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The Theory of EvolutionPrinciples, Concepts, and Assumptions$
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Samuel M. Scheiner and David P. Mindell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226671024

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226671338.001.0001

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Traits and Homology

Traits and Homology

(p.84) Five Traits and Homology
The Theory of Evolution

James O. Mcinerney

University of Chicago Press

Homology has been a contentious topic for discussion for almost 200 years and the debate is ongoing. In its simplest definition, homology means “descended from a common ancestor.” Because of genetic recombination, or the replacement of one kind of character or trait with a different kind that can fulfil the same role, identifying homologs and indeed defining homology in detail is fraught with difficulty. In this chapter, I detail some of the history of the concept and link the concept to its uses in phylogeny reconstruction, developmental biology and networks of gene sharing.

Keywords:   homology, genetic network, developmental biology, recombination, common ancestor, phylogeny reconstruction, gene sharing

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