-Jacques Monod (1954)While preparing for the last lecture in my molecular evolution course I came across this quotation that explains Evo Devo.
The key to understanding form is development, the process through which a single-celled egg gives rise to a complex, multi-billion-celled animal. This amazing spectacle stood as one of the great unsolved mysteries of biology for nearly two centuries. And development is intimately connected to evolution because it is through changes in embryos that changes in form arise. Over the past two decades, a new revolution has unfolded in biology. Advances in developmental biology and evolutionary developmental biology (dubbed “Evo Devo”) have revealed a great deal about the invisible genes and some simple rules that shape animal form and function. Much of what we have learned has been so stunning and unexpected that it has profoundly reshaped our picture of how evolution works. Not a single biologist, for example, ever anticipated that the same genes that control the making of an insect’s body and organs also control the making of our bodies.I've already criticized this point of view several times [Things You Didn't Know] [Sean Carroll's View of Evo-Devo] and I won't repeat them here. Read those posts to see what's wrong with Evo Devo.
Sean B. Carroll “Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo” W.W. Norton & Co., New York (2005)
If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.
Isaac Newton, 1676I want to emphasize another point. I come from a culture that praised and admired the important work that formed the background to modern discoveries. My mentors were proud of the fact that they stood on the shoulders of giants.
Someone named anthrosciguy commented on my earlier post [Sean Carroll's View of Evo-Devo] by saying ...
No one wants to stand on the shoulders of giants anymore.That struck me as a profound commentary on much of modern biological science so I thought I'd share it with you. These days it seems like everyone wants to claim credit for discovering something that nobody anticipated. You can't be standing on the shoulders of giants if you're proclaiming a revolution. That would look silly.
I'm pretty sure I know anthrosciguy's real identity but I'll leave it to him to out himself and take credit for a very clever statement.