British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (1):143-150 (1999)
|Abstract||natural selection may show why all (most, some) humans have an opposable thumb, but cannot show why any particular human has one, Karen Neander ([1995a], [1995b]) argues that this is false because natural selection is 'cumulative'. It is argued here, on grounds independent of its cumulativity, that selection can explain the characteristics of individual organisms subsequent to the event. The difference of opinion between Sober and his critics turns on an ontological dispute about how organisms are identified and individuated. The assumption that Sober needs to make his point is extraneous to population genetics, and, for this reason, gratuitous.|
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