The realization that prokaryotes naturally and frequently disperse genes across steep taxonomic boundaries via lateral gene transfer gave wings to the idea that eukaryotes might do the same. Eukaryotes do acquire genes from mitochondria and plastids and they do transfer genes during the process of secondary endosymbiosis, the spread of plastids via eukaryotic algal endosymbionts. From those observations it, however, does not follow that eukaryotes transfer genes either in the same ways as prokaryotes do, or to a quantitatively similar degree. (...) An important illustration of the difference is that eukaryotes do not exhibit pangenomes, though prokaryotes do. Eukaryotes reveal no detectable cumulative effects of LGT, though prokaryotes do. A critical analysis suggests that something is deeply amiss with eukaryote LGT theories. In prokaryotes, genes from the environment can enter the genome via lateral gene transfer. In eukaryote genetics, natural variation comes from within the genome, not from the environment. Yet many reports claim that eukaryotes undergo LGT just like prokaryotes. Such claims do not withstand scrutiny and are probably untrue. (shrink)
The ‘Tree of Life’ is intended to represent the pattern of evolutionary processes that result in bifurcating species lineages. Often justified in reference to Darwin’s discussions of trees, the Tree of Life has run up against numerous challenges especially in regard to prokaryote evolution. This special issue examines scientific, historical and philosophical aspects of debates about the Tree of Life, with the aim of turning these criticisms towards a reconstruction of prokaryote phylogeny and even some aspects of the standard evolutionary (...) understanding of eukaryotes. These discussions have arisen out of a multidisciplinary collaboration of people with an interest in the Tree of Life, and we suggest that this sort of focused engagement enables a practical understanding of the relationships between biology, philosophy and history. (shrink)
Socially responsible investing identifies the fiduciary duty and liability for financial advisors serving individual and institutional clients when consulting in the SRI space. This article first discusses the role of a fiduciary emerging from both a legal and an ethical basis. Further, the special aspects of maintaining fiduciary duty and minimizing fiduciary liability are described as they relate to SRI. A number of recommendations are discussed: legal, ethical, and practice. This study argues that prudence focuses more on the process of (...) decisions rather than their outcomes, as measured exclusively by rate of return. (shrink)
This article examines the various pedagogic models suggested by widely used texts and finds them to be predominately rule-based or rule directed. These approaches to the subject matter of business ethics are quite valuable ones, but we find them to leave no room for the study of the virtues. We intend to articulate our reasons for supporting a central if not exclusive role for virtue ethics.
This paper examines judge Richard A. Posner’s “The Concept of Corrective Justice in Recent Theories of Tort Law,” as well as arestatement of that position in The Problems of Jurisprudence, and argues that Judge Posner has mistakenly claimed Aristotle’s notion of corrective justice as a significant component of the economic theory of law.