Philosophy of Science 82 (3):363-382 (2015)

Authors
Devin Gouvêa
University of Chicago
Abstract
Analogies between Newtonian mechanics and evolutionary processes are powerful but not infinitely versatile tools for generating explanations of particular biological phenomena. Their explanatory range is sensitive to a preliminary decision about which processes count as background conditions and which as special forces. Here I argue that the defenders of the zero-force evolutionary law are mistaken in defending their decision as the only appropriate one. The Hardy–Weinberg principle remains a viable option that is consistent with the epistemic role of Newton’s own first law, and the strengths and weaknesses of each analogy are sufficiently distinct to justify their continued coexistence
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DOI 10.1086/681603
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