Redundancy, Plasticity, and Detachment: The Implications of Comparative Genomics for Evolutionary Thinking
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 73 (5):930-946 (2006)
Radically new or unexpected findings in a science demand an openness to new concepts and styles of explanation. The time is more than ripe for asking ourselves what we have learned from the research program of comparative genomics. Where not long ago the human genome was expected to reveal a close association of complexity with the quantitative expansion of the roster of unique genes, more recent findings, especially in relation to comparisons between human and chimp, have raised the bracing possibility that when it comes to complexity, it may be that `less is more'. But `less is more' is not the only observation or inference that follows from the data. The idea of `progressive detachment' will be introduced and set forth as the most perspicuous conceptual resource for unifying and interpreting the overall findings from comparative genomics to date.
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Citations of this work BETA
Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo & Alvaro Moreno (2012). Autonomy in Evolution: From Minimal to Complex Life. Synthese 185 (1):21-52.
Laura Perini (2011). Sequence Matters: Genomic Research and the Gene Concept. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):752-762.
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