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Now out: Biological Theory’s June 2022 issue!

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Biological Theory’s Volume 17, issue 2, June 2022 issue launches a new topical collection: “Critical Concepts in Biological Theory.” Edited by Kenneth Z. McKenna, articles will focus on fundamental concepts in evolutionary, developmental, or cognitive biology. As introduced here by Editor-in-Chief Stuart Newman, the articles, written by subject experts, will be concise without sidestepping controversy or disagreements, and when possible, connect theory building to experimental research. They will aim to be entry points for scholars in adjacent fields. The first: “Serial Homology,” by the evolutionary developmental biologist Guiseppe Fusco.

There’s a new addition to the journal’s “Classics” collection in June as well: “Revisiting Leigh Van Valen’s ‘A New Evolutionary Law’ (1973),” in which theoretical biologist Ricard Solé highlights the influence of this groundbreaking paper in an illuminating introduction that includes a set of unforgettable original illustrations.

Also in this issue, Douglas Schauer analyzes social learning mechanisms, arguing that judging the competence of models creates an evolutionary incentive for humans to help others. Walter Veit uses the concept of scaffolding to help explain the emergence of new levels of natural selection.

Two feature articles round out the issue. A historical essay by Stephen M. Downes and Eric Turkheimer traces the early history of the use of R.A. Fisher’s heritability coefficient—now a tool in the social sciences—as it was applied to human traits. Finally, James Lyons-Weiler explores the potential evolutionary impact of biotransformative technologies such as germline genetic engineering, concluding with a strong recommendation for a ban on technologies that can alter the human evolutionary path.