Acta Biotheoretica 41 (4):315-327 (1993)

Cor Van Der Weele
Wageningen University and Research
With regard to the theoretical place of environmental factors in development, three approaches to evolution and development can be distinguished. One is the neo-Darwinist approach in which ‘genetic programs’ are central. The other two present themselves as alternatives to the gene-centrism in present-day biology. I discuss pairwise similarities and differences between the three approaches. Goodwin's approach differs from neo-Darwinism in its favoured types of causes, but shares the internalist perspective on embryological development. The ‘constructionist’ alternative proposes to enlarge the developmental system to include external factors, and shares with neo-Darwinism the emphasis on contingent causes. Thus there is neither a grand dichotomy in biology, between neo-Darwinism and its alternative, nor a grand trichotomy. Different purposes make different approaches useful. I conclude by arguing that environmental influences should have a more prominent place in developmental biology
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DOI 10.1007/BF00709369
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References found in this work BETA

The Evolution of an Evolutionist.C. H. Waddington - 1977 - Journal of the History of Biology 10 (2):369-370.
Organisers and Genes.C. H. Waddington - 1941 - Philosophy of Science 8 (3):463-463.
Genetic Traits.Fred Gifford - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):327-347.

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