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How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact?

Abrams, Marshall (2006) How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact? In: [2006] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 20th Biennial Mtg (Vancouver) > PSA 2006 Contributed Papers.

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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)
    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
    Conferences and Volumes: [2006] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 20th Biennial Mtg (Vancouver) > PSA 2006 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Marshall Abrams
    Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2006
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:14
    Item ID: 3035
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3035

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