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Gunnar Babcock
Duke University
  1.  64
    Are Synthetic Genomes Parts of a Genetic Lineage?Gunnar Babcock - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):995-1011.
    Biologists are nearing the creation of the first fully synthetic eukaryotic genome. Does this mean that we still soon be able to create genomes that are parts of an existing genetic lineage? If so, it might be possible to bring back extinct species. But do genomes that are synthetically assembled, no matter how similar they are to native genomes, really belong to the genetic lineage on which they were modelled? This article will argue that they are situated within the same (...)
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  2.  72
    Asexual Organisms, Identity and Vertical Gene Transfer.Gunnar Babcock - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 81:101265.
    This paper poses a problem for traditional phylogenetics: The identity of organisms that reproduce through fission can be understood in several different ways. This prompts questions about how to differentiate parent organisms from their offspring, making vertical gene transfer unclear. Differentiating between parents and offspring stems from what I call the identity problem. How the problem is resolved has implications for phylogenetic groupings. If the identity of a particular asexual organism persists through fission, the vertical lineage on a phylogenetic tree (...)
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  3.  75
    An Externalist Teleology.Gunnar Babcock & Daniel W. McShea - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8755-8780.
    Teleology has a complicated history in the biological sciences. Some have argued that Darwin’s theory has allowed biology to purge itself of teleological explanations. Others have been content to retain teleology and to treat it as metaphorical, or have sought to replace it with less problematic notions like teleonomy. And still others have tried to naturalize it in a way that distances it from the vitalism of the nineteenth century, focusing on the role that function plays in teleological explanation. No (...)
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