Free Custom «Biological Philosophy» Essay Paper

Free Custom «Biological Philosophy» Essay Paper

Gene’s eye view theory was popularized by Richard Dawkins in a book titled The Selfish Gene which was released in the year 1976. The theory centers on the changes in the evolution of genes and thus changing the perception of the way processes work. It also explained the reasons why things work the way they work. The focus was in the areas such as the genetic lines, genetic fitness and the individual goals and this form the bases of those concepts. The theory asserted that evolution took place at the genes level and since genes are the replicas of the biological system, they are propagated in production. In this concept, an alteration through, say a mutation, will change the characteristic of the genes and thus altering the characteristics of other versions and thus it will strive to adapt as others (Dawkins, 1-10).

Richard Lewontin’s and Elliot Sober mounted a popular argument against the above Gene’s Eye view on the basis that it misrepresents the causes of the evolution: although the evolutionary models that conform to the George C Williams’ genic selection view may permit the computation, that they misrepresents the evolution causes often. This further elaborated the idea that the gene selection coefficient is not a cause of evolution but instead an artifact’s (Lewontin).

But what is the line between the artifacts and the causes? Lewontin and Sober used a principle that dictated that causes are supposed to result to a contribution that is context-independent in their effects. The selection level thus is the one which the causes operate and is recognizable by the independence principle: for fitness X which is context sensitive, then the X selection will be absent and in that case the selection will instead be of an organization that is higher than X (Sober and Lewontin, 579). Kitcher and Sterelny and as well as Walter supported the gene’s view by criticizing the principle that was used by Sober and Lewontin in their criticism. The principle is basically the causation principle. This principle can be generalized to mean that cause should increase the effects’ probability.

Lewontin’s criticism on the gene’s eye view is based on the genetic relativity principle; a gene’s contribution to organism fitness depends on other genes. In this principle, phenomena such as the heterozygote superiority, dominance, generic equilibrium all goes to illustrate this principle. The principle illustrates the fact that the fitness of the genetics are dependent on the context thus the selection at the genic level cannot exist. Heterozygote superiority phenomenon as it occurs at the locus, as exhibited in sickle cell anemia, was used. This is generally a disease that has the capacity to eliminate the ability to produce the offsprings. Although deleterious for the allele, it as well benefits the organisms. The chances of suffering from anemia and malaria are reduced. This brings about the notion that the areas that are prone to malaria, heterozygote will be at an advantage as compared to the homozygote. In their conclusion, Lewontin and Sober asserted that it may not be possible to state entirely that the possession of the sickle cell allele is advantageous or disadvantageous in fitness. The selection can therefore not occur against or for the individual. Genotype coefficients can be used for the representation of the selection forces.

The aims of Water, Sternly and Kitcher may have been achieved in refuting the causation claim, however, this cannot be exclusively be used to disregard the issues that were raised in their criticism. An example is the alleles represented as artifacts and diploid genotypes as causes. The only shortcoming in their critique is the fact that they used a type level claim principle while in real such does not exist. Such an approach can be likened to remarking about evolution within an evolutionary process. This can be said to be a case of a singular casual claim. Hence calls for a need to utilize another principle to distinguish the artifacts from the causes. An example is the singular causation principle in which an event is connected to another and an intervening mechanism connects the two events. In general, the best way to show that an event caused the other is to highlight the mechanism that connects the two events (Glennan).

In this regard, the criticism by Lewontin and Sober which asserts that the genic fitness are representation of the artifacts and not causes can be upheld by demonstrating the mechanism that is responsible for the individual organism fitness is dependent on the larger genome segment as compared to the single allele. The genes do not function independently but rather they are united and operate in unison. A simple example is the fact that, when a living organism dies, it dies as a whole thus this can be used as a bench mark in understanding the genetic selection level.

In my conclusion, Sober and Lewontin assertion that the genic fitness are in fact artifacts and that genotype cannot be said in a way to be wrong. The two can be said to be artifacts and thus in this case, fitness can be said to be a property of types and the evolution is as a result of the successive reproductive stages. And this does not imply that the genotype evolution does not exist, it simply explains the fitness of the genotype to the person having it. The fitness is denoted by the reproductive success of individuals who possesses that type rather than the reproductive success being denoted by a genotype. Thus the argument is right in a way but the method employed was not the most appropriate.

