David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:157 - 173 (1984)
The discussion of Darwinism's past--of what Charles Darwin wrote and thought--is crucial to an understanding of the history and philosophy of biology, but largely irrelevant to assessing its current warrant and its future prospects. In this paper the structure, and the credibility of the theory are defended against a variety of criticisms both of biologists and anti-Darwinians. It is argued that many features of the theory often treated as defects, like its generality and neutrality, its openness to realization at many levels of organization, its lack of specific predictive content, and its anomalous relation to taxonomy, are in fact important strengths that any theory with the range and bearing of the theory of natural selection must have. These strengths are specifically related, in the latter portion of the paper, to the evolutionary discoveries we can expect from the revolutionary developments in molecular biology.
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