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It's Okay to Call Genetic Drift a “Force”

Pence, Charles H. (2012) It's Okay to Call Genetic Drift a “Force”. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    One hotly debated philosophical question in the analysis of evolutionary theory concