Friday, February 03, 2006


[evomech] Rediscovering Darwin After a Darwinian Century (Evo Anth)

[Weiss & Buchanan, Evolutionary Anthropology, Sept '00]

Research Article - No abstract is available so I've included some of the highlighted text:

Anthropological geneticists would uniformly count themselves as Darwinians, but our work has been largely restricted to the evolution of genes chosen as markers for reconstructing temporal and geographic history, often intentionally stripped of any other biological content, relying on chance (genetic drift) as the calibrating phenomenon. The rest of biological anthropology has mainly been concerned with the Darwinian evolution of human and primate traits (phenotypes), relying on deterministic adaptation as the calibrating phenomenon...

...Initially, the idea of genes based on the modern synthesis was classically Darwinian: natural selection screened genetic variation and favored the best-adapted. Beginning in the 1950s, advances in genotyping methodology revealed much more variation than had been anticipated...

...To the extent that genetics is at the root of biology, our understanding will be fundamentally incomplete if we do not know how genes affect the assembly, variation, and evolution of a trait...

...Thinking of traits and genes in terms of interaction may be more difficult than thinking of genes as separable components of an engineered structure but, whether we like it or not, may be the biological reality...

...Has our nearly centuryold love affair with genes, driven by the theoretical focus on their presumed biological primacy, led to an exaggerated reductionism in our attempt to understand phenotypes and their evolution?...

Full text at:


Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism

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