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Natural Selection as a Cause: Probability, Chance, and Selective Biases.

Longy, Françoise (2008) Natural Selection as a Cause: Probability, Chance, and Selective Biases. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

To what do "natural selection" and "genetic drift" refer? To causes, as is usually thought? Or to mere statistical effects? The question arises because assessing causes faces specific difficulties when stochastic processes are concerned. In this paper, I establish that a central anti-causalist argument from Matthen and Ariew (2002) does not work, because selection doesn't depend on chance (or unknown factors) in the manner that current analogies with games of chance suggest. I then explain how a clear understanding of how chance and biases are involved in natural selection supports one form of causalism, while every other form has indeed to be rejected.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
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Longy, Françoise
Keywords: Natural selection, genetic drift, probability, selective factor, chance, biased chance, cause of evolution, interpretation of the theory of evolution
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Causation
Depositing User: Françoise Longy
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:17
Item ID: 4290
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4290

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