University of Zurich
Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
To build a strong foundation for a unified biology, we must ask conceptual questions. One question specific to evolutionary biology regards the relationship between neutral and adaptive change. A more general class of questions regards the nature of genetic reductionism. What does it mean when we say that we can understand the phenotype by studying the genotype? Relatedly, how does our everyday notion of causality fare when faced with the extraordinary complexity of biological systems.
Wagner, A. (2008) Neutralism and selectionism: A network-based reconciliation. Nature Reviews Genetics 9, 965-974. [reprint request]
Wagner, A. (1999) Causality in complex systems. Biology and Philosophy 14, 83-101 [reprint request]
Wagner, A. (1997) Models in the biological sciences. In: Dialektik 1997 (1) Falkenburg, B.; Hauser, S. (Eds.), 43-57. Felix Meiner, Hamburg. [reprint request]Wagner, A. (1995) Reductionism in Evolutionary Biology: A Perceptional Artifact? in 1993 Lectures in Complex Systems, eds. D. Stein and L. Nadel, Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Lect. Vol. VI, Reading, MA:Addison-Wesley, 603-611. [reprint request]