Advertisement

Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 2–3, pp 427–451 | Cite as

The Dilemma of Dominance

  • Douglas AllchinEmail author
Article

Abstract

The concept of dominance poses several dilemmas. First, while entrenched in genetics education, the metaphor of dominance promotes several misconceptions and misleading cultural perspectives. Second, the metaphors of power, prevalence and competition extend into science, shaping assumptions and default concepts. Third, because genetic causality is complex, the simplified concepts of dominance found in practice are highly contingent or inconsistent. The conceptual problems are illustrated in the history of studies on the evolution of dominance. Conceptual clarity may be fostered, I claim, by viewing diploid organisms as diphenic and by framing genetic causality modestly through individual alleles and their corresponding haplophenotypes.

Keywords

Dominance Dominant Evolution of dominance Mendelian genetics Metaphor Recessive 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allchin, D. 2000Mending mendelismAm. Biol. Teacher62632639Google Scholar
  2. Allchin, D. 2002Dissolving dominanceParker, L.Ankeny, R. eds. Mutating Concepts, Evolving Disciplines: Genetics, Medicineand SocietyKluwerDordrecht4362Google Scholar
  3. Allchin, D. 2003Scientific Myth-conceptionsScience Education87329351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bateson, W. [1902] 1928The problems of heredity and their solutionPunnett, R.C. eds. Scientific Papers of William BatesonCambridge University PressCambridge, UK428Google Scholar
  5. Berry, R.J. 1965Teach Yourself GeneticsEnglish Universities PressLondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Bix, M., Locksley, R.M. 1998Independent and Epigenetic Regulation of the Interleukin-4 Alleles in CD4 T cellsScience28113521354CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Campbell, N., Reece, J.B., Mitchell, L.G. 1999Biology5Benjamin CummingsMenlo Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  8. Caplan, J.M., Pigliucci, M. 2001Genes “For” phenotypes: a modern history viewBiol. Philos.16189213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clarke, C.A., Sheppard, P.M. 1960The evolution of dominance under disruptive selectionHeredity147387Google Scholar
  10. Clarke, C.A., Sheppard, P.M. 1963Interactions between major genes and polygenes in the determination of the mimetic patterns of Papilio dardanusEvolution17404413Google Scholar
  11. Correns, C.G. [1900] 1950Mendel's law concerning the behavior of progeny in varietal hybrids (Eng. trans.)Genetics253341Google Scholar
  12. Darden, L. 1991Theory Change in Science: Strategies from Mendelian GeneticsOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. de Vries, H. [1900] 1950Concerning the law of segregation of hybridsGenetics353032Google Scholar
  14. Di Trocchio, F. 1991Mendel's experiments: A reinterpretationJ. Hist. Biol.24485519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donovan, M.P. 1997The vocabulary of biology and the problem of semanticsJ. College Sci. Teach.26381382Google Scholar
  16. Druery, C.T. 1902Experiments in plant hybridisation [translation of Mendel]J. Roy. Hort. Soc.26132Also available at URL: www.netspace.org/MendelWeb/Mendel.plain.html (updated Feb 22, 1997; accessed Dec 15, 2000)Google Scholar
  17. Falk, R. 2001The rise and fall of dominanceBiol. Philos.16285323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fisher, R.A. 1928aThe possible modification of the response of the wild type to recurrent mutationsAm. Nat.62115126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fisher, R.A. 1928bTwo further notes on the origin of dominanceAm. Nat.62571574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ford, E.B. 1955Polymorphism and taxonomyHeredity9255264Google Scholar
  21. Ford, E.B. 1964Ecology GeneticsMethuenLondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Foucault, M. 1972The Archaeology of KnowledgePantheonNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Fritz, G. 1999Allchin's mistakeBioQUEST Notes10912Google Scholar
  24. Goldman, A.I. 1999Knowledge in a Social WorldOxfordClarendon PressGoogle Scholar
  25. Haraway, D. 1989Primate VisionsRoutledgeNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Hull, D. 1974Philosophy of Biological SciencePrentice HallEnglewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  27. Katsanis, N., Ansley, S.J., Badano, J.L., Eichers, E.R., Lewis, R.L., Hoskins, B.E., Scambler, P.J., Davidson, W.S., Beales, P.L., Lupski, J.R. 2001Triallelic inheritance in Bardet-Biedl syndromea Mendelian recessive discorderScience29322562259CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Kettlewell, H.B.D. 1959Darwin's missing evidenceSci. Am.2004853PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kettlewell, H.B.D. 1973The Evolution of Melanism: The Study of Recurring Necessity; with Special Reference to Industrial Melanism in the LepidopteraClarendon PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  30. Klug, W., Cummings, M. 2000Concepts of Genetics6Prentice HallUpper Saddle River, NJGoogle Scholar
