers evolutionary explanations. In current Evo-devo the concept of constraint is of minor importance, whereas notions as evolvability are at the center of attention. The latter clearly defines an explanatory agenda for evolutionary research, so that one could view the historical shift from ‘developmental constraint’ (...)
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  13. Ingo Brigandt, Essay: Homology. The Embryo Project Encyclopedia.
    Homology is a central concept of comparative and evolutionary biology, referring to the presence of the same bodily parts (e.g., morphological structures) in different species. The existence of homologies is explained by common ancestry, and according to modern definitions of homology, two structures in different species are homologous if they are derived from the same structure in the common ancestor. Homology has traditionally been contrasted with analogy, the presence of similar traits in different species not necessarily due to common ancestry (...)
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  14. Ingo Brigandt (2010). Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
    The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. (...)
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  15. Ingo Brigandt (2009). Accounting for Vertebrate Limbs: From Owen's Homology to Novelty in Evo-Devo. [REVIEW] Philosophy & Theory in Biology 1 (20130604):e004.
    This article reviews the recent reissuing of Richard Owen’s On the Nature of Limbs and its three novel, introductory essays. These essays make Owen’s 1849 text very accessible by discussing the historical context of his work and explaining how Owen’s ideas relate to his larger intellectual framework. In addition to the ways in which the essays point to Owen’s relevance for contemporary biology, I discuss how Owen’s unity of type theory and his homology claims about fins and limbs compare with (...)
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  16. Ingo Brigandt (2007). Typology Now: Homology and Developmental Constraints Explain Evolvability. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):709-725.
    By linking the concepts of homology and morphological organization to evolvability, this paper attempts to (1) bridge the gap between developmental and phylogenetic approaches to homology and to (2) show that developmental constraints and natural selection are compatible and in fact complementary. I conceive of a homologue as a unit of morphological evolvability, i.e., as a part of an organism that can exhibit heritable phenotypic variation independently of the organism’s other homologues. An account of homology therefore consists in explaining how (...)
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  17. Ingo Brigandt (2006). Homology and Heterochrony: The Evolutionary Embryologist Gavin Rylands de Beer (1899-1972). Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 306:317–328.
    The evolutionary embryologist Gavin Rylands de Beer can be viewed as one of the forerunners of modern evolutionary developmental biology in that he posed crucial questions and proposed relevant answers about the causal relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny. In his developmental approach to the phylogenetic phenomenon of homology, he emphasized that homology of morphological structures is to be identified neither with the sameness of the underlying developmental processes nor with the homology of the genes that are in involved in the (...)
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  18. Ingo Brigandt (2006). A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...)
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  19. Ingo Brigandt (2003). Homology in Comparative, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: The Radiation of a Concept. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 299:9-17.
    The present paper analyzes the use and understanding of the homology concept across different biological disciplines. It is argued that in its history, the homology concept underwent a sort of adaptive radiation. Once it migrated from comparative anatomy into new biological fields, the homology concept changed in accordance with the theoretical aims and interests of these disciplines. The paper gives a case study of the theoretical role that homology plays in comparative and evolutionary biology, in molecular biology, and in evolutionary (...)
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  20. Ingo Brigandt & Alan C. Love (2012). Conceptualizing Evolutionary Novelty: Moving Beyond Definitional Debates. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 318:417-427.
    According to many biologists, explaining the evolution of morphological novelty and behavioral innovation are central endeavors in contemporary evolutionary biology. These endeavors are inherently multidisciplinary but also have involved a high degree of controversy. One key source of controversy is the definitional diversity associated with the concept of evolutionary novelty, which can lead to contradictory claims (a novel trait according to one definition is not a novel trait according to another). We argue that this diversity should be interpreted in light (...)
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  21. Rachael L. Brown (2013). Identifying Behavioral Novelty. Biological Theory:1-14.
