APPENDIX Z67: Contemporary Natural Selection Theory: Mechanism & Criteria

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APPENDIX Z67:
Contemporary Natural Selection
Theory: Mechanism & Criteria
Is there a clear and focused academic scientic
conviction/consensus on the mechanism and criteria
for Natural Selection? The answer is NO.
See two groups of excerpts from Wikipedia
First group*
a
note – this LISTING only deals with the “main
gures”
Main gures in selection debate
“Besides Richard Dawkins and George C. Williams,
other
biologists and philosophers have expanded and
rened
the selsh-gene theory,
such as John Maynard Smith,
George R. Price, Robert Trivers,
David Haig, Helena
Cronin, David Hull, Philip Kitcher, and Daniel C. Dennett.
Individuals opposing this gene-centric view include
Ernst
Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould,
David Sloan Wilson, and
philosopher Elliott Sober.”…

Proponents of multilevel selection (MLS) include E.
O.
Wilson, David Sloan Wilson, Elliott Sober, Richard E.
Michod, and Samir Okasha.
Second group*
b
21st century
Macroevolution and microevolution
“One of the tenets of the modern evolutionary
synthesis
was that macroevolution (the evolution of
phylogenic
clades at the species level and above) was solely
the
result of the mechanisms of microevolution (changes in
gene frequency within populations) operating over
an
extended period of time. During the last decades of
the
20th century some paleontologists raised questions about
whether other factors, such as punctuated
equilibrium
and group selection operating on the level of
entire
species and even higher level phylogenic clades,
needed
to be considered to explain patterns in evolution
revealed
by statistical analysis of the fossil record. Near the end
of the 20th century some researchers in evolutionary
developmental biology suggested that interactions
between the environment and the developmental
process
might have been the source of some of the
structural
innovations seen in macroevolution, but other
evo-devo
researchers maintained
that genetic mechanisms visible
at the population level are fully sufcient to
explain all
macroevolution.”

Epigenetic inheritance
“Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in
gene
expression or cellular phenotype caused by
mechanisms
other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence.
By the rst decade of the 21st century it had
become
accepted that Epigenetic mechanisms were a
necessary
part of the evolutionary origin of cell differentiation.
Although epigenetics in multicellular organisms is
generally
thought to be a mechanism involved in differentiation, with
epigenetic patterns “reset” when organisms reproduce,
there have been some observations of
transgenerational
epigenetic inheritance. This shows that in some
cases
non genetic changes to an organism can be
inherited
and it has been suggested that such inheritance can
help
with adaptation to local conditions and affect
evolution.
Some have suggested that in certain cases a form
of
Lamarckian evolution may occur.”
Unconventional evolutionary theory
Omega Point
“Pierre Teilhard de
Chardin’s metaphysical Omega Point
Theory describes the gradual development of the
universe
from subatomic particles to human society, which he
viewed as its nal stage and goal. Cosmologist Frank
J.
Tipler subscribes to a
version of this theory.”

Gaia hypothesis
“Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas have been seen by
advocates of the Gaia theory proposed by James
Lovelock, which holds that the living and
nonliving
parts of Earth can be viewed as a complex
interacting
system with similarities to a single organism, as
being
connected to Lovelock’s
ideas. The Gaia hypothesis
has also been viewed by Lynn
Margulis and others as
an extension of endosymbiosis and exosymbiosis.
This
modied hypothesis postulates that all living
things
have a regulatory effect
on the Earth’s environment that
promotes life overall.”
from the author –
For “my take” on the particular matter see above –
Exhibit Z64: Q4P
& Natural Selection
Wikipedia Online
*a
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene-centered_view_of_evolution (accessed June
23, 2013)
*b
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_evolutionary_thought (accessed June
23, 2013)

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