EMBO workshop focuses on “phenomena that are not part of the traditional narrative of molecular evolution … ”
|August 3, 2012||Posted by News under Evolutionary biology, News|
EMBO workshop focuses on “ phenomena that are not part of the traditional narrative of molecular evolution … ”
In “A half-century after the molecular clock: new dimensions of molecular evolution” (EMBO Reports, EMBO reports VOL 13 | NO 8 | 2012), Eugene Koonin writes
The EMBO workshop on ‘Evolution in the Time of Genomics’ took place in May 2012 in the magnificent sixteenth century Palazzo Franchetti near Ponte dell’Accademia in Venice. The meeting focused on phenomena that are not part of the traditional narrative of molecular evolution and which might signal a paradigm shift in the field.
He goes on to say, in the Conclusion,
New balance of chance and necessity
It is impossible to deny that our ideas on evolution are shifting from the simple and rigid ‘random mutation–selective fixation’ scheme epitomized in the Modern Synthesis, to a much more complex, nuanced picture. Under the new view, the interplay between stochasticity and adaptive mechanisms is extensive and essential, both in the generation of variation and in the fixation of the changes (Fig 1A; ). The background of random mutations that inevitably occur, during the replication of the genetic material, certainly remains the foundation of the evolutionary process. However, it has become clear that this random background is extensively manipulated, regulated and channelled by various evolvability mechanisms.
The ultimate manifestation of these mechanisms is direct, Lamarckian adaptation through environmentally driven changes in the genome, as in the case of the CRISPRCas system. Conversely, the fixation of mutations includes a significant random component—genetic drift, the intensity of which depends on population dynamics—that, counterintuitively, can lead to the emergence of complex features that superficially seem to be adaptive 
“This random background is extensively manipulated, regulated and channelled by various evolvability mechanisms”? “Lamarckian adaptation”?
The article is paywalled, unfortunately, but you doubtless get the genetic drift.