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Evolutionary TheoryA Hierarchical Perspective$
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Niles Eldredge, Telmo Pievani, Emanuele Serrelli, and Ilya Tëmkin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226426051

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226426198.001.0001

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Revisiting the Phenotypic Hierarchy in Hierarchy Theory

Revisiting the Phenotypic Hierarchy in Hierarchy Theory

(p.151) Chapter 7 Revisiting the Phenotypic Hierarchy in Hierarchy Theory
Evolutionary Theory

Silvia Caianiello

University of Chicago Press

The hierarchy theory at its onset was primarily committed to vindicate the distinctness of macro-evolutionary phenomena from micro-evolutionary processes, minimizing the explanatory relevance of levels and entities below the organism and above the gene. The current focus on phenotypic evolution, however, suggests a refinement and revision of the role of the so-called “somatic” or “phenotypic hierarchy”, and the evolutionary bearing of its structured variability at different levels. The paper reviews some theoretical reasons and implications of such reassessment.

Keywords:   hierarchy theory, phenotypic evolution, homology, somatic hierarchy, Modern Synthesis, evolutionary transitions, biological information, evolutionary developmental biology

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