Biology and Philosophy 30 (3):423-437 (2015)

Eugene Earnshaw
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
The Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium has been argued by Sober, Stephens and others to represent the zero-force state for evolutionary biology understood as a theory of forces. I investigate what it means for a model to involve forces, developing an explicit account by defining what the zero-force state is in a general theoretical context. I use this account to show that Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium is not the zero-force state in biology even in the contexts in which it applies, and argue based on this that drift should not be understood as an evolutionary force
Keywords Evolution  Natural selection  Forces  Zero-force state  Philosophy of biology  Evolutionary theory  Drift  Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium  Philosophy of science
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-014-9464-9
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