Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 381–400 | Cite as

Homology thinking

Article

Abstract

This paper explores an important type of biological explanation called ‘homology thinking.’ Homology thinking explains the properties of a homologue by citing the history of a homologue. Homology thinking is significant in several ways. First, it offers more detailed explanations of biological phenomena than corresponding analogy explanations. Second, it provides an important explanation of character similarity and difference. Third, homology thinking offers a promising account of multiple realizability in biology.

Keywords

Historical explanation Historicity Homology Homology thinking Multiple realizability Reductionism 

References

  1. Abouheif E (1997) Developmental genetics and homology: a hierarchical approach. TREE 12:405–408Google Scholar
  2. Abouheif E (1999) Establishing homology criteria for regulatory gene networks: prospects and challenges. In: Bock G, Cardew G (eds) Homology. Wiley, New York, pp 207–221Google Scholar
  3. Beatty J (2006) Replaying life’s tape. J Philos 53:336–362Google Scholar
  4. Bickle J (2006) Multiple realizability. In: Zalta E (ed) The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/multiple-realizability
  5. Bolker J, Raff R (1996) Developmental genetics and traditional homology. BioEssays 18:489–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brigandt I (2002) Homology and the origin of correspondence. Biol Philos 17:389–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brigandt I (2007) Typology now: homology and developmental constraints explain evolvability. Biol Philos 22:709–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carroll S (2005) Endless forms most beautiful: The new science of Evo Devo. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Crombie A (1994) Styles of scientific thinking in the European tradition. Duckworth, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Darwin F (ed) (1877) The life and letters of Charles Darwin. Including an autobiographical chapter. John Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Darwin C (1887) The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilized by insects, 2nd edn. D Appleton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. De Beer G (1971) Homology: an unresolved problem. Oxford Biol. Readers No. 11. Oxford University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Desjardins E (2010) Historicity as path dependence in evolutionary biology and community ecology (unpublished)Google Scholar
  14. Desjardins E (2011) History and experimental evolution. Biol Philos 26:339–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donoghue M (1992) Homology. In: Keller H, Lloyd E (eds) Keywords in evolutionary biology. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 171–179Google Scholar
  16. Ereshefsky M (2001) The poverty of the Linnaean hierarchy: A philosophical study of biological taxonomy. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. Ereshefsky M (2007) Psychological categories as homologies: lessons from ethology. Biol Philos 22:659–674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ereshefsky M (2009) Homology: integrating phylogeny and development. Biol Theory 3:225–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ghiselin M (2005) Homology as a relation of correspondence between parts of individuals. Theory Biosci 124:91–103Google Scholar
  20. Gould S (1986) Evolution and the triumph of homology, or why history matters. Am Sci 74:60–69Google Scholar
  21. Gould S (1989) Wonderful life: the burgess shale and the nature of history. W Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Griffiths P (1994) Cladistic explanation and functional explanation. Philos Sci 61:206–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Griffiths P (1997) What emotions really are: the problem of psychological categories. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  24. Griffiths P (2006) Function, homology and character individuation. Philos Sci 73:1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Griffiths P (2007) The phenomena of homology. Biol Philos 22:643–658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hall B (ed) (1994) Homology: the hierarchical basis of comparative biology. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  27. Hall B (2003) Descent with modification: the unity underlying homology and homoplasy as seen through an analysis of development and evolution. Biol Rev 78:409–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hall B (2007a) Homology and homoplasy. In: Matthen M, Stephens C (eds) Philosophy of biology. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 429–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hall B (2007b) Homoplasy and homology: dichotomy or continuum? J Hum Evol 52:473–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hempel C (1965) Aspects of scientific explanation. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Hull D (1988) Science as a process. Chicago University Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  32. Kirschner M, Gerhart J (1998) Evolvability. Proc Nat Acad Sci 95:8420–8427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Laubichler M (2000) Homology in development and the development of the homology concept. Am Zool 40:777–788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Laubichler M, Wagner G (2001) How molecular is molecular developmental biology? Biol Philos 16:53–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lauder G (1994) Homology, form, and function. In: Hall B (ed) Homology: the hierarchical basis of comparative biology. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 151–196Google Scholar