  31. Kroeber, E., Wolff, W.H., Weaver, R.L. 1969Biology, 2d edD.C. HeathLexington, MAGoogle Scholar
  32. Lakoff, G., Johnson, M. 1980Metaphors We Live ByThe University of Chicago PressChicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  33. Lander, E.S., Weinberg, R.A. 2000Genomics: journey to the center of biologyScience28717771781CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Lewin, B. 2000Genes VIIOxford University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewontin, R.C. 1992Genotype and PhenotypeKeller, E.Lloyd, E.A. eds. Keywords in Evolutionary BiologyHarvard University PressCambridge, MA137144Google Scholar
  36. Majerus, M.E.N. 1998Melanism: Evolution in ActionOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  37. Mayo, O., Bürger, R. 1997The evolution of dominance: a theory whose time has passed?Biol. Rev.7297110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McKusick, V.A. 1998Mendelian Inheritance in Man: A Catalog of Human Genes and Genetic Disorders12Johns Hopkins University PressBaltimore, MDGoogle Scholar
  39. Mendel G. [1866] 1966. Versuche über Pflanzenhybriden [experiments on plant hybrids]. In: English translation in Stern C., Sherwood E. (eds). The Origin of Genetics: A Mendel Source Book. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, pp. 1–48.Google Scholar
  40. Mikkola, K. 1984Dominance relations among the melanic forms of biston betularia and Odontoptera bidentata (LepidopteraGeometridae)Heredity52916Google Scholar
  41. Morgan, T.H. 1926The Theory of the GeneYale University PressNew Haven, CTGoogle Scholar
  42. Muller, H.J. 1932Further studies on the nature and causes of gene mutationsJones, D.F. eds. Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of GeneticsBrooklyn Botanical GardenMenashaWI213255Google Scholar
  43. Olby R.C. 1997. Mendel, Mendelism and Genetics. MendelWebURL: www.netspace.org/MendelWeb/MWolby.intro.html (updated Feb 22, 1997; accessed Dec 15, 2000).Google Scholar
  44. OMIMTM2000. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine. Johns Hopkins University (BaltimoreMD) and National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine. Bethesda, MD. URL: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim/ (accessed Dec 15, 2000).Google Scholar
  45. Orr, H.A. 1991A test of Fisher's theory of dominanceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA881141311415PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Otto, S.P., Bourguet, D. 1999Balanced polymorphism and the evolution of dominanceAm. Nat.153561574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Oyama, S. 2000aThe Ontogeny of Information2Duke University PressDurham, NCGoogle Scholar
  48. Oyama, S. 2000bEvolution's EyeDuke University PressDurham, NCGoogle Scholar
  49. Provine, W.B. 1985The R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wright controversy and its influence upon modern evolutionary biologyDawkins, R.Ridley, M. eds. Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary BiologyOxford University PressOxford1972192Google Scholar
  50. Provine, W.B. 1986Sewall Wright and Evolutoinary BiologyThe University of Chicago PressChicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  51. Rodgers, J. 1991Mechanisms Mendel never knewMosaic22211Google Scholar
  52. Rothwell, N.V. 1993Understanding Genetics: A Molecular ApproachWiley-LissNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Schaffner, K. 1993Discovery and Explanation in Biology and MedicineThe University of Chicago PressChicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  54. Schwartz, S. 2002Characters as units and the case of the presence and absence hypothesisBiol. Philos.17369388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Skipper, R.A.,Jr. 2002The persistence of the R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wright controversyBiol. Philos.17341367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sober, E. 1984The Nature of SelectionMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  57. Sterelny, K., Kitcher, P. 1988The return of the geneJ. Philos.85339361Google Scholar
  58. Tobin, A.J., Duscheck, J. 1998Asking About LifeSaundersFort Worth, TXGoogle Scholar
  59. Tschermak, E. [1900] 1950Concerning Artificial crossing in Pisum sativumGenetics354247Google Scholar
  60. West, D.A. 1977Melanism in biston (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in the rural central AppalachiansHeredity397581Google Scholar
  61. Wilkie, A.O.M. 1994The molecular basis of genetic dominanceJ. Med. Genet.318998PubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Wright, S. 1968–69Evolution and the Genetics of PopulationsThe University of Chicago PressChicago, ILVols. 1–2Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Personalised recommendations