11 found
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  1. More on How and Why: Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited.Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, William Hoppitt & Tobias Uller - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):719-745.
    In 1961, Ernst Mayr published a highly influential article on the nature of causation in biology, in which he distinguished between proximate and ultimate causes. Mayr argued that proximate causes (e.g. physiological factors) and ultimate causes (e.g. natural selection) addressed distinct ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions and were not competing alternatives. That distinction retains explanatory value today. However, the adoption of Mayr’s heuristic led to the widespread belief that ontogenetic processes are irrelevant to evolutionary questions, a belief that has (1) hindered (...)
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  2. Niche Construction, Biological Evolution, and Cultural Change.Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee & Marcus W. Feldman - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):131-146.
    We propose a conceptual model that maps the causal pathways relating biological evolution to cultural change. It builds on conventional evolutionary theory by placing emphasis on the capacity of organisms to modify sources of natural selection in their environment (niche construction) and by broadening the evolutionary dynamic to incorporate ontogenetic and cultural processes. In this model, phenotypes have a much more active role in evolution than generally conceived. This sheds light on hominid evolution, on the evolution of culture, and on (...)
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  3.  53
    Ecological Inheritance and Cultural Inheritance: What Are They and How Do They Differ?John Odling-Smee & Kevin N. Laland - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (3):220-230.
    Niche construction theory is distinctive for being explicit in recognizing environmental modification by organisms—niche construction—and its legacy—ecological inheritance—to be evolutionary processes in their own right. Humans are widely regarded as champion niche constructors, largely as a direct result of our capacity for the cultural transmission of knowledge and its expression in human behavior, engineering, and technology. This raises the question of how human ecological inheritance relates to human cultural inheritance. If NCT is to provide a conceptual framework for the human (...)
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  4.  51
    More on How and Why: A Response to Commentaries.Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, William Hoppitt & Tobias Uller - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):793-810.
    We are grateful to the commentators for taking the time to respond to our article. Too many interesting and important points have been raised for us to tackle them all in this response, and so in the below we have sought to draw out the major themes. These include problems with both the term ‘ultimate causation’ and the proximate-ultimate causation dichotomy more generally, clarification of the meaning of reciprocal causation, discussion of issues related to the nature of development and phenotypic (...)
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  5.  73
    On the Breadth and Significance of Niche Construction: A Reply to Griffiths, Okasha and Sterelny. [REVIEW]Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee & Marcus W. Feldman - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):37-55.
  6.  93
    Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.Kevin Laland, John Odling-Smee, Marcus Feldman & Jeremy Kendal - 2009 - Foundations of Science 14 (3):195-216.
    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, “niche construction”. This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile (...)
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  7. Integrating Ecology and Evolution: Niche Construction and Ecological Engineering.Gillian Barker & John Odling-Smee - 2013 - In Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins & Trevor Pearce (eds.), Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Springer. pp. 187-211.
  8.  58
    Niche Inheritance: A Possible Basis for Classifying Multiple Inheritance Systems in Evolution.John Odling-Smee - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):276-289.
    The theory of niche construction adds a second general inheritance system, ecological inheritance, to evolution . Ecological inheritance is the inheritance, via an external environment, of one or more natural selection pressures previously modified by niche-constructing organisms. This addition means descendant organisms inherit genes, and biotically transformed selection pressures in their environments, from their ancestors. The combined inheritance is called niche inheritance. Niche inheritance is used as a basis for classifying the multiple genetic and non-genetic, inheritance systems currently being proposed (...)
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    Niche Construction Theory and Human Architecture.John Odling-Smee & J. Scott Turner - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (3):283-289.
    In modern evolutionary theory, selection acts on particular genes and assemblages of genes that operate through phenotypes expressed in environments. This view, however, overlooks the fact that organisms often alter their environments in pursuit of fitness needs and thus modify some environmental selection pressures. Niche construction theory introduces a reciprocal causal process that modifies natural selection relative to three general kinds of environmental components: abiota, biota, and artifacts. The ways in which niche-constructing organisms can construct or modify the components differ. (...)
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    Niche Construction Earns its Keep.Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee & Marcus W. Feldman - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):164-172.
    Our response contains a definition of niche construction, illustrations of how it changes the evolutionary process, and clarifications of our conceptual model. We argue that the introduction of niche construction into evolutionary thinking earns its keep; we illustrate this argument in our discussion of rates of genetic and cultural evolution, memes and phenogenotypes, creativity, the EEA (environment of evolutionary adaptedness), and group selection.
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    Complex Life: Nonmodernity and the Emergence of Cognition and Culture. By Alan Dean. Pp. 149. (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000.) £38.50, ISBN 0-7546-1049-7, Hardback. [REVIEW]John Odling-Smee - 2002 - Journal of Biosocial Science 34 (4):559-564.
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