David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):161-191 (1996)
First, a brief history is provided of Popper's views on the status of evolutionary biology as a science. The views of some prominent biologists are then canvassed on the matter of falsifiability and its relation to evolutionary biology. Following that, I argue that Popper's programme of falsifiability does indeed exclude evolutionary biology from within the circumference of genuine science, that Popper's programme is fundamentally incoherent, and that the correction of this incoherence results in a greatly expanded and much more realistic concept of what is empirical, resulting in the inclusion of evolutionary biology. Finally, this expanded concept of empirical is applied to two particular problems in evolutionary biology — viz., the species problem and the debate over the theory of punctuated equilibria — and it is argued that both of them are still mainly metaphysical.
|Keywords||Popper falsifiability evolutionary biology species problem punctuated equilibria|
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References found in this work BETA
Charles Darwin (2008). On the Origin of Species. Oxford University Press.
Karl R. Popper (1972). Objective Knowledge. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
K. R. Popper (1966). Conjectures and Refutations. Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
Citations of this work BETA
Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2015). Practice Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Support in Current Evolutionary Biology. The Case of Phylogeography. Perspectives on Science 23 (3):310-334.
Elena Aronova (2007). Karl Popper and Lamarckism. Biological Theory 2 (1):37-51.
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