Many researchers have argued that evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) constitutes a challenge to standard evolutionary theory, requiring the explicit inclusion of developmental processes that generate variation and attention to organismal form (rather than adaptive function). An analysis of these developmental-form challenges indicates that the primary concern is not the inclusion of specific content but the epistemic organization or structure of evolutionary theory. Proponents of developmental-form challenges favor moving their considerations to a more central location in evolutionary theorizing, in part because of a commitment to the value of mechanistic explanation. This chapter argues there are multiple legitimate structures for evolutionary theory, instead of a single, overarching or canonical organization, and different theory presentations can be understood as idealizations that serve different investigative and explanatory goals in evolutionary inquiry.
|Title of host publication
|Challenging the Modern Synthesis
|Subtitle of host publication
|Adaptation, Development, and Inheritance
|P Humeman, D Walsh
|Place of Publication
|Oxford University Press
|Number of pages
|Published - 2017
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2017. All rights reserved.
- Material inference
- Mechanistic explanation