The indeterministic character of evolutionary theory: No "no hidden variables proof" but no room for determinism either
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 63 (3):315-337 (1996)
In this paper we first briefly review Bell's (1964, 1966) Theorem to see how it invalidates any deterministic "hidden variable" account of the apparent indeterminacy of quantum mechanics (QM). Then we show that quantum uncertainty, at the level of DNA mutations, can "percolate" up to have major populational effects. Interesting as this point may be it does not show any autonomous indeterminism of the evolutionary process. In the next two sections we investigate drift and natural selection as the locus of autonomous biological indeterminacy. Here we conclude that the population-level indeterminacy of natural selection and drift are ultimately based on the assumption of a fundamental indeterminacy at the level of the lives and deaths of individual organisms. The following section examines this assumption and defends it from the determinists' attack. Then we show that, even if one rejects the assumption, there is still an important reason why one might think evolutionary theory (ET) is autonomously indeterministic. In the concluding section we contrast the arguments we have mounted against a deterministic hidden variable account of ET with the proof of the impossibility of such an account of QM
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Charles H. Pence (forthcoming). Is Genetic Drift a Force? Synthese:1-22.
Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein (2005). Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.
Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein (2005). Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):327-347.
Lane DesAutels (2015). Toward a Propensity Interpretation of Stochastic Mechanism for the Life Sciences. Synthese 192 (9):2921-2953.
Grant Ramsey (forthcoming). The Causal Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
Similar books and articles
Bruce Glymour (2001). Selection, Indeterminism, and Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 68 (4):518-535.
Marcel Weber (2005). Indeterminism in Neurobiology. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):663-674.
Barbara L. Horan (1994). The Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 61 (1):76-95.
Frank Arntzenius (1994). Relativistic Hidden Variable Theories? Erkenntnis 41 (2):207 - 231.
Robert C. Bishop (2006). Determinism and Indeterminism. In Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Second Edition. 29-35.
Ingemar Nordin (1979). Determinism and Locality in Quantum Mechanics. Synthese 42 (1):71 - 90.
Roberta L. Millstein, Is the Evolutionary Process Deterministic or Indeterministic? An Argument for Agnosticism.
Roberta L. Millstein (2003). Interpretations of Probability in Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1317-1328.
Leslie Graves, Barbara L. Horan & Alex Rosenberg (1999). Is Indeterminism the Source of the Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory? Philosophy of Science 66 (1):140-157.
David N. Stamos (2001). Quantum Indeterminism and Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 68 (2):164-184.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads70 ( #51,542 of 1,777,777 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #206,198 of 1,777,777 )
How can I increase my downloads?