    Although there is no in-principle impediment to an EvoDevo of behavior, such an endeavor is not as straightforward as one might think; many of the key terms and concepts used in EvoDevo are tailored to suit its traditional focus on morphology, and are consequently difficult to apply to behavior. In this light, the application of the EvoDevo conceptual toolkit to the behavioral domain requires the establishment of a set of tractable concepts that are readily applicable to behavioral characters. Here, I (...)
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  22. Rachael L. Brown (2013). Learning, Evolvability and Exploratory Behaviour: Extending the Evolutionary Reach of Learning. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):933-955.
    Traditional accounts of the role of learning in evolution have concentrated upon its capacity as a source of fitness to individuals. In this paper I use a case study from invasive species biology—the role of conditioned taste aversion in mitigating the impact of cane toads on the native species of Northern Australia—to highlight a role for learning beyond this—as a source of evolvability to populations. This has two benefits. First, it highlights an otherwise under-appreciated role for learning in evolution that (...)
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  23. Rachael L. Brown (2013). What Evolvability Really Is. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axt014.
    In recent years, the concept of evolvability has been gaining in prominence both within evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) and the broader field of evolutionary biology. Despite this, there remains considerable disagreement about what evolvability is. This article offers a solution to this problem. I argue that, in focusing too closely on the role played by evolvability as an explanandum in evo-devo, existing philosophical attempts to clarify the evolvability concept have been overly narrow. Within evolutionary biology more broadly, evolvability offers a (...)
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  24. Anne Buchanan (2010). Quirks of Human Anatomy: An Evo‐Devo Look at the Human Body. Bioessays 32 (6):537-538.
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  25. Brett Calcott (2013). Why How and Why Aren't Enough: More Problems with Mayr's Proximate-Ultimate Distinction. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):767-780.
    Like Laland et al., I think Mayr’s distinction is problematic, but I identify a further problem with it. I argue that Mayr’s distinction is a false dichotomy, and obscures an important question about evolutionary change. I show how this question, once revealed, sheds light on some debates in evo-devo that Laland et al.’s analysis cannot, and suggest that it provides a different view about how future integration between biological disciplines might proceed.
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  26. Gustavo Caponi (2009). Desarrollo, causas remotas e historia natural. Principia 13 (1):29-50.
    Having as starting point that a proximal cause is one which effects can be registered in the states of an individual organism, in this work I will argue that what defines an ultimate cause is the fact that its effects can be registered in the evolution of lineages, and not simply in population states. This, on the other hand, not only will allow us to clarify how the developmental constraints can be understood as causes of the evolutionary phenomena; but also (...)
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  27. Gustavo Caponi (2008). Selección Interna (Internal Selection). Theoria 23 (2):195-218.
    RESUMEN: La idea de selección interna, propuesta originalmente por Lancelot Whyte, no sólo sirve para entender el papel causal que los constreñimientos del desarrollo tienen en evolución; sino que además puede hacernos comprender de qué modo esos factores organísmicos o internos, cuya importancia la Biología Evolucionaria del Desarrollo hoy quiere rescatar, son pasibles de ser considerados desde una perspectiva variacional o seleccional compatible, pero no asimilable, a la Teoría de la Selección Natural. Así, considerado como un concepto autónomo y diferente (...)
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  28. Jonathan Cooke (1992). Nato‐Limbo‐Devo‐Evo. Developmental Patterning of the Vertebrate Limb (Nato Asi Series A: Life Sciences Vol. 205) (1991). Edited by J. Richard Hinchcliffe. Juan M. Hurle and Dennis Summerbell. Plenum Publishing Co., New York and London. $115 in Usa/Canada, $138 Outside, $82.65 Uk. Pp. XI+452. Isbn 0‐306‐43927‐1. [REVIEW] Bioessays 14 (11):793-793.
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  29. Lindsay R. Craig (2009). Defending Evo‐Devo: A Response to Hoekstra and Coyne. Philosophy of Science 76 (3):335-344.
