Graduate studies at Western
Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):33-53 (2002)
|Abstract||The latter half of the twentieth century has been marked by debates in evolutionary biology over the relative significance of natural selection and random drift: the so-called “neutralist/selectionist” debates. Yet John Beatty has argued that it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the concept of random drift from the concept of natural selection, a claim that has been accepted by many philosophers of biology. If this claim is correct, then the neutralist/selectionist debates seem at best futile, and at worst, meaningless. I reexamine the issues that Beatty raises, and argue that random drift and natural selection, conceived as processes, can be distinguished from one another.|
|Keywords||Beatty Brandon Carson causal relevance chance conceptual distinction discriminate sampling evolution Hodge indiscriminate sampling natural selection|
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