Drift and evolutionary forces: scrutinizing the Newtonian analogy


Authors
Victor J. Luque
University of Valencia
Abstract
This article analyzes the view of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces. The analogy with Newtonian mechanics has been challenged due to the alleged mismatch between drift and the other evolutionary forces. Since genetic drift has no direction several authors tried to protect its status as a force: denying its lack of directionality, extending the notion of force and looking for a force in physics which also lacks of direction. I analyse these approaches, and although this strategy finally succeeds, this discussion overlooks the crucial point on the debate between causalists and statisticalists: the causal status of evolutionary theory.
Keywords Evolutionary forces  causation in Biology  Genetic drift  Newtonian analogies  Brownian motion
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ISBN(s) 0495-4548  
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References found in this work BETA

The Nature of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process.Roberta L. Millstein - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.

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