    The study of evolutionary developmental biology (“evo‐devo”) has recently experienced a dramatic surge in popularity among researchers and theorists concerned with evolution. However, some biologists and philosophers remain skeptical of the claims of evo‐devo. This paper discusses and responds to the recent high profile criticisms of evo‐devo presented by biologists Hopi E. Hoekstra and Jerry A. Coyne. I argue that their objections are unconvincing. Indeed, empirical research supports the main tenets of evo‐devo, including the claim that morphological evolution is the (...)
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  30. Rob DeSalle (2002). Bold yet Austere. Bioessays 24 (9):865-866.
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  31. Jean S. Deutsch (2001). Evo/Devo Coming to Age: The First Textbook. Bioessays 23 (8):757-758.
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  32. Gabriel A. Dover (1992). Challenges: Observing Development Through Evolutionary Eyes: A Practical Approach. Bioessays 14 (4):281-287.
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  33. Douglas H. Erwin (2004). Book Review: Origination of Organismal Form. Beyond the Gene in Development and Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Bioessays 26 (4):459-460.
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  34. Arantza Etxeberria & Laura Nuño De La Rosa García, A World of Opportunity Within Constraint: Pere Alberch's Early EvoDevo.
    The work of Pere Alberch is crucial to study the early stages of evo-devo. In particular, it illustrates very persuasively why developmental systems have so much to say about the course of evolutionary change. In addition to an important empirical work, he elaborated a stimulating framework of theoretical ideas on biological form, morphological variation, and how developmental processes establish possible evolutionary paths previous to the action of natural selection. In this framework, the study of development and evolution are related through (...)
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  35. Walter Fontana (2002). Modelling 'Evo‐Devo' with RNA. Bioessays 24 (12):1164-1177.
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  36. Wayne Getz (2003). “Evo-Devo” and the Conundrum of Sympatric Speciation. BioScience 53 (4):313.
  37. Paul Edmund Griffiths, The Philosophy of Molecular and Developmental Biology.
    Philosophical discussion of molecular and developmental biology began in the late 1960s with the use of genetics as a test case for models of theory reduction. With this exception, the theory of natural selection remained the main focus of philosophy of biology until the late 1970s. It was controversies in evolutionary theory over punctuated equilibrium and adaptationism that first led philosophers to examine the concept of developmental constraint. Developmental biology also gained in prominence in the 1980s as part of a (...)
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  38. Brian K. Hall (2008). EvoDevo Concepts in the Work of Waddington. Biological Theory 3 (3):198-203.
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  39. Andrew Hamilton (2009). Toward a Mechanistic Evo Devo. In Manfred Laubichler & Jane Maienschein (eds.), Form and Function in Developmental Evolution. Cambridge University Press.
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  40. Andrew Hamilton & Matthew Haber (2006). Clades Are Reproducers. Biological Theory 1 (4):381-391.
    Exploring whether clades can reproduce leads to new perspectives on general accounts of biological development and individuation. Here we apply James Griesemer's general account of reproduction to clades. Griesemer's account of reproduction includes a requirement for development, raising the question of whether clades may bemeaningfully said to develop. We offer two illustrative examples of what clade development might look like, though evaluating these examples proves difficult due to the paucity of general accounts of development. This difficulty, however, is instructive about (...)
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  41. Uwe Hoßfeld & Lennart Olsson (2003). The Road From Haeckel: The Jena Tradition in Evolutionary Morphology and the Origins of “Evo-Devo”. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):285-307.
    With Carl Gegenbaur and Ernst Haeckel, inspiredby Darwin and the cell theory, comparativeanatomy and embryology became established andflourished in Jena. This tradition wascontinued and developed further with new ideasand methods devised by some of Haeckelsstudents. This first period of innovative workin evolutionary morphology was followed byperiods of crisis and even a disintegration ofthe discipline in the early twentieth century.This stagnation was caused by a lack ofinterest among morphologists in Mendeliangenetics, and uncertainty about the mechanismsof evolution. Idealistic morphology was stillinfluental in (...)
