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replicationReplikation (ger.)

  • The process by which genetic material or a living organism gives rise to a copy of itself. (OED)

    Figure 1C assumes that each virus particle is produced by replication of the last particle formed. If one particle mutates, all the following ones produced in that bacterium will be mutants.

    Luria, S. (1945). Genetics of bacterium-bacterial virus relationship. Ann. Missouri Bot. Garden 32, 235-242: 240.


    Replication seems commonly to mark the end of active cell division and the onset of differentiation

    Mather, K. (1948). Significance of nuclear change in differentiation. Nature 161, 872-4: 872.

    [Es ist] wohl am sinnvollsten, die Replikationsfähigkeit als Definiens des Lebens aufzufassen
    Hösle, V. (1988). Hegels System: 317.

    We argued that the prime unit of evolution (unit of self-replication) is the developmental process, or life cycle. Many developmental resources interact with this process, and these have very different characters, ranging from the genes to persistent features of the environment, such as sunlight. But the interaction of all these features is subject to evolutionary explanation. Furthermore, when a feature is replicated, it is due to the replication of the whole process for which it is a resource. Conceiving evolution as the differential replication of developmental processes/life cycles therefore gives us maximum explanatory power, allowing us to explain everything that can be explained in terms of differential replication. As the last section has shown, this scope may be remarkable.

    Griffiths, P.E. & Gray, R.D. (1994). Developmental systems and evolutionary explanation. J. Philos. 91, 277-304: 304.


    Griesemer argues for the centrality of a concept of reproduction, rather than replication. The key differences are that similarity is not essential to reproduction, and all biological reproduction involves a certain kind of material overlap. In reproduction, part of the material that makes up the parental generation becomes part of the offspring generation as well.

    Godfrey-Smith, P. (2000). The replicator in retrospect. Biol. Philos. 15, 403-23: 408.


    in self-replicating systems that also repair [regenerate] themselves, even traits that serve only replication are ascribed functions

    McLaughlin, P. (2001). What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems: 187.

Pollock, M.R. (1976). From pangens to polynucleotides: the evolution of ideas on the mechanisms of biological replication. Persp. Biol. Med. 19, 455-72.