Evo Devo Role In Human Development

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Evo Devo and the Modern Synthesis
Evo-devo is a developing field on the study of evolution in the developmental stages in different species. Though it is a new discipline, it has the potential to contribute a great deal to our knowledge of evolution. This paper will discuss what evolutionary development is and that it should be added to the modern synthesis because studying embryonic stages can lead to a better understanding of human evolutionary history and the future biological path of the species. To determine what evo-devo will lead to, it must be defined. Evolutionary development biology is the study of how environmental changes or mechanical alterations in the stages of an embryo can direct evolution (Hall, 2012). However, according
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Recent years have given rise to more fields within evo-devo including, eco-evo-devo, evo-devo-niche construction, and behave-evo-devo (Hall, 2012). All of these sub-disciplines bring to light how looking into environmental factors can change the niche priorities of an embryo. Not only this but studying modern factors can lead to discerning the types of environments that might have lead to humanity’s massive role in the ecosystem. Coupled with Ken Weiss’ argument of behavior-driven evolution, we can assume that environmental mechanics can change the role an organism plays (Hall, 2012). Conversely, understanding these past developments, evolutionists can begin to understand how future environments will contribute to epigenetics and possible adaptations. One extreme example would be the effect other planetary conditions might have on the development of an embryo. All in all, adding evo-devo to the modern synthesis will allow for more of the populous to learn about these…show more content…
As Willmore (2012) discusses, evolutionary development is relatively recent in academic circles. However, the concept of the field has been discussed since Darwin’s discoveries. Stephen J. Gould published a book in 1977 discussing how the connection between evolution and development had been sought since 450 BC (Hall, 2012). Similarly, Hall (2012) writes about the true history of evo-devo and the progress the field made through the 19th and 20th centuries. The real problem with evo-devo seeming young is because it is not added in the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary theory. Hall (2012) argues the current interpretation is very narrow-minded and unlike the ideas Darwin was aiming for. Now, modern schools do not look into the importance of evo-devo and the insights the discipline can bring to our biological history. The current synthesis only describes a change in species on a macro scale through genes but does not count for the development of organismal forms (Hall, 2012). In order to extend the synthesis, evo-devo must be made accessible to non-academic populations (Willmore, 2012). Giving a basic understanding of embryonic developmental factors within evolution to the general population would allow evo-devo to progress as a
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