Abstract

Evolutionary developmental biology is an emerging new research area that explores the links between two fundamental processes of life: development of individual organisms (ontogeny) and evolutionary transformation in the course of the history of life (phylogeny). For some of its more ardent proponents evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo for short, represents a new paradigm that completes the “Modern Synthesis” of the 1930s and 1940s, while others, often those with a more astute sense of the history of biology, have emphasized the long-standing connections between these two areas of study. But all agree that evo-devo offers some of the most promising theoretical perspectives in evolutionary biology at the beginning of the twenty-first century (see for example Amundson 2005, Carroll 2005, Carroll et al. 2005, Hall 1998, Kirschner and Gerhart 2005, Laubichler 2005, Müller 2005, Wagner et al. 2000). In this essay I will first sketch the emergence of present day evolutionary developmental biology during the last decades of the twentieth century followed by a brief overview of the central questions and research programs of evo-devo. I will conclude with a discussion of the one problem - the issue of how to explain evolutionary innovations and novelties - that has the most profound implications for the philosophy of biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages342-360
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781139001588
ISBN (Print)9780521851282
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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    Laubichler, M. (2007). Evolutionary developmental biology. In The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology (pp. 342-360). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521851282.018