Evolutionary theory: conceptual controversies and pluralism
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Does the textbook version of evolutionary theory—what biologists call the Modern Synthesis—represent our best scientific understanding? Or does the textbook version need to be extended in order to incorporate empirical and theoretical advances in fields like evolutionary developmental biology? Challenging the Modern Synthesis: Adaptation, Development, and Inheritance edited by Philippe Huneman and Denis Walsh, represents the latest in a growing body of literature addressing these questions.
The first philosophical volume on the topic, Evolution, the Extended Synthesis edited by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Müller, was published in 2010. Since then, an international group of researchers received $8.5 million in funding to study the merits of extending traditional evolutionary theory. Proponents of such an extension have published several monographs about areas of research, such as extra-genetic inheritance and cultural evolution, that they see as crucial to their case. In 2014, Nature...