The aim of this paper is to assess the relevance of somatic evolution by natural selection to our understanding of cancer development. I do so in two steps. In the first part of the paper, I ask to what extent cancer cells meet the formal requirements for evolution by natural selection, relying on Godfrey-Smith’s (2009) framework of Darwinian populations. I argue that although they meet the minimal requirements for natural selection, cancer cells are not paradigmatic Darwinian populations. In the second part of the paper, I examine the most important examples of adaptation in cancer cells. I argue that they are not significant accumulations of evolutionary changes, and that as a consequence natural selection plays a lesser role in their explanation. Their explanation, I argue, is best sought in the previously existing wiring of the healthy cells.
Cancer cells and adaptive explanations / P. Germain. - In: BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY. - ISSN 0169-3867. - 27:6(2012 Nov), pp. 785-810.
|Titolo:||Cancer cells and adaptive explanations|
GERMAIN, PIERRE LUC (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||Adaptation; Cancer; Darwinian populations; Explanation; Natural selection|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-FIL/02 - Logica e Filosofia della Scienza|
|Data di pubblicazione:||nov-2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10539-012-9334-2|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|