PhilSci Archive

Are Random Drift and Natural Selection Conceptually Distinct?

Millstein, Roberta L. (2001) Are Random Drift and Natural Selection Conceptually Distinct? [Preprint]


Download (58kB)


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.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Millstein, Roberta L.
Keywords: Beatty, Brandon, Carson, Hodge, causal relevance, chance, conceptual distinction, discriminate sampling, evolution, indiscriminate sampling, natural selection, neutralism, outcome, probability, process, random drift, selectionism, evolution.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Depositing User: Dr. Roberta L. Millstein
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2001
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2015 14:56
Item ID: 334

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item