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  42. Stavros Ioannidis (2008). How Development Changes Evolution: Conceptual and Historical Issues in Evolutionary Developmental Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):567-578.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is a new and rapidly developing field of biology which focuses on questions in the intersection of evolution and development and has been seen by many as a potential synthesis of these two fields. This synthesis is the topic of the books reviewed here. Integrating Evolution and Development (edited by Roger Sansom and Robert Brandon), is a collection of papers on conceptual issues in Evo-Devo, while From Embryology to Evo-Devo (edited by Manfred Laubichler and Jane Maienschein) (...)
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  43. Eva Jablonka & Marion Lamb (2002). Creating Bridges or Rifts? Developmental Systems Theory and Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Bioessays 24 (3):290-291.
  44. Eva Jablonka & Ehud Lamm (2008). Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice. [REVIEW] Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 51 (4):636-47.
    This volume joins a growing list of books, monographs, and proceedings from scientific meetings that attempt to consolidate the wide spectrum of approaches emphasizing the role of development in evolution into a coherent and productive synthesis, often called evo-devo. Evo-devo is seen as a replacement or amendment of the modern synthesis that has dominated the field of evolution since the 1940s and which, as even its architects confessed, was fundamentally incomplete because development remained outside its theoretical framework (Mayr and Provine (...)
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  45. Ronald A. Jenner (2009). From Embryology to Evo-Devo: A History of Developmental Evolution (Review). Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 52 (3):458-462.
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  46. Jonathan Kaplan (2008). Evolutionary Innovations and Developmental Resources: From Stability to Variation and Back Again. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):861-873.
    Will a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology require a focus on the role of nongenetic resources in evolution? Nongenetic variation may exist but be hidden because the phenotypes are stable (developmentally canalized) under certain background conditions. In this case, those differences may come to play important roles in evolution when background conditions change. If this is so, then a focus on the way that developmental resources are made reliable, and the ways in which reliability fails, may prove to be (...)
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  47. Ulrich Krohs (2005). The Conceptual Basis of a Biological Dispute About the Temporal Order of Evolutionary Events. In Friedrich Stadler & Michael Stölzner (eds.), Time and History. Papers of the 28th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Österr. Ludwig-Wittgenstein-Gesellschaft.
    occurs first. The biological debate is conducted largely on a theoretical level. In this paper, I undertake to locate
    the reason for the difference in temporal ordering. The question is whether the difference depends on alternative
    interpretations of empirical data, on differing views about evolutionary mechanisms, or on different conceptual
    frameworks. It will turn out that the latter is the case and that discerning two different notions of novelty solves
    the apparent contradiction. Both concepts may apply to different cases in evolution. To settle the (...)
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  48. Ehud Lamm (2014). The Genome as a Developmental Organ. Journal of Physiology 592 (11):2237-2244.
    This paper applies the conceptual toolkit of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo‐devo) to the evolution of the genome and the role of the genome in organism development. This challenges both the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, the dominant view in evolutionary theory for much of the 20th century, and the typically unreflective analysis of heredity by evo‐devo. First, the history of the marginalization of applying system‐thinking to the genome is described. Next, the suggested framework is presented. Finally, its application to the evolution of (...)
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  49. Ehud Lamm, Inheritance Systems. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition).
    Organisms inherit various kinds of developmental information and cues from their parents. The study of inheritance systems is aimed at identifying and classifying the various mechanisms and processes of heredity, the types of hereditary information that is passed on by each, the functional interaction between the different systems, and the evolutionary consequences of these properties. We present the discussion of inheritance systems in the context of several debates. First, between proponents of monism about heredity (gene-centric views), holism about heredity (Developmental (...)
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  50. Ehud Lamm (2009). Conceptual and Methodological Biases in Network Models. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1178:291-304.
    Many natural and biological phenomena can be depicted as networks. Theoretical and empirical analyses of networks have become prevalent. I discuss theoretical biases involved in the delineation of biological networks. The network perspective is shown to dissolve the distinction between regulatory architecture and regulatory state, consistent with the theoretical impossibility of distinguishing a priori between “program” and “data”. The evolutionary significance of the dynamics of trans-generational and inter-organism regulatory networks is explored and implications are presented for understanding the evolution of (...)
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