Dr. Isaac Salazar-Ciudad will give a talk entitled “Genotype-phenotype map models and evolution”.
Date and time: 10th of November, at 11:00, Seminar room – Dept of Logic and Philosophy of Science
Abstract: It is currently accepted in evolutionary theory that the relationship between genotypic and phenotypic variation is not simple and that that relationship has important consequences for our understanding of evolutionary dynamics. There are, however, highly divergent ways by which this relationship is conceptualized in the different fields within evolutionary biology. These are not mere details of how genetic interactions are implemented but lead to serious common biases and misconceptions that damper advancement in the field. Here I will briefly outline the bases of those problems in the fields of quantitative genetics, gene networks and evo-devo. These have to do with the idealization that adult phenotypic traits arise from individual genes without interaction and with the view that the simplest most ancestral genotype-phenotype maps had this kinds of relationship between individual genes and phenotypic traits. In some fields thus it is accepted that there is a complex relationship between genotype and phenotype but it is implicitly assumed that this arose as a by-product or nuisance from a simple genotype-phenotype map and that selection will ultimately lead back to simple maps again. I will also discuss how a similar kind of reasoning has also an influence in the field of the origins of life.