Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon’s zero force evolutionary law

Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):723-735 (2012)
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Abstract

In their 2010 book, Biology’s First Law, D. McShea and R. Brandon present a principle that they call ‘‘ZFEL,’’ the zero force evolutionary law. ZFEL says (roughly) that when there are no evolutionary forces acting on a population, the population’s complexity (i.e., how diverse its member organisms are) will increase. Here we develop criticisms of ZFEL and describe a different law of evolution; it says that diversity and complexity do not change when there are no evolutionary causes.

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Author Profiles

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Casey Helgeson
Pennsylvania State University
Trevor Pearce
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
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Citations of this work

Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces.Christopher Hitchcock & Joel D. Velasco - 2014 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1:39-77.
Are natural selection explanatory models a priori?José Díez & Pablo Lorenzano - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):787-809.
Four solutions for four puzzles.Robert N. Brandon & Daniel W. McShea - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):737-744.
Philosophical Issues in Recent Paleontology.Derek D. Turner - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (7):494-505.

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