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How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact?

Abrams, Marshall (2006) How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact? In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

One controversy about the existence of so called evolutionary forces such as natural selection and random genetic drift concerns the sense in which such "forces" can be said to interact. In this paper I explain how natural selection and random drift can interact. In particular, I show how population-level probabilities can be derived from individual-level probabilities, and explain the sense in which natural selection and drift are embodied in these population-level probabilities. I argue that whatever causal character the individual-level probabilities have is then shared by the population-level probabilities, and that natural selection and random drift then have that same causal character. Moreover, natural selection and drift can then be viewed as two aspects of probability distributions over frequencies in populations of organisms. My characterization of population-level probabilities is largely neutral about what interpretation of probability is required, allowing my approach to support various positions on biological probabilities, including those which give biological probabilities one or another sort of causal character.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Abrams, Marshall
Keywords: "natural selection", fitness, probability, drift
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Marshall Abrams
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:14
Item ID: 3035
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3035

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