Stephen Jay Gould’s “The Structure Of The Evolution Theory,” attempted to expand the Darwin theory in an attempt to build an extrapolated and unique preview and still manage to stay within the fundamental principles of the original Darwin theory: agency, the natural selection that acts on the individual entities, efficacy that results to new species that are more adaptable to the new environment and scope which incorporate the changes that are accumulated with time and they goes to give the organism the morphological complexity and diversity. He argued that Darwin had undergone a series of revisions. He succeeded in showing that hierarchics have resulted to the expansion of Darwinism, but he was not successful in criticizing the adaptation (Grantham).

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Jay has been on the front line with his eloquent prose which challenged and stimulated the evolutionary biologists and as well the philosophers in the biology. His writings as well drew the attention of the general public with his interesting topics. His previous work included the exploration of the of the hierarchy importance and as well the possibility species. In the late 70s, he focused his attention in on developmental biology after criticizing the evolutional biology. In the 80s and in the 90s, he focused on the religion and science. He as well zoomed in to the disparity issues and argued that it may have decreased since the time of Cambrian. His work captured the attentions of the lay readers especially in the history and in the contemporary (Grantham, Todd).

His theory, the structure of the evolutionary theory offered analyzed the Darwinism theory in a new way arguing that it had undergone a series of revision and had expanded. He was so much convinced that his theory would out do the Darwin’s theory and that it would stand out. He stressed on the point that, Darwin had laid the foundation in the development of the evolution biology but it was upon the other theorists to continue with the work. To make his point clear, he argued that Darwin had used four essential theses; the core was that the natural selection was a true cause. He substituted them with three other claims as outlined above. The combination of these claims guaranteed that the natural selection was the core of the theory. He claimed that this analysis was a good depiction of the Darwin evolution theory.

In his argument on the historical constraints (which means the history of all that was ahead in the biological lineage) plays an important role in the determination of the species. In his analysis, he ignored other factors that have impacted in the evolution of the species. He went on to attack Theodosius Dobzhansky's theory which is based on the ecology and the adaptive peaks. In his illustration, he used a simple example of a cat and a dog. Dobzhansky explained in his theory that the dogs and the cats exists in that discrete form without any match in between them owing to the ecological factors that favor their discrete existence and nothing in between them. Gould in his argument explains the fact that, the two species owe their existence to the historical constrains in their own form. This was attributed to the ancestral creatures which resembled the dogs and the cats.

A simple test refuted the claim by Gould, the test based on the ecological impacts on the species which would imply the existence of other creatures with properties that are close to those ones. This is exactly what is observed across the species. In a similar example as the one that was used by Gould, there are other creatures which resemble the cats or even the dogs. In Australia’s and as well in the South America’s marsupials which have given rise creatures which resembles the dogs. These examples made the Dobzhansky’s theory to be the more proffered.

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On the other hand, Sterelny and Griffiths presents the constraints as a kind of adaptation view. A consensus can be drawn that explanatory adaptation can be accepted without the empirical adaptation. In the same way, physical adaptation can be embraced without necessarily embracing the explanatory adaptation. The explanatory adaptation is not without challenges in the concepts. Ronald Amundson (1998) distinguished between the adaptation constraints and the morphological constraints. In his example, he highlighted the fact that the testicles in the vertebrates cannot show any constraints in the adaptation. But the explanation on these accounts can only be deducted from the evolution history. This theory contradicts the theory of the natural selection. It was as well posses the challenge in the explanation of the adaptation and the incorporation in the theory of revolution (Sterelny & Griffiths).

This argument can accepted at the expense of the Gould argument owing to the fact that the theory is in the close proximate with the observation. Gould’s arguments were refuted by an experiment which involved the observations of species from different environmental regions. Thus the Sterelny and Griffith’s argument which view the constraints as part of the adaptation and supported by evidence should be accepted.



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