Laura Nuño De La Nuño De La Rosa
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Cristina Villegas
Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research
While the notion of chance has been central in discussions over the probabilistic nature of natural selection and genetic drift, its role in the production of variants on which populational sampling takes place has received much less philosophical attention. This article discusses the concept of chance in evolution in the light of contemporary work in evo-devo. We distinguish different levels at which randomness and chance can be defined in this context, and argue that recent research on variability and evolvability demands a causal understanding of variational probabilities under which development acquires a creative, rather than a constraining role in evolution. We then provide a propensity interpretation of variational probabilities that solves a conceptual confusion between causal properties, variational probabilities and extant variation present in the literature, and explore some metaphysical consequences that follow from our interpretation, specifically with regards to the nature of developmental types. 2.1Mutational randomness 2.2Morphological randomness 2.3Adaptive randomness3Variability and Phenotypic Probabilities 3.1The RNA model as a model for evo-devo4Evolvability and the Probability of Evolving5Variational Propensities in Evo-Devo 5.1Individuating variational propensities 5.2Developmental types6Conclusion
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axz048
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References found in this work BETA

Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
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Is Evolvability Evolvable?Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Nature Reviews Genetics 9:75-82.

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