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New evolution book is thorough and balanced?


bookjacket We received a tip that a new Princeton book, Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation by Yale’s Gunter P. Wagner (not to be confused with Andreas Wagner) is both through and balanced:

Günter Wagner, one of the preeminent researchers in the field, argues that homology, or character identity, can be explained through the historical continuity of character identity networks—that is, the gene regulatory networks that enable differential gene expression. He shows how character identity is independent of the form and function of the character itself because the same network can activate different effector genes and thus control the development of different shapes, sizes, and qualities of the character. Demonstrating how this theoretical model can provide a foundation for understanding the evolutionary origin of novel characters, Wagner applies it to the origin and evolution of specific systems, such as cell types; skin, hair, and feathers; limbs and digits; and flowers.

The first major synthesis of homology to be published in decades, Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation reveals how a mechanistically based theory can serve as a unifying concept for any branch of science concerned with the structure and development of organisms, and how it can help explain major transitions in evolution and broad patterns of biological diversity. More

Apparently, according to a source, the author acknowledges the problems in trying to account for new developments under the current orthodoxy.

That is, if one is not content to just make up stuff, tell people to believe it or else, malign the motives of all doubters, and run off to spread the word on Air TV.

But it is scholarly material, so perhaps not for all readers.

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