Arlin Stoltzfus University of Maryland (system-wide page)
I am an evolutionary biologist with a background in molecular evolution & evolutionary genetics. I believe that evolutionary theory cannot be understood (or improved) without addressing issues that most of my colleagues ignore as belonging to "history" or "philosophy" rather than science. But scientific thinking is a philosophical exercise, and scientific discourse (e.g., on theories) nearly always requires historical interpretation. Philosophers who are interested in evolutionary mechanisms and causal explanations may be interested in my publications on the role of biases in the introduction of variation, which I view as a fundamental concept that (interestingly) is not part of neo-Darwinian thinking. This work includes theory (simulations and mathematics), empirical analysis (sequence divergence), and conceptual analysis. Some of the conceptual analysis shows that evolutionary biologists have been misled by the "forces" view of causation into reasoning incorrectly about the potential for mutation-biased evolution.
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