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Is the Evolutionary Process Deterministic or Indeterministic? An Argument for Agnosticism

Millstein, Roberta L. (2000) Is the Evolutionary Process Deterministic or Indeterministic? An Argument for Agnosticism. UNSPECIFIED.


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Recently, philosophers of biology have debated the status of the evolutionary process: is it deterministic or indeterministic? I argue that there is insufficient reason to favor one side of the debate over the other, and that a more philosophically defensible position argues neither for the determinacy nor for the indeterminacy of the evolutionary process. In other words, I maintain that the appropriate stand to take towards the question of the determinism of the evolutionary process is agnosticism. I then suggest that an examination of the phenomenon of developmental noise might yield a solution to the problem.

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Item Type: Other
Millstein, Roberta L.
Additional Information: Presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association Vancouver, Canada, November 2000
Keywords: determinism, indeterminism, evolution, probability
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Depositing User: Dr. Roberta L. Millstein
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2009
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:17
Item ID: 4544

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