David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 3 (1):3-28 (1988)
Weak links, in the form of inadequacies in both reasoning and supporting evidence, exist at several critical steps in the derivation of an hierarchical concept of evolution from punctuated equilibria. Punctuation itself is predicated on a distorted reading of phyletic change as phyletic gradualism, and of allopatric speciation as the instantaneous formation of unchanging typological taxa. The concept of punctuation is further confounded by the indescriminate employment of the same term to denote both a causal explanation for evolutionary change and an outcome of substantiated evolutionary processes. Even when the intended usage for the term is specified, each denotation of punctuation entails respective drawbacks. As a causal explanation, punctuation clearly belongs to the class of quantum theories with all their attendant impedimenta, including special salsatory non-adaptive mechanisms of evolutionary change. Redefinition of punctuation as a pattern of morphologic change reduces it to one possible outcome of known microevolutioanry processes, thus obviating any need for an hierarchical explanation of macroevolution. While vacillation between usages has preserved the term in the literature, the end result of this obfuscation has been a circle of faulty reasoning in which the pattern of punctuation is invoked as its own proof. Widespread confusion concerning what constitutes an adequate test of punctuation is directly attributable to imprecision in both the original and revised formulations of the concept.The argument for species-level selection is based on the typological and philosphically flawed premise of species as individuals, and further requires the hypothesis of heritable emergent properties, for which empirical evidence is lacking.
|Keywords||Punctuated equilibria theory hierarchy synthetic theory|
|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
Charles Darwin (1993/1998). The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or, the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Modern Library.
Michael T. Ghiselin (1974). A Radical Solution to the Species Problem. Systematic Zoology 23:536-44.
David Hull (1976). Are Species Really Individuals? Systematic Zoology 25:174-91.
G. G. Simpson (1961). Principles of Animal Taxonomy. Columbia University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rodrick Wallace (2002). Adaptation, Punctuation and Information: A Rate-Distortion Approach to Non-Cognitive 'Learning Plateaus' in Evolutionary Process. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (2).
E. J. Kenney (1982). Trochaic Punctuation. The Classical Review 32 (02):218-.
Paul Thompson (1983). Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Punctuated Equilibria and the Modern Synthetic Theory. Philosophy of Science 50 (3):432 - 452.
Leo K. C. Cheung (1999). The Proofs of the Grundgedanke in Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Synthese 120 (3):395-410.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #189,936 of 1,096,392 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #130,625 of 1,096,392 )
How can I increase my downloads?