The Gene's-Eye View of Evolution

Oxford University Press
  • erschienen am 21. Juli 2021
  • |
  • 208 Seiten
E-Book | PDF mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-19-260702-7 (ISBN)
'Arvid Ågren has undertaken the most meticulously thorough reading of the relevant literature that I have ever encountered, deploying an intelligent understanding to pull it into a coherent story. As if that wasn't enough, he gets it right.' (Richard Dawkins) To many evolutionary biologists, the central challenge of their discipline is to explain adaptation, the appearance of design in the living world. With the theory of evolution by natural selection, Charles Darwin elegantly showed how a purely mechanistic process can achieve this striking feature of nature. Since then, the way many biologists have thought about evolution and natural selection is as a theory about individual organisms. Over a century later, a subtle but radical shift in perspective emerged with the gene's-eye view of evolution in which natural selection was conceptualized as a struggle between genes for replication and transmission to the next generation. This viewpoint culminated with the publication of The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (Oxford University Press, 1976) and is now commonly referred to as selfish gene thinking. The gene's-eye view has subsequently played a central role in evolutionary biology, although it continues to attract controversy. The central aim of this accessible book is to show how the gene's-eye view differs from the traditional organismal account of evolution, trace its historical origins, clarify typical misunderstandings and, by using examples from contemporary experimental work, show why so many evolutionary biologists still consider it an indispensable heuristic. The book concludes by discussing how selfish gene thinking fits into ongoing debates in evolutionary biology, and what they tell us about the future of the gene's-eye view of evolution. The Gene's-Eye View of Evolution is suitable for graduate-level students taking courses in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, and evolutionary genetics, as well as professional researchers in these fields. It will also appeal to a broader, interdisciplinary audience from the social sciences and humanities including philosophers and historians of science.
  • Englisch
  • Oxford
  • |
  • Großbritannien
  • 1,64 MB
978-0-19-260702-7 (9780192607027)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
J. Arvid Ågren is a Wenner-Gren Fellow at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, USA. His research focuses on genomic conflicts and he has published widely on their biology and implications for evolutionary theory.
  • Cover
  • The Gene's-Eye View of Evolution
  • Copyright
  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • Introduction: A New Way to Read Nature
  • How to think like a selfish gene
  • Aims and outline of the book
  • 1: Historical Origins
  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Adaptationism and the legacy of natural theology
  • 1.2.1 Why William Paley matters
  • 1.2.2 Neo-Paleyanbiology in Britain
  • 1.3 Population genetics
  • 1.3.1 Ronald Aylmer Fisher
  • 1.3.2 Fisher (1918) and the birth of the gene's-eye view
  • 1.3.3 The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
  • 1.3.4 The gene's-eye view and the Fundamental Theorem made clear
  • 1.4 Levels of selection
  • 1.4.1 Wynne-Edwards and the origins of naive group selection
  • 1.4.2 George Christopher Williams and Adaptation and Natural Selection
  • 1.4.3 Three mistakes of naive group selection
  • 1.4.4 Calling genes selfish
  • 1.5 Summary
  • 2: Defining and Refining Selfish Genes
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 What is a selfish gene?
  • 2.2.1 How long is a selfish gene?
  • 2.2.2 Is a selfish gene a token or a type?
  • 2.3 Replicators and vehicles
  • 2.3.1 Lloyd's four questions and the immortality of replicators
  • 2.4 Memes
  • 2.5 General formulations of evolution by natural selection
  • 2.5.1 Lewontin's Principles and limits of the replicator-vehicle approach
  • 2.5.2 The major transitions and the levels of selection debate
  • 2.6 Summary
  • 3: Difficulties of The Theory
  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Anthropomorphizing
  • 3.2.1 Reading Mother Nature's mind and licensed anthropomorphism
  • 3.3 Epistasis, heterozygote advantage, and the averaging fallacy
  • 3.3.1 Ernst Mayr, Sewall Wright, and the matter with epistasis
  • 3.3.2 Heterozygote advantage and the averaging fallacy
  • 3.4 The bookkeeping objection
  • 3.4.1 Tempered realism and pluralistic gene selectionism
  • 3.5 Genetic determinism
  • 3.5.1 Evo-devoand developmental systems theory
  • 3.6 Human nature and human affairs
  • 3.6.1 T.H. Huxley and Darwinian nightmares
  • 3.7 Summary
  • 4: Inclusive Fitness and Hamilton's Rule
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 The origin and diversity of Hamilton's Rule
  • 4.2.1 Hamilton's Rule today
  • 4.3 The gene's-eyeview and inclusive fitness: equivalence or historical accident?
  • 4.3.1 Formal connections between the gene's-eye view and Hamilton's Rule
  • 4.4 Maximization of inclusive fitness and the Formal Darwinism Project
  • 4.4.1 Genes versus individuals in the Formal Darwinism Project
  • 4.5 Recent reconciliations between the gene's-eye view and inclusive fitness
  • 4.5.1 The genetic lineage view of inclusive fitness
  • 4.5.2 The folk definition of inclusive fitness and the parliament of genes
  • 4.6 Summary
  • 5: Empirical Implications
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Extended phenotypes
  • 5.2.1 Three kinds of extended phenotypes
  • 5.3 Greenbeards
  • 5.3.1 Why greenbeards should be rare in nature
  • 5.3.2 Helping and harming greenbeards
  • 5.4 Selfish genetic elements
  • 5.4.1 Early work on selfish genetic elements
  • 5.4.2 Examples of selfish genetic elements
  • 5.4.3 Two rules for selfish genetic elements
  • 5.4.4 Selfish genetic elements and selfish genes
  • 5.4.5 The only game in town?
  • 5.5 Summary
  • Conclusion: The Gene's-Eye View Today
  • Why should biologists study the history of ideas?
  • Metaphors and mathematics
  • Die, selfish gene, die?
  • The gene's-eye view worldwide
  • Final thoughts
  • References
  • Index

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