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The role of information in evolutionary biology

Dickins, Thomas (2023) The role of information in evolutionary biology. [Preprint]

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The Modern Synthesis has received criticism for its purported gene-centrism. That criticism relies on a concept of the gene as a unit of instructional information. In this paper I discuss information concepts and endorse one, developed from Floridi, that sees information as a functional relationship between data and context. I use this concept to inspect developmental criticisms of the Modern Synthesis and argue that the instructional gene arose as an idealization practice when evolutionary biologists made comment on development. However, a closer inspection of key claims shows that at least some associated with the Modern Synthesis were in fact adopting the data led definition I favour and made clear arguments for the role of developmental processes beyond genetic input. There was no instructional gene.

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Item Type: Preprint
Dickins, ThomasE.0000-0002-5788-0948
Keywords: gene centrism, DNA, information, data, developmental program, reaction norms, evo-devo
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Depositing User: Professor Tom Dickins
Date Deposited: 02 May 2023 12:32
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 12:32
Item ID: 22033
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Date: 2 May 2023

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