Journal Article

Species, Genes, and the Tree of Life

Joel D. Velasco

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 61, issue 3, pages 599-619
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axp051
Species, Genes, and the Tree of Life

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Science and Mathematics

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

A common view is that species occupy a unique position on the Tree of Life. Evaluating this claim requires an understanding of what the Tree of Life represents. The Tree represents history, but there are at least three biological levels that are often said to have genealogies: species, organisms, and genes. Here I focus on defending the plausibility of a gene-based account of the Tree. This leads to an account of species that are determined by gene genealogies. On this view, an exclusive group is a group of organisms that forms a clade for a higher proportion of the genome than any conflicting clade. Taxa occupy a unique position in what can be called the ‘primary concordance tree’. But each gene has its own historical ‘Tree of Life’. I conclude by arguing that both organismal pedigrees with their corresponding Tree as well as gene genealogies and their trees are objectively real and play important, but different, roles in biological practice.

Introduction

The Organism-Centered View of the Tree

Gene Genealogies

Exclusivity as Recentness of Genetic Coalescence

From 100% to Less

Criticisms of the Genealogical Species Concept

The Tree of Life?

Journal Article.  9187 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.