David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):377-403 (1996)
This paper evaluates and criticises the developmental systems conception of evolution and develops instead an extension of the gene's eye conception of evolution. We argue (i) Dawkin's attempt to segregate developmental and evolutionary issues about genes is unsatisfactory. On plausible views of development it is arbitrary to single out genes as the units of selection. (ii) The genotype does not carry information about the phenotype in any way that distinguishes the role of the genes in development from that other factors. (iii) There is no simple and general causal criterion which distinguishes the role of genes in development and evolution. (iv) There is, however, an important sense in which genes but not every other developmental factor represent the phenotype. (v) The idea that genes represent features of the phenotype forces us to recognise that genes are not the only, or almost the only, replicators. Many mechanisms of replication are involved in both development and evolution. (vi) A conception of evolutionary history which recognises both genetic and non-genetic replicators, lineages of replicators and interactors has advantages over both the radical rejection of the replicator/interactor distinction and the conservative restriction of replication to genetic replication.
|Keywords||development developmental systems gene genetic information evolution information inheritance interactor Lamarck Meme replicator selection unit of selection vehicle Weismann|
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References found in this work BETA
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Citations of this work BETA
Carl T. Bergstrom & Martin Rosvall (2011). The Transmission Sense of Information. Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):159-176.
Nicholas Shea (2007). Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems. Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331.
David Haig (2012). The Strategic Gene. Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):461-479.
James Maclaurin & Heather Dyke (2012). What is Analytic Metaphysics For? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):291-306.
Arnon Levy (2011). Information in Biology: A Fictionalist Account. Noûs 45 (4):640-657.
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