Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):355-364 (2005)

Mohan Matthen
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Ariew Andre
University of Missouri, Columbia
In “Two Ways of Thinking About Fitness and Natural Selection” (Matthen and Ariew [2002]; henceforth “Two Ways”), we asked how one should think of the relationship between the various factors invoked to explain evolutionary change – selection, drift, genetic constraints, and so on. We suggested that these factors are not related to one another as “forces” are in classical mechanics. We think it incoherent, for instance, to think of natural selection and drift as separate and opposed “forces” in evolutionary change – that it makes sense to say, for instance, that selection contributed 80% to the actual evolutionary history of the human eye, and drift only 20%. We proposed instead a statistical view of the Theory of Evolution, a view in which fitness is not a cause of evolution, but rather a measure of growth. We also argued for a “hierarchical realization model” for thinking about the relationship between evolutionary factors such as those mentioned above, and suggested that in a “fully specified model”, as we call it below, there is no distinction between natural selection and evolution.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-005-5589-1
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References found in this work BETA

The Reduction(?) Of Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics.Lawrence Sklar - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):187 - 202.
At Last: Serious Consideration.David L. Hull, Rodney E. Langman & Sigrid S. Glenn - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):559-569.

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Citations of this work BETA

Four Pillars of Statisticalism.Denis M. Walsh, André Ariew & Mohan Matthen - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (1):1-18.
A Critical Review of the Statisticalist Debate.Jun Otsuka - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):459-482.
What Fitness Can’T Be.André Ariew & Zachary Ernst - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):289-301.
Natural Selection as a Mechanism.D. Benjamin Barros - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):306-322.

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