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The role of information in evolutionary biology

Dickins, Thomas E. (2023) The role of information in evolutionary biology. Acta Biotheoretica, 71 (3). ISSN 0001-5342

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10441-023-09468-4


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s).
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QA Mathematics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 11:36
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 04:09

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