Evolutionary biology redux

Perspect Biol Med. 2013 Autumn;56(4):455-84. doi: 10.1353/pbm.2013.0038.

Abstract

This article offers a novel, enlightened concept for determining the mechanism of evolution. It is based on homeostasis, which distinguishes life from non-life and as such is the universal mechanism for the evolution of all living organisms. This view of evolution is logical, mechanistic, non-scalar, predictive, testable, and falsifiable, and it illuminates the epistemological relationships between physics and biology, ontogeny and phylogeny, development and aging, ultimate and proximate causation, health and disease. In addition to validating Haeckel's biogenetic law and Lamarckian epigenetics, reflecting the enabling value of the cellular approach, this perspective also expresses the evolutionary process at the cell-molecular level, since the mechanism of cell communication itself is universal in biology, in keeping with a Kuhnian paradigm shift. This approach may even elucidate the nature and evolution of consciousness as a manifestation of the cellular continuum from unicellular to multicellular life. We need such a functional genomic mechanism for the process of evolution if we are to make progress in biology and medicine. Like Copernican heliocentrism, a cellular approach to evolution may fundamentally change humankind's perceptions about our place in the universe.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cell Communication
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Phylogeny
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction