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Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution

Reisman, Kenneth and Forber, Patrick (2004) Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution. In: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Evolutionary processes such as natural selection and random drift are commonly regarded as causes of population-level change. We respond to a recent challenge that drift and selection are best understood as statistical trends, not causes. Our reply appeals to manipulation as a strategy for uncovering causal relationships: if you can systematically manipulate variable A to bring about a change in variable B, then A is a cause of B. We argue that selection and drift can be systematically manipulated to produce different kinds of population-level change. They should therefore be regarded as causes.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
    General Issues > Causation
    Conferences and Volumes: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Kenneth Reisman
    Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2004
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:12
    Item ID: 1920
    Public Domain: No
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1920

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