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  1.  19
    Adaptive Regeneration Across Scales: Replicators and Interactors From Limbs to Forests.S. Andrew Inkpen & W. Ford Doolittle - 2021 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 13:1-14.
    Here we endorse Hull’s replicator/interactor framework as providing the overarching understanding sought by MacCord and Maienschein. We suggest that difficulties in seeing the regeneration of limbs by salamanders and of forest ecosystems after fires as similar evolutionary processes can be overcome in this framework. In generalizing Dawkins’s “selfish gene” perspective, Hull defined natural selection as “a process in which the differential extinction and proliferation of interactors causes the differential perpetuation of the replicators that produced them”. Although genes and bacteria are (...)
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  2.  8
    Adaptive Regeneration Across Scales: Replicators and Interactors From Limbs to Forests.S. Andrew Inkpen & W. Ford Doolittle - 2021 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 13.
    Diverse living systems possess the capacity for regeneration; that is, they can under some circumstances repair, re-produce, and maintain themselves in the face of disturbance or damage. Think of systems as diverse as forests, microbial biofilms, corals, salamanders, hydra, and human skin cells. This capacity is fundamental to life—without it, many biological systems would be too fragile to cope with stress and would frequently collapse—but because it is multiply realized in wildly different living systems at many scales, finding a common (...)
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  3.  9
    The Search for Ourselves in the Universe: A Review of 'Contingency and Convergence: Toward a Cosmic Biology of Body and Mind'. [REVIEW]Letitia Meynell - 2021 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 13.
    The basic thesis of Russell Powell’s Contingency and Convergence: Toward a Cosmic Biology of Body and Mind is that law-like evolutionary processes produce humanlike cognitive capacities, rendering such capacities common in the universe. There is an important caveat; key aspects of human cognition, those that undergird cumulative culture, are entirely contingent and likely very rare. To defend this thesis, Powell marshals a wealth of evidence from a variety of disciplines and develops some singular theoretical tools. Unfortunately, at a number of (...)
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  4.  22
    Testing for Phenotypic Plasticity.Aja Watkins - 2021 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 13:1-23.
    Phenotypic plasticity, or an organism’s capacity to change its phenotype in response to environmental variation, is a pervasive—perhaps even ubiquitous—feature of the biological world. Accordingly, plasticity research suggests serious implications for biological theory, including evolutionary theory. The theoretical implications of plasticity have growing support from empirical literature documenting the range, extent, and adaptiveness of plasticity. However, the empirical evidence for particular instances of plasticity has still not been adequately scrutinized by biologists or philosophers. After reviewing some important conceptual and theoretical (...)
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  5.  14
    Environment, Equivalence Inferences, and the Twins: A Reply to Sober.T. Y. William Wong - 2021 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 13:1-12.
    Elliott Sober can be understood as advancing two distinct arguments that similarly conclude that evolutionary theory does not say that Scriven’s infamous twins have the same fitness, despite the twins’ identical genotypes and phenotypes. The first argument relies on denying that evolutionary theory can say that the twins are in the same environment, and the second relies on asserting an epistemic access asymmetry between token fitness and trait fitness. Motivated by good reasons, I respond to both of these arguments by (...)
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  6.  7
    Environment, Equivalence Inferences, and the Twins: A Reply to Sober.T. Y. William Wong - 2021 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 13.
    Within the philosophy of biology, Michael Scriven’s twins has become a well-known thought experiment, due to its being the impetus for various lines of discussion concerning the contentious definition of evolutionary fitness, the distinction between natural selection and genetic drift, and evolutionary environments. As one version of the story goes: two twins who, ex hypothesi, are genotypically and phenotypically the same are located side by side on a mountain. An unfortunate event ensues whereby a lightning strike kills one of the (...)
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