Beatty on chance and natural selection

Philosophy of Science 56 (3):484-489 (1989)
In his (1984) John Beatty correctly identifies the issue of the role of chance in evolution as one of the liveliest disputes in evolutionary biology. He argues, on the basis of a carefully articulated example, that "Even on a proper construal of 'natural selection', it is difficult to distinguish between the 'improbable results of natural selection' and evolution by random drift". His other remarks indicate that he is thinking of conceptual as well as practical indistinguishability. In this discussion I take issue with one of the consequences Beatty draws from his example. I argue that the example at most shows that the effects of drift and selection are sometimes difficult to separate in practice, but that the stronger conceptual claim is not warranted. The deeper problems raised by the example are seen to demand causal, rather then conceptual, analysis
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289503
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

123 ( #21,522 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

115 ( #8,349 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.