Philosophy of Science 61 (1):76-95 (1994)

This paper takes a critical look at the idea that evolutionary theory is a statistical theory. It argues that despite the strong instrumental motivation for statistical theories, they are not necessary to explain deterministic systems. Biological evolution is fundamentally a result of deterministic processes. Hence, a statistical theory is not necessary for describing the evolutionary forces of genetic drift and natural selection, nor is it needed for describing the fitness of organisms. There is a computational advantage to the statistical theory of population genetics, but population genetics succeeds only by eliminating causes from its account of evolutionary change.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289781
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,719
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation.Petri Ylikoski - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Helsinki
In What Sense Can There Be Evolution by Natural Selection Without Perfect Inheritance?Pierrick Bourrat - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (1):13-31.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Determinism, Realism, and Probability in Evolutionary Theory.Marcel Weber - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S213-.
What is Drift? A Response to Millstein, Skipper, and Dietrich.Mohan Matthen - 2010 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 2 (20130604).
Fit and Diversity: Explaining Adaptive Evolution.Denis M. Walsh - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (2):280-301.
Quantum Indeterminism and Evolutionary Biology.David N. Stamos - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (2):164-184.


Added to PP index

Total views
58 ( #164,491 of 2,349,661 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #331,294 of 2,349,661 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes