David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Joe Cain & Michael Ruse (eds.), Descended from Darwin: Insights into the History of Evolutionary Studies, 1900-1970. American Philosophical Society (2009)
Recently, much philosophical discussion has centered on the best way to characterize the concepts of random drift and natural selection, and, in particular, whether selection and drift can be conceptually distinguished (Beatty, 1984; Brandon, 2005; Hodge, 1983, 1987; Millstein, 2002, 2005; Pfeifer, 2005; Shanahan, 1992; Stephens, 2004). These authors all contend, to a greater or lesser degree, that their concepts make sense of biological practice. So it should be instructive to see how the concepts of drift and selection were distinguished by the disputants in a high-profile debate; debates such as these often force biologists to take a more philosophical turn, discussing the concepts at issue in greater detail than usual. Moreover, it is important to consider a debate where the disputants are actually trying to apply the models of population genetics to natural populations; only then can their proper interpretations become fully apparent. (Indeed, I contend that some of the philosophical confusion has arisen because authors have considered only the models themselves, and not the phenomena that the models are attempting to represent). A prime candidate for just such a case study is what Provine (1986) has termed “The Great Snail Debate,” that is, the debates over the highly polymorphic land snails Cepaea nemoralis and C. hortensis in the 1950s and early 1960s. These studies represent one of the best, if not the best, of the early attempts to demonstrate drift in natural populations.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Roberta L. Millstein (2013). Exploring the Status of Population Genetics: The Role of Ecology. Biological Theory 7 (4):346-357.
Similar books and articles
Robert N. Brandon (2005). The Difference Between Selection and Drift: A Reply to Millstein. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):153-170.
Denis M. Walsh, Andre Ariew & Tim Lewens (2002). The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):452-473.
Mohan Matthen (2010). What is Drift? A Response to Millstein, Skipper, and Dietrich. Philosophy and Theory in Biology 2 (20130604).
Roberta L. Millstein (2002). Are Random Drift and Natural Selection Conceptually Distinct? Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):33-53.
Peter Gildenhuys (2009). An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
Roberta L. Millstein (2005). Selection Vs. Drift: A Response to Brandon's Reply. Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):171-175.
Roberta L. Millstein (2008). Distinguishing Drift and Selection Empirically: "The Great Snail Debate" of the 1950s. Journal of the History of Biology 41 (2):339-367.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads72 ( #43,141 of 1,724,771 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #55,947 of 1,724,771 )
How can I increase my downloads?