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Evolution—the Extended Synthesis$
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Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262513678

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262513678.001.0001

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Facilitated Variation

Facilitated Variation

(p.253) 10 Facilitated Variation
Evolution—the Extended Synthesis

Marc W. Kirschner

John C. Gerhart

The MIT Press

This chapter describes the importance of developmental systems to evolutionary variation and examines some general properties of biological systems that deconstrain phenotypic change. It argues that physiological variation, particularly the variation used in embryonic development, is an important substrate for evolutionary change. The chapter proposes that weak linkage, exploratory behavior, and compartmentation are major underlying mechanisms which facilitate phenotypic variation. It suggests that the theory of evolution is based on those of natural selection, heredity, and phenotypic variation.

Keywords:   phenotypic variation, developmental systems, evolutionary variation, biological systems, weak linkage, exploratory behavior, compartmentation, natural selection, heredity

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