How many processes are responsible for phenotypic evolution?

Evolution & Development 3 (4):279-286 (2001)
In addressing phenotypic evolution, this article reconsiders natural selection, random drift, developmental constraints, and internal selection in the new extended context of evolutionary developmental biology. The change of perspective from the "evolution of phenotypes" toward an "evolution of ontogenies" (evo-devo perspective) affects the reciprocal relationships among these different processes. Random drift and natural selection are sibling processes: two forms of post-productional sorting among alternative developmental trajectories, the former random, the latter nonrandom. Developmental constraint is a compound concept; it contains even some forms of natural ("external" and "internal") selection. A narrower definition ("reproductive constraints") is proposed. Internal selection is not a selection caused by an internal agent. It is a form of environment-independent selection depending on the level of the organism's internal developmental or functional coordination. Selection and constraints are the main deterministic processes in phenotypic evolution but they are not opposing forces. Indeed, they are continuously interacting processes of evolutionary change, but with different roles that should not be confused.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,453
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index


Total downloads


Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.