David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Theory in Biology 4 (20130604) (2012)
This is a lovely and very useful book. It deals with the emergence of higher and higher level units of evolution, especially regarding what Queller (1997) called “fraternal major transitions.” These are evolutionary transitions where the lower-level units that gang up are genetically alike and, therefore, the initial advantage is likely to come from the economy of scale rather than the complementation of function, as in the case of “egalitarian transitions.” Simple division of labor may arise from simple conditions (such as some cells being inside, others outside, so that even with the same physiological reactivity the responses of the two cell types may differ), but the spectacular forms arise from evolved epigenetic mechanisms (Jablonka and Lamb 2005).
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