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  1. Cancer Stem Cells Modulate Patterns and Processes of Evolution in Cancers.Lucie Laplane - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):18.
    The clonal evolution model and the cancer stem cell model are two independent models of cancers, yet recent data shows intersections between the two models. This article explores the impacts of the CSC model on the CE model. I show that CSC restriction, which depends on CSC frequency in cancer cell populations and on the probability of dedifferentiation of cancer non-stem cells into CSCs, can favor or impede some patterns of evolution and some processes of evolution. Taking CSC restriction into (...)
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  • Metastasis as Supra-Cellular Selection? A Reply to Lean and Plutynski.Lucie Laplane & Pierre-Luc Germain - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):281-287.
    In response to Germain argument that evolution by natural selection has a limited explanatory power in cancer, Lean and Plutynski have recently argued that many adaptations in cancer only make sense at the tumor level, and that cancer progression mirrors the major evolutionary transitions. While we agree that selection could potentially act at various levels of organization in cancers, we argue that tumor-level selection is unlikely to actually play a relevant role in our understanding of the somatic evolution of human (...)
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  • What Mechanisms Can’T Do: Explanatory Frameworks and the Function of the P53 Gene in Molecular Oncology.Alessandro Blasimme, Paolo Maugeri & Pierre-Luc Germain - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):374-384.
    What has been called the new mechanistic philosophy conceives of mechanisms as the main providers of biological explanation. We draw on the characterization of the p53 gene in molecular oncology, to show that explaining a biological phenomenon implies instead a dynamic interaction between the mechanistic level—rendered at the appropriate degree of ontological resolution—and far more general explanatory tools that perform a fundamental epistemic role in the provision of biological explanations. We call such tools “explanatory frameworks”. They are called frameworks to (...)
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  • Design Sans Adaptation.Sara Green, Arnon Levy & William Bechtel - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (1):15-29.
    Design thinking in general, and optimality modeling in particular, have traditionally been associated with adaptationism—a research agenda that gives pride of place to natural selection in shaping biological characters. Our goal is to evaluate the role of design thinking in non-evolutionary analyses. Specifically, we focus on research into abstract design principles that underpin the functional organization of extant organisms. Drawing on case studies from engineering-inspired approaches in biology we show how optimality analysis, and other design-related methods, play a specific methodological (...)
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