The conceptual integration of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) into neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory: the elaboration of a gene-selectionist (selfish gene) approach

01 January 2013 → 31 December 2018
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Philosophy
  • Natural sciences
    • Evolutionary biology
    • General biology
  • Social sciences
    • General pedagogical and educational sciences
    • Communication sciences
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Social medical sciences
developmental genetics evo-devo gene-selectionism neo-Darwinism
Project description

20th century neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory black-boxed the complex developmental processes leading from genotype to phenotype. Emerging in the 1980s, evo-devo, i.e. the evolutionary study of the developmental process itself, opened up the black box between genotype and phenotype. The major goal of 21st century evolutionary biology and bio-philosophy is the construction of an ‘Extended Evolutionary Synthesis’ (EES) incorporating evo-devo’s research findings. We investigate the explanatory potential of gene-selectionist or selfish gene evolutionary theory to contribute to this synthesis, and elaborate a gene-selectionist conceptualization of evo-devo.