What is natural selection?

Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):231-246 (2007)
‘Natural selection’ is, it seems, an ambiguous term. It is sometimes held to denote a consequence of variation, heredity, and environment, while at other times as denoting a force that creates adaptations. I argue that the latter, the force interpretation, is a redundant notion of natural selection. I will point to difficulties in making sense of this linguistic practise, and argue that it is frequently at odds with standard interpretations of evolutionary theory. I provide examples to show this; one example involving the relation between adaptations and other traits, and a second involving the relation between selection and drift.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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Denis M. Walsh (2013). Descriptions and Models: Some Responses to Abrams. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):302-308.
Björn Brunnander (2013). Natural Selection and Multiple Realisation: A Closer Look. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):73 - 83.
Marshall Abrams (2013). Populations and Pigeons: Prosaic Pluralism About Evolutionary Causes. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):294-301.
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