Exploring the analytical consequences of ecological subjectsunwittingly neglected by the mainstream of evolutionary thought
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AuthorRodríguez, Ricardo A.; Duncan, Janelle M.; Vanni, Michael J.; Melkikh, Alexey V.; Delgado, Juan Domingo; Riera, Rodrigo; Herrera, Ada M.; Camarena, Tomás; Quirós, Ángel; Fernández-Palacios, José María; Miranda, Jezahel V.; Perdomo, María E.; Fernández-Rodríguez, María J.,; Jiménez-Rodríguez, Antonia; Otto, Rüdiger; Escudero, Carlos G.; Navarro-Cerrillo, Rafael M.; González, María J.
The Darwinian interpretation (Di) of evolutionary process, and its subsequent development in the formof modern evolutionary synthesis (MES), plays a paradigmatic role in the mainstream biological thought.However, the main role in the improvement from Di to MES has depended on population genetics. Con-ventional ecosystem ecology has added relatively few specific insights to this endeavor in spite of thewell-known combined selective influence from environment. This article integrates i) recent findings ingenetics (i.e.: evolutionary capacitance); ii) orthodox topics as well as recent results from a large set ofmodels in ecosystem ecology which have recently been encompassed under the term “organic biophysicsof ecosystem”; and iii) an epistemological analysis of the origin of On the Origin of Species. . . by reachingfour main particular conclusions: (a) Despite the contemporary recognition that any kind of interspecificrelationship has an evolutionary influence, the analytical emphasis of Di and MES on competition hasbeen unwittingly oversized because of the paradoxical manner in which mutualism can emerge as anessential evolutionary force starting from competition, being this an unpublished topic that is analyzedin this manuscript by the first time. This link between two interspecific relationships that seem oppositeto each other at the first glance is based on quantum effects that are totally unknown in conventionalevolutionary theory due to its bias in favor of genetics, neglecting ecological considerations by contrast.(b) A holistic combination of ecological, genetic and evolutionary insights at the ecosystem level addi-tionally confirms that the analytical role of evolutionary gradualism has also been oversized. (c) Themain criterion of evolutionary success conventionally applied by Di and MES should be modified giventhat: (d) the preferential direction of evolutionary process theoretically proposed by Di and MES doesnot match with the direction of spontaneous development of natural ecosystems. The final section ofthis manuscript explains that these four critical outcomes in regard to Di and MES seem to have theirroot in epistemological inaccuracies involved in the origin of On the Origin of Species. . .that have beenpassed from generation to generation without being subjected to interdisciplinary scrutiny. This arti-cle showcases the need to review some of the foundational principles of Di and MES before building a“new floor” (i.e.: the extended evolutionary synthesis) supported on our current perspective about theevolutionary process. So, contrastingly with the genocentric nature of conventional evolutionary theory, large sections of our current evolutionary thought could change if we take into account some old results,as well as some recent ones, achieved by means of interdisciplinary approaches. In summary, this arti-cle concludes that the MES, despite its correct structure in essential points, could reach a significantlymore complete epistemological condition than its current state if we add some fundamental results fromecosystem ecology that have been unwittingly neglected so far.