The quest for the origins in evolutionary biology
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB), UMR 7205 CNRS MNHN UPMC EPHE, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Sorbonne Universités, CP. 50, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France
Studying origins in evolutionary biology is an endeavour to reconstruct a chronicle of past events. Traditionally rooted in comparative biology and phylogenetics, these studies can also be conducted with either logical or experimental modelling approaches. The interaction between these two domains of inference – comparative reconstruction of the evolutionary past and modeling/experimenting the evolutionary process – must be encouraged. In both domains, the study of origins needs to be carefully designed to take into account anterior evolutionary stages on which they could depend. Comparative biology and past reconstruction must be performed on simple observational data (natural kinds), not on artificial general classes. And finally, understanding causality relationships calls for correlation approaches that must be optimized with regard to the number of natural replicates.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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