Wandering drunks and general lawlessness in biology: does diversity and complexity tend to increase in evolutionary systems?

Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):915-933 (2011)
Abstract
Does biology have general laws that apply to all levels of biological organisation, across all evolutionary time? In their book “Biology’s first law: the tendency for diversity and complexity to increase in evolutionary systems” (2010), Daniel McShea and Robert Brandon propose that the most fundamental law of biology is that all levels of biological organisation have an underlying tendency to become more complex and diverse over time. A range of processes, most notably selection, can prevent the expression of this tendency, but they predict that, on average, we should see that lineages tend toward greater diversity and complexity, driven by fundamentally neutral processes. Their hypothesis can be summarised as “diversity is easy, stasis is hard”. Here, I consider evidence for this “zero force evolutionary law”. It provides a fair description of evolutionary change at the genomic level, but the predictions of the proposed law are not met for broad scale patterns in the evolution of the animal kingdom
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,031
External links
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

View all 6 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Lee Mcintyre (1997). Gould on Laws in Biological Science. Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):357-367.
Michel Morange (2010). How Evolutionary Biology Presently Pervades Cell and Molecular Biology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (1):113 - 120.
Alexander Laszlo (2009). The Nature of Evolution. World Futures 65 (3):204 – 221.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-03-09

Total downloads

23 ( #74,862 of 1,101,088 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #59,135 of 1,101,088 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.