The philosophical significance of the molecular interpretation of evolution
Organização:  Universidad de Salamanca
Hospedería Fonseca, Salamanca
16 / 11 / 2021

There is no doubt that the biochemical and molecular basis of physiological and developmental processes has been progressively refined. Since the late 60s, molecular research has also significantly contributed to our understanding of evolutionary dynamics. Molecular evolution research today encompasses a large body of experimental and theoretical contributions. Nevertheless, despite some notable exceptions, this extensive body of experimental and theoretical work has not received the philosophical attention it deserves. In order to fill this conspicuous gap, in this contribution I aim to characterise two general ways in which the molecular interpretation is philosophically significant: first, it allows a potentially mechanistic conceptualisation of evolutionary dynamics; secondly, it provides a rigorous way of testing adaptive hypotheses. I shall concentrate on the first aspect in this presentation, then briefly sketching how molecular research provides an important benchmark for testing adaptive hypotheses.

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