The beanbag genetics controversy: Towards a synthesis of opposing views of natural selection [Book Review]
Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):149-184 (1997)
The beanbag genetics controversy can be traced from the dispute between Fisher and Wright, through Mayr''s influential promotion of the issue, to the contemporary units of selection debate. It centers on the claim that genic models of natural selection break down in the face of epistatic interactions among genes during phenotypic development. This claim is explored from both a conceptual and a quantitative point of view, and is shown to be defective on both counts.Firstly, an analysis of the controversy''s theoretical origins demonstrates that this claim derives from a misinterpretation of the conceptual foundations of Fisher''s genetical theory of natural selection, and confounds his fundamentally different concepts of the average excess and average effect of a gene. Secondly, an extension of the genic approach is proposed which models the dynamics of selection among epistatically interacting complexes of many genes. Paradoxically, this preliminary, but fundamentally genic model provides quantitative support for some controversial qualitative claims regarding the evolutionary consequences of strong gene interactions made by opponents of genic selectionism, including Mayr''s theory of peripartric speciation. These findings foster hope that the proposed approach may eventually nudge the beanbag controversy out of its conceptual trenches into a more empirically oriented dialogue.
|Keywords||natural selection beanbag genetics genic selectionism gene-interactionism epistasis multilocus selection adaptive landscape peripatric speciation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
J. B. S. Haldane, Ernst Mayr and the Beanbag Genetics Dispute.Veena Rao & Vidyanand Nanjundiah - 2011 - Journal of the History of Biology 44 (2):233 - 281.
Similar books and articles
Competing Units of Selection?: A Case of Symbiosis.Sandra D. Mitchell - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (3):351-367.
Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection.Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (3):344-355.
Selection Does Not Operate Primarily on Genes.Richard Burian - 2010 - In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell.
Population Genetics and Population Thinking: Mathematics and the Role of the Individual.Margaret Morrison - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1189-1200.
Alternative Definitions of Epistasis: Dependence and Interaction.Michael J. Wade, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Aneil F. Agrawal & Charles J. Goodnight - 2001 - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16 (9):498-504.
Evolution, Phenotypic Selection, and the Units of Selection.Timothy Shanahan - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225.
Between Beanbag Genetics and Natural Selection.Raphael Falk - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):313-325.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #218,580 of 2,143,561 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #386,856 of 2,143,561 )
How can I increase my downloads?
There are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.