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  1. Human Transgenesis: Definitions, Technical Possibilities and Moral Challenges. [REVIEW]Flávio Guimarães da Fonseca, Daniel Mendes Ribeiro, Nara Pereira Carvalho, Mariana Alves Lara, Antonio Cota Marçal & Brunello Stancioli - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):513-524.
    In this article, we examine the ethical implications of human transgenesis by considering the phenomenon in its larger evolutionary context. After clarifying the concept of transgenesis, we show that rather than unprecedented or unnatural, transgenesis is a common aspect of the evolutionary process that has likely affected all extant living animals, humans included. Additionally, we demonstrate that human transgenesis is technically feasible and that the moral barriers to it are mostly based on irrational fears premised on distorted and unrealistic views (...)
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  • Horizontal Persistence and the Complexity Hypothesis.Aaron Novick & W. Ford Doolittle - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-22.
    This paper investigates the complexity hypothesis in microbial evolutionary genetics from a philosophical vantage. This hypothesis, in its current version, states that genes with high connectivity are likely to be resistant to being horizontally transferred. We defend four claims. There is an important distinction between two different ways in which a gene family can persist: vertically and horizontally. There is a trade-off between these two modes of persistence, such that a gene better at achieving one will be worse at achieving (...)
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  • The Mystery of the Triceratops’s Mother: How to Be a Realist About the Species Category.Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):795-816.
    Can we be realists about a general category but pluralists about concepts relating to that category? I argue that paleobiological methods of delineating species are not affected by differing species concepts, and that this underwrites an argument that species concept pluralists should be species category realists. First, the criteria by which paleobiologists delineate species are ‘indifferent’ to the species category. That is, their method for identifying species applies equally to any species concept. To identify a new species, paleobiologists show that (...)
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  • Trashing Life’s Tree.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):689-709.
    The Tree of Life has traditionally been understood to represent the history of species lineages. However, recently researchers have suggested that it might be better interpreted as representing the history of cellular lineages, sometimes called the Tree of Cells. This paper examines and evaluates reasons offered against this cellular interpretation of the Tree of Life. It argues that some such reasons are bad reasons, based either on a false attribution of essentialism, on a misunderstanding of the problem of lineage identity, (...)
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  • Visualizing the Order of Nature. [REVIEW]Erica Torrens - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (1):110-113.
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  • Horizontal Persistence and the Complexity Hypothesis.Aaron Novick & W. Ford Doolittle - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):2.
    This paper investigates the complexity hypothesis in microbial evolutionary genetics from a philosophical vantage. This hypothesis, in its current version, states that genes with high connectivity are likely to be resistant to being horizontally transferred. We defend four claims. There is an important distinction between two different ways in which a gene family can persist: vertically and horizontally. There is a trade-off between these two modes of persistence, such that a gene better at achieving one will be worse at achieving (...)
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  • Ernst Mayr, the Tree of Life, and Philosophy of Biology.Maureen A. O’Malley - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):529-552.
    Ernst Mayr’s influence on philosophy of biology has given the field a particular perspective on evolution, phylogeny and life in general. Using debates about the tree of life as a guide, I show how Mayrian evolutionary biology excludes numerous forms of life and many important evolutionary processes. Hybridization and lateral gene transfer are two of these processes, and they occur frequently, with important outcomes in all domains of life. Eukaryotes appear to have a more tree-like history because successful lateral events (...)
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  • The Tree of Life: Introduction to an Evolutionary Debate. [REVIEW]Maureen A. O’Malley, William Martin & John Dupré - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):441-453.
    The ‘Tree of Life’ is intended to represent the pattern of evolutionary processes that result in bifurcating species lineages. Often justified in reference to Darwin’s discussions of trees, the Tree of Life has run up against numerous challenges especially in regard to prokaryote evolution. This special issue examines scientific, historical and philosophical aspects of debates about the Tree of Life, with the aim of turning these criticisms towards a reconstruction of prokaryote phylogeny and even some aspects of the standard evolutionary (...)
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  • Gene Sharing and Genome Evolution: Networks in Trees and Trees in Networks.Robert G. Beiko - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):659-673.
    Frequent lateral genetic transfer undermines the existence of a unique “tree of life” that relates all organisms. Vertical inheritance is nonetheless of vital interest in the study of microbial evolution, and knowing the “tree of cells” can yield insights into ecological continuity, the rates of change of different cellular characters, and the evolutionary plasticity of genomes. Notwithstanding within-species recombination, the relationships most frequently recovered from genomic data at shallow to moderate taxonomic depths are likely to reflect cellular inheritance. At the (...)
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