Breaking Mariano Artigas’ Frontiers of Evolutionism

Javier Novo Villaverde



I review Mariano Artigas’ appraisal of Evolution as reflected in some of his works. I find that his perception of evolutionary theory changed from a critical attitude, mainly directed against the modern synthesis of the twentieth century, to a more lenient approach as he incorporated new elements into his reflections. However, he did not fully appreciate some of the advances made in evolutionary biology in recent years. I provide some examples, taken from the field of evolutionary genomics, which shed new light on why evolvability is a necessary property of living beings and how adaptation proceeds through the rewiring of modular gene regulatory networks, resulting in a remarkable degree of phenotypic plasticity. This view provides a richer understanding of two key elements of Artigas’ portrayal of the modern worldview: dynamism and patterning.


Mariano Artigas; Evolution; genomics; philosophy of biology

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