Robert, Jason Scott
How Developmental is Evolutionary Developmental Biology?
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) offers both an account of developmental processes and also new integrative frameworks for analyzing interactions between development and evolution. Biologists and philosophers are keen on evo-devo in part because it appears to offer a comfort zone between, on the one hand, what some take to be the relative inability of mainstream evolutionary biology to integrate a developmental perspective; and, on the other hand, what some take to be more intractable syntheses of development and evolution. In this article, I outline core concerns of evo-devo, distinguish theoretical and practical variants, and counter Sterelny's recent argument that evo-devo's attention to development, while important, offers no significant challenge to evolutionary theory as we know it.
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