Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):873-888 (2015)

Alan Love
University of Minnesota
Günter Wagner’s Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation collects and synthesizes a vast array of empirical data, theoretical models, and conceptual analysis to set out a progressive research program with a central theoretical commitment: the genetic theory of homology. This research program diverges from standard approaches in evolutionary biology, provides sharpened contours to explanations of the origin of novelty, and expands the conceptual repertoire of evolutionary developmental biology. I concentrate on four aspects of the book in this essay review: the genetic theory of homology and character identity networks; the implications for how we explain evolutionary novelties; the expanded set of concepts surrounding homology, and the epistemological conflicts between Wagner’s viewpoint and functionally-oriented evolutionary biology, as well as differences with other Evo–devo researchers. Together these have ramifications for how we interpret different explanatory approaches to evolutionary phenomena and understand relationships between the usefulness of concepts and the reality they represent
Keywords Character  Concepts  Evo–devo  Gene regulatory networks  Homology  Innovation  Novelty  Realism
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-015-9479-x
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References found in this work BETA

Lineage Explanations: Explaining How Biological Mechanisms Change: Articles.Brett Calcott - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):51-78.
Conceptualizing Evolutionary Novelty: Moving Beyond Definitional Debates.Ingo Brigandt & Alan C. Love - 2012 - Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 318:417-427.

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Realization in Biology?Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):5.

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