Selection, drift, and the “forces” of evolution

Philosophy of Science 71 (4):550-570 (2004)
Abstract
Recently, several philosophers have challenged the view that evolutionary theory is usefully understood by way of an analogy with Newtonian mechanics. Instead, they argue that evolutionary theory is merely a statistical theory. According to this alternate approach, natural selection and random genetic drift are not even causes, much less forces. I argue that, properly understood, the Newtonian analogy is unproblematic and illuminating. I defend the view that selection and drift are causes in part by attending to a pair of important distinctions—that between process and product and that between natural selection and fitness.
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Tim Lewens (2010). The Natures of Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):313-333.
Trevor Pearce (2012). Philosophy of Biology in the Twenty-First Century. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):312-315.

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