Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Re: [evomech] The innovation triad: an EvoDevo agenda (Journal of Experimental Zoology)

This article's "distinction between ADAPTATION vs NOVELTY" seems
parallel to what I mentioned a few days ago, distinction between
regulation and that which is being regulated, i.e., novelty that came about
through a process different from mere variation.

They suggest various means for generating novelty other than
conventional adaptation: direct environmental effects upon the
development process; symbiosis ala Margulis; colonial organisms;
and other vaguer things like self-organization and 'genetic
modulation' and 'developmental autonomization' of tissues.
But they don't mention my interest, multiplication of the soma
to create a mass of homologous parts. They even mention one
criterion for novelty that by definition excludes homologous
My model seems to be unthinkable.


From: "John Latter" <jorolat@gmail.com>
Subject: [evomech] The innovation triad: an EvoDevo agenda
(Journal of Experimental Zoology)
> [Müller & Newman, Journal of Experimental Zoology, MDE 304 '05]
> Abstract:
> This article introduces a special issue on evolutionary
> innovation and morphological novelty, two interrelated themes
> that have received a remarkable increase of attention over the
> past few years. We begin with a discussion of the question of
> whether innovation and novelty represent distinct evolutionary
> problems that require a distinct conceptualization. We argue
> that the mechanisms of innovation and their phenotypic results -
> novelty - can only be properly addressed if they are
> distinguished from the standard evolutionary themes of variation
> and adaptation, and we present arguments for making such a
> distinction. We propose that origination, the first formation of
> biological structures, is another distinct problem of
> morphological evolution, and that together with innovation and
> novelty it constitutes a conceptual complex we call the
> innovation triad. We define a problem agenda of the triad, which
> separates the analysis of the initiating conditions from the
> mechanistic realization of innovation, and we discuss the
> theoretical problems that arise from treating innovation as
> distinct from variation. Further, we categorize the empirical
> approaches that address themes of the innovation triad in
> recognizing four major strands of research: the morphology and
> systematics program, the gene regulation program, the epigenetic
> program, and the theoretical biology program. We provide
> examples of each program, giving priority to contributions in
> the present issue. In conclusion, we observe that the innovation
> triad is one of the defining topics of EvoDevo research and may
> represent its most pertinent contribution to evolutionary
> theory. We point out that an inclusion of developmental systems
> properties into evolutionary theory represents a shift of
> explanatory emphasis from the external factors of natural
> selection to the internal dynamics of developmental systems,
> complementing adaptation with emergence, and contingency with
> inherency
> Full text at:
> http://homepage.univie.ac.at/gerhard.mueller/pdfs/2005InnovTriad.pdf

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