Variedades de la explicación en evo-devo

Epistemologia E Historia de la Ciencia 3 (1):18-31 (2018)
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The aim of this paper lies in characterizing the explanations and models used in the field of evolutionary developmental biology throughout its history. While manipulative experiments in controlled conditions have been useful to set the bases of the discipline and are still routinely performed, this approach supposes a tension between the reliability and the representativity of the conclusions. Given the recent changes in the understanding of evolutionary phenomena, different authors currently emphasize the need of avoiding excessive simplifications in experimental approaches, incorporating the complexity of the analyzed systems as a relevant trait in the study of biological diversity. On the other hand, the fragile and contingent nature of evolutionary processes and the impossibility of intervening some of these phenomena underscore the importance of non-manipulative models that allow the elucidation of how-possibly mechanisms. We argue that a pluralism characterized by the integration of different kinds of explanations, models and metaphors used in evo-devo allows to exploit their respective advantages, favours interdisciplinarity and can contribute to form a representative description of evolutionary processes without relinquishing the local and detailed study of actual mechanisms.

Author's Profile

Sergio Daniel Barberis
Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)


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