  36. Matthen M (1998) Biological universals and the nature of fear. J Philos XVC 3:105–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Matthen M (2000) What is a hand? What is a mind? Revue Internationale de Philosophie 214:653–672Google Scholar
  38. Matthen M (2007) Defining vision: what homology thinking contributes. Biol Philos 22:675–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mayr E (1959) Typological versus Population Thinking. In: Evolution and Anthropology: a Centennial Appraisal. The Anthropological Society of Washington, Washington D.C., pp 409-412.Google Scholar
  40. Mayr E (1969) Principles of systematic zoology. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. Minelli A (1998) Molecules, developmental modules, and phenotypes: a combinatorial approach to homology. Mol Phylogenet Evol 9:340–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Müller G (2003) Homology: the evolution of morphological organization. In: Müller G, Newman S (eds) Origination of organismal form: beyond the gene in developmental and evolutionary biology. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 51–69Google Scholar
  43. Müller G, Newman S (1999) Generation, integration, autonomy: three steps in the evolution of biology. In: Bock G, Cardew G (eds) Homology. Wiley, New York, pp 65–72Google Scholar
  44. Patterson C (1982) Morphological characters and homology. In: Joysey K, Friday A (eds) Problems of phylogenetic reconstruction. Academic Press, London, pp 21–74Google Scholar
  45. Patterson C (1987) Introduction. In: Patterson C (ed) Molecules and morphology in evolution: conflict or compromise?. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–22Google Scholar
  46. Prum R, Brush A (2002) The evolutionary origin and diversification of feathers. Q Rev Biol 77:261–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rieppel O (1994) Homology, topology, and typology: the history of modern debates. In: Hall B (ed) Homology: the hierarchical basis of comparative biology. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 64–101Google Scholar
  48. Rosenberg A (2006) Darwinian reductionism. Or, how to stop worrying and love molecular biology. Chicago University Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  49. Roth L (1994) Within and between organisms: replicators, lineages, and homologues. In: Hall B (ed) Homology: the hierarchical basis of comparative biology. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 302–338Google Scholar
  50. Salmon W (1984) Scientific explanation and the causal structure of the world. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  51. Shubin N, Tabin C, Carroll S (1997) Fossils, genes and the evolution of animal limbs. Nature 388:639–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sneath P, Sokal R (1973) Numerical taxonomy. W H Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  53. Striedter G (1999) Homology in the nervous system; of characters, embryology and levels of analysis. In: Bock G, Cardew G (eds) Homology. Wiley, New York, pp 158–170Google Scholar
  54. Striedter G, Northcutt G (1991) Biological hierarchies and the concept of homology. Brain Behav Evol 38:177–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Szathmary E (2006) Path dependence and historical contingency in biology. In: Wimmer A, Kössler R (eds) Understanding change: models, methodologies, and metaphors. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp 140–157Google Scholar
  56. Van Fraassen B (1980) The scientific image. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Van Valen L (1982) Homology and causes. J Morphol 173:305–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wagner G (1989) The biological homology concept. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 20:51–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wagner G (1994) Homology and the mechanisms of development. In: Hall B (ed) Homology: the hierarchical basis of comparative biology. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 273–299Google Scholar
  60. Wagner G (1996) Homologues, natural kinds and the evolution of modularity. Am Zool 36:36–43Google Scholar
  61. Wagner G (1999) A research programme for testing the biological homology concept. In: Bock G, Cardew G (eds) Homology. Wiley, New York, pp 125–134Google Scholar
  62. Wagner G (2000) What is the promise of developmental evolution? Part I: Why is developmental biology necessary to explain evolutionary innovations? J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol) 288:95–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wagner G (2007) The developmental genetics of homology. Nat Rev Genet 8:473–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Wagner G, Misof Y (1993) How can a character be developmentally constrained despite variation in developmental pathways? J Evol Biol 6:449–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wake D (1994) Comparative terminology. Science 265:268–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wake D (1999) Homoplasy, homology and the problem of ‘sameness’ in biology. In: Bock G, Cardew G (eds) Homology. Wiley, New York, pp 24–33Google Scholar
  67. Wake D (2003) Homology and homoplasy. In: Hall B, Olson W (eds) Keywords and concepts in evolutionary developmental biology. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 191–200Google Scholar
  68. Wenzel J (1992) Behavioral homology and phylogeny. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 23:361–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. West-Eberhard M (2003) Developmental plasticity and evolution. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  70. Winther R (2006) Parts and theories in compositional biology. Biol Philos 21:471–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations