Laws of biological design: A reply to John Beatty

Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):379-389 (2010)
In this paper, I argue against John Beatty’s position in his paper “The Evolutionary Contingency Thesis” by counterexample. Beatty argues that there are no distinctly biological laws because the outcomes of the evolutionary processes are contingent. I argue that the heart of the Caspar–Klug theory of virus structure—that spherical virus capsids consist of 60T subunits (where T = k 2 + hk + h 2 and h and k are integers)—is a distinctly biological law even if the existence of spherical viruses is evolutionarily contingent.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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