The statistical character of evolutionary theory

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.
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DOI 10.1086/289781
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On Closing the Gap Between Philosophical Concepts and Their Usage in Scientific Practice: A Lesson From the Debate About Natural Selection as Mechanism.Lucas J. Matthews - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 55:21-28.
Genie Selection, Molecular Biology and Biological Instrumentalism.Alex Rosenberg - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):343-362.

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