PERSPECTIVE: SEVEN REASONS (NOT) TO NEGLECT NICHE CONSTRUCTION

@article{Laland2006PERSPECTIVESR,
  title={PERSPECTIVE: SEVEN REASONS (NOT) TO NEGLECT NICHE CONSTRUCTION},
  author={Kevin N. Laland and Kim Sterelny},
  journal={Evolution},
  year={2006},
  volume={60}
}
Abstract –The niche‐construction perspective within evolutionary biology places emphasis on the changes that organisms bring about in their selective environments. Advocates of this viewpoint argue that there is both accuracy and utility in treating niche construction as an evolutionary process in its own right, rather than merely as a product of evolution. Here we discuss and assess seven putative weaknesses of the niche‐construction perspective. Niche construction has been neglected or… Expand

Topics from this paper

THE NICHE CONSTRUCTION PERSPECTIVE: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL*
TLDR
Whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance are discussed. Expand
Niche construction in evolutionary theory: the construction of an academic niche?
TLDR
It is suggested that the manner in which niche construction theory is sought to be pushed in the literature is better viewed as an exercise in academic niche construction whereby, through incessant repetition of largely untenable claims, and the deployment of rhetorically appealing but logically dubious analogies, a receptive climate for a certain sub-discipline is seeking to be manufactured within the scientific community. Expand
Niche construction in evolutionary theory: the construction of an academic niche?
TLDR
It is suggested that the manner in which niche construction theory is pushed in the literature looks more like an exercise in academic niche construction whereby, through incessant repetition of largely untenable claims, and the deployment of rhetorically appealing but logically dubious analogies, a receptive climate for a certain sub-discipline is sought to be manufactured within the scientific community. Expand
Ecosystem engineering, experiment, and evolution
TLDR
This literature demonstrates that while ecosystem engineering studies may not require us to embrace a new evolutionary process, as niche construction advocates have claimed, they do teach us that the myriad abiotic factors concealed by the abstract term ‘environment’ are often controlled in large part by organisms. Expand
Three Kinds of Constructionism: The Role of Metaphor in the Debate over Niche Constructionism
TLDR
This work proposes a three-tier categorization of constructionism (literal, analogical, and figurative) based on the analysis of the metaphor of construction itself and shows metaphors are not a mere rhetorical device but represent an instrument through which theories evolve and introduce new elements. Expand
Niche construction theory as an explanatory framework for human phenomena
TLDR
It is argued that NCT’s failure to account for differing developments in very similar situations, and to facilitate evaluation and discrimination between divergent and contradictory causal accounts of particular phenomena, render NCT unsuitable to serve as an explanatory framework for human phenomena. Expand
Under niche construction: an operational bridge between ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science
TLDR
An operational framework to evaluate comparative and experimental evidence of the evolutionary consequences of niche construction is proposed, and how such research can improve the authors' understanding of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in ecosystems is suggested. Expand
Defining the niche for niche construction: evolutionary and ecological niches
Niche construction theory (NCT) aims to transform and unite evolutionary biology and ecology. Much of the debate about NCT has focused on construction. Less attention has been accorded to the niche:Expand
Three Kinds of Niche Construction
Niche construction theory concerns how organisms can change selection pressures by altering the feature–factor relationship between themselves and their environment. These alterations are standardlyExpand
Niche construction, adaptive preferences, and the differences between fitness and utility
TLDR
The analysis of two seemingly disparate but in fact structurally related phenomena, ‘niche construction’ and ‘adaptive preferences’, is used to establish when connecting fitness and utility is and is not possible. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 122 REFERENCES
Book Review: On the Aims of Evolutionary Theory
One often heard complaint against evolutionary approaches to the behavioural sciences is that humans have in some way acted to escape their own evolutionary history. Critics who might take thisExpand
Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution
TLDR
This book extends evolutionary theory by formally including niche construction and ecological inheritance as additional evolutionary processes, and demonstrates how the theory can resolve long-standing problems in ecology, particularly by advancing the sorely needed synthesis of ecology and evolution. Expand
The evolutionary consequences of niche construction: a theoretical investigation using two‐locus theory
TLDR
The results suggest that the changes that organisms bring about in their niche can themselves be an important source of natural selection pressures, and imply that evolution may proceed in cycles of selection and niche construction. Expand
Niche construction, human behavior, and the adaptive‐lag hypothesis
TLDR
It is stressed that humans construct their world largely to suit themselves and frequently buffer adaptive lag through cultural niche construction, and suggests that the methods of the latter are potentially applicable to all human societies, even postindustrial ones. Expand
Phenotypic Evolution — A Reaction Norm Perspective
TLDR
The book has one central purpose, to propose and defend the proposition that to understand phenotypesic evolution the authors must take into account phenotypic plasticity, not simply as an interesting peripheral phenomenon but as an integral part of the evolutionary process. Expand
On the Breadth and Significance of Niche Construction: A Reply to Griffiths, Okasha and Sterelny
TLDR
These commentaries raise many interesting issues, but the broadly supportive tone of these commentaries encourages the author to believe that the niche-construction perspective has a strong theoretical foundation. Expand
Cultural niche construction and human evolution
TLDR
This analysis suggests that where cultural traits are transmitted in an unbiased fashion from parent to offspring, cultural niche construction will have a similar effect to gene‐based niche construction, however, cultural transmission biases favouring particular cultural traits may either increase or reduce the range of parameter space over which niche construction has an impact. Expand
Coevolution: Genes, Culture, and Human Diversity
Charles Darwin's On the Origins of Species had two principal goals: to show that species had not been separately created and to show that natural selection had been the main force behind theirExpand
Gaia, Nature Worship and Biocentric Fallacies
  • G. Williams
  • Geography
  • The Quarterly Review of Biology
  • 1992
TLDR
Here I will attempt to support Huxley's position, that the universe is hostile to human life and values, and to counter prevalent romanticism and what Lillie (1913) called the "biocentric" view of the universe. Expand
The Importance of a Constructivist View
Niche Construction The Neglected Process in Evolution. by F. John Odling-Smee, Kevin N. Laland, and Marcus W. Feldman. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2003. 488 pp. $75, £49.95. ISBNExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...