Biology and Philosophy 14 (4):481-504 (1999)

Abstract
Karl Popper has been one of the few philosophers of sciences who has influenced scientists. I evaluate Popper's influence on our understanding of evolutionary theory from his earliest publications to the present. Popper concluded that three sorts of statements in evolutionary biology are not genuine laws of nature. I take him to be right on this score. Popper's later distinction between evolutionary theory as a metaphysical research program and as a scientific theory led more than one scientist to misunderstand his position on evolutionary theory as a scientific theory. In his later work Popper also introduced what he took to be improvements of evolutionary theory. Thus far these improvements have had almost no influence on evolutionary biology. I conclude by examining the influence of Popper on the reception of cladistic analysis.
Keywords cladistics  evolutionary theory  Lamarckism  metaphysical research programs  operationalism  Popper  stage laws  tautology  testability
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006554919188
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References found in this work BETA

On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Animal Species and Evolution.Ernst Mayr - 1963 - Belknap of Harvard University Press.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Phylogenetic Systematics.Willi Hennig - 1966 - University of Illinois Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Essentialism, History, and Biological Taxa.Makmiller Pedroso - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):182-190.
Kuhn’s Way.Joseph Agassi - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (3):394-430.
Karl Popper and Lamarckism.Elena Aronova - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (1):37-51.

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