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Point of view : Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales [eLIFE]

Keywords : causality, evolution, physiology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional : A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction.(...)

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