Does Inheritance Need a Rethink? Conceptual Tools to Extend Inheritance beyond the DNA thumbnail

Does Inheritance Need a Rethink? Conceptual Tools to Extend Inheritance beyond the DNA

by Sophie Veigl, Javier Suárez, and Adrian Stencel


Inheritance is an essential component of evolutionary processes. Without inheritance, evolution by natural selection cannot lead to the accumulation of complex, adaptive traits. But what can be inherited, and how?   Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb argued in “Evolution in Four Dimensions” that in addition to genetic inheritance, evolution can also work on epigenetic,

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The Evolution of Robustness thumbnail

The Evolution of Robustness

by Wim Hordijk and Lee Altenberg


In Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, the key phrase is “survival of the fittest”: those organisms that are best fit to carry out the tasks of living in their world are the ones that survive. But they won’t live forever — they must have offspring that inherit the traits that made them fit

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“Evolutionary Causation” (2019): Interview with co-editor Tobias Uller thumbnail

“Evolutionary Causation” (2019): Interview with co-editor Tobias Uller

by Lynn Chiu


It’s out! 15 chapters. 345 pages. “Evolutionary Causation: Biological and Philosophical Reflections“, edited by Tobias Uller and Kevin Laland, has just been released through the MIT Press. This is THE book of the EES project, a collection of tightly integrated essays written by biologists and philosophers to together investigate the causal structure of evolutionary processes.

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Early Career Spotlight with Illiam Jackson thumbnail

Early Career Spotlight with Illiam Jackson

by Lynn Chiu


Illiam Jackson just wrapped up his work at Tobias Uller’s lab (Lund) and is moving on to great things. We talked to Illiam about himself, his work, and papers he liked under the EES project.   Check out his new paper:   Developmental bias in the fossil record.[download PDF]Illiam S. C. Jackson. 2019. Evolution &

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Early Career Spotlight with Thomas Oudman thumbnail

Early Career Spotlight with Thomas Oudman

by Lynn Chiu


In today’s early career spotlight, we talked to Thomas Oudman, visiting scholar at the Laland Lab, University of St. Andrews.   Two of his papers just came out:   Northward range expansion in spring‐staging barnacle geese is a response to climate change and population growth, mediated by individual experience.[download PDF]Tombre IM, Oudman T, Shimmings P, 

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The “Does Evolutionary Theory Need a Rethink?” Debate: A Backstory thumbnail

The “Does Evolutionary Theory Need a Rethink?” Debate: A Backstory

by Kevin Laland


In October 2014, Nature magazine published “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?”, an exchange in back-to-back articles between advocates of an ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ and more traditionally minded researchers. The exchange provoked considerable discussion across many academic fields, which continues to this day. Recently, on Twitter, a question was raised concerning the origin of this

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StuFest- Celebrating Stuart Kauffman’s 80th Birthday thumbnail

StuFest- Celebrating Stuart Kauffman’s 80th Birthday

by Wim Hordijk


This year we celebrate Stuart Kauffman’s 80th birthday. Kauffman was one of the early proponents of the view that the complexity we see in biological systems is not necessarily a consequence of natural selection alone, but could result just as well from spontaneous self-organization.   In honor of Kauffman’s contributions to science in general, and

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The Role of Mobile Genetic Elements in Evolution and Development thumbnail

The Role of Mobile Genetic Elements in Evolution and Development

by Nathalie Feiner


A new study in Evolution Letters suggests that transposable elements are important for both developmental processes and evolutionary diversification in snakes and lizards. Author Dr Nathalie Feiner explains her findings in our latest blog. Mobile DNA sequences – transposable elements or TEs for short – are found in the genome of virtually all organisms. As

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The Hot Spring Hypothesis for the Origin of Life and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis thumbnail

The Hot Spring Hypothesis for the Origin of Life and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

by Bruce Damer


Origin of life researcher, Professor Bruce Damer, presents an exciting four-part essay on the Hot Spring Hypothesis for the Origin of Life, and how this connects to the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.     Introduction to the Series Part 1. The Origin of Evolution Part 2. Programming Without a Programmer Part 3. The Quest to Test

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Evolution Evolving: Process, Mechanism and Theory thumbnail

Evolution Evolving: Process, Mechanism and Theory

by Katrina J Falkenberg


Last week, 200 delegates took part in the Evolution Evolving conference at Churchill College, Cambridge, UK. The conference was one of its kind – bringing together senior and junior academics from many different fields to encourage discussions across empirical and theoretical biology, philosophy and history of science, computer science, and anthropology. The atmosphere buzzed with

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