David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 45 (1):65-80 (1997)
The belief in the Darwinian theory of evolution appeared to be shaken when one tried to interpret statements of molecular biology in it. As a consequence there arose a theory of non-Darwinian neutral evolution. The supporters of this theory believe that under natural conditions no factors exist which can distinguish and select organisms on their internal (molecular) structure. In the opinion of these neutralists natural selection cannot in principle control the molecular constitution of organisms. Contrary to the viewpoint of the critics of neutralism it is impossible to admit that nucleic acids, proteins and other biomolecules can evolve without the participation of natural selection. This controversy in contemporary theoretical biology can be solved by integrating the conceptions of molecular ecology with Darwinian theory. Molecular ecology acknowledges the interactions of organisms by means of chemical substances synthesized by them. Such chemical ecological factors play a leading part in the selective stages of biomolecular evolution. These diverse chemical ecological interrelations take place intensively when living beings interact with parasitic microbes.
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