Authors
Marshall Abrams
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Abstract
Pseudorandom number generating algorithms play crucial roles in computer modeling and statistical modeling, but they have received little attention from philosophers of science. I revisit an argument that the success of practices in evolutionary biology using such algorithms in computer simulations provides evidence that evolutionary processes incorporate objective probabilities. I discuss the kind of stochasticity that pseudorandom number generators provide--what I call "pseudochance"--and argue that the argument from simulation practice, as well as other arguments, supports the view that evolutionary processes incorporate pseudochance. I suggest that similar arguments might be given in other domains of science.
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