Updating the theory of mutation

We believe that the EES will shed new light on how evolution works.

We hold that organisms are constructed in development, not simply ‘programmed’ to develop by genes.

The story that SET tells is simple: new variation arises through random genetic mutation; inheritance occurs through DNA; and natural selection is the sole cause of adaptation, the process by which organisms become well-suited to their environments.

In this view, the complexity of biological development — the changes that occur as an organism grows and ages — are of secondary, even minor, importance.

YES, URGENTLY — Kevin Laland and colleagues NO, ALL IS WELL — Gregory A. Hoekstra and colleagues Without an extended evolutionary framework, the theory neglects key processes, say Kevin Laland and colleagues.

It combined natural selection, genetics and other fields into a consensus about how evolution occurs.Now mainstream evolutionary theory has come to focus almost exclusively on genetic inheritance and processes that change gene frequencies.Yet new data pouring out of adjacent fields are starting to undermine this narrow stance.Strong support comes from allied disciplines, particularly developmental biology, but also genomics, epigenetics, ecology and social science.We contend that evolutionary biology needs revision if it is to benefit fully from these other disciplines.

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