Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):33-53 (2002)
The latter half of the twentieth century has been marked by debates in evolutionary biology over the relative significance of natural selection and random drift: the so-called “neutralist/selectionist” debates. Yet John Beatty has argued that it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the concept of random drift from the concept of natural selection, a claim that has been accepted by many philosophers of biology. If this claim is correct, then the neutralist/selectionist debates seem at best futile, and at worst, meaningless. I reexamine the issues that Beatty raises, and argue that random drift and natural selection, conceived as processes, can be distinguished from one another.
|Keywords||Beatty Brandon Carson causal relevance chance conceptual distinction discriminate sampling evolution Hodge indiscriminate sampling natural selection|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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Citations of this work BETA
The Pomp of Superfluous Causes: The Interpretation of Evolutionary Theory.Denis M. Walsh - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (3):281-303.
A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection.Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.
Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection.Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):327-347.
Inscrutability and the Opacity of Natural Selection and Random Genetic Drift: Distinguishing the Epistemic and Metaphysical Aspects.Philippe Huneman - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):491-518.
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