PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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The Final Transition: Reconciling Margulis and Lewontin

It is hard to see how global "homeostatic" mechanisms (as in Margulis’ Symbiotic Planet) might arise by natural selection when our focus is on genes, organisms or species showing heritable variation in fitness. Taking multi-species interaction systems themselves to be “units of selection” might work, but we must then allow recurrence through recruitment to stand in for reproduction and understand differential persistence to be an outcome of selection. Making these conceptual expansions will thus give rise to a very different view of evolutionary transitions, major and minor.

Author Information:

W. Ford Doolittle    
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dalhousie University


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