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Are Random Drift and Natural Selection Conceptually Distinct?

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

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Abstract

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.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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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
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/334

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