What’s wrong with evolutionary biology 101?:Pharyngula

July 24, 2010 § 5 Comments

It's more than genes, it's networks and systems|pharyngulaI learn more about biology reading PZ Myer’s blog than I ever did in school. Of course I went to mostly private religious schools, and then their were the dark ages spent in the Utah public school system. I don’t remember them teaching biology in Utah. They did have an animal husbandry class. I skipped that one.

“Here’s the problem, and also a brief introduction to Evolutionary Biology 201.

First, [evolutionary biology 101] it’s not exactly wrong — it’s more like taking one good explanation of certain kinds of evolution and making it a sweeping claim that that is how all evolution works. By reducing it to this one scheme, though, it makes evolution far too plodding and linear, and reduces it all to a sort of personal narrative. It isn’t any of those things. What’s left out in the 101 story, and in creationist tales, is that: evolution is about populations, so many changes go on in parallel; selectable traits are usually the product of networks of genes, so there are rarely single alleles that can be categorized as the effector of change; and genes and gene networks are plastic or responsive to the environment. All of these complications make the actual story more complicated and interesting, and also, perhaps to your surprise, make evolutionary change faster and more powerful.” Please read the full story on Science Blogs

via It’s more than genes, it’s networks and systems : Pharyngula.

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