The difference between selection and drift: A reply to Millstein [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):153-170 (2005)
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Abstract

Millstein [Bio. Philos. 17 (2002) 33] correctly identies a serious problem with the view that natural selection and random drift are not conceptually distinct. She offers a solution to this problem purely in terms of differences between the processes of selection and drift. I show that this solution does not work, that it leaves the vast majority of real biological cases uncategorized. However, I do think there is a solution to the problem she raises, and I offer it here. My solution depends on solving the biological analogue of the reference class problem in probability theory and on the reality of individual fitnesses.

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Robert Brandon
Duke University

Citations of this work

Not a sure thing: Fitness, probability, and causation.Denis M. Walsh - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):147-171.
A critical review of the statisticalist debate.Jun Otsuka - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):459-482.
Really Statistical Explanations and Genetic Drift.Marc Lange - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):169-188.
The Principle of Drift.Robert N. Brandon - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (7):319-335.
Natural selection and the reference grain problem.Pierrick Bourrat - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 80:1-8.

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References found in this work

The Structure of Biological Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1985 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The taming of chance.Ian Hacking - 1990 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The theory of probability.Hans Reichenbach - 1949 - Berkeley,: University of California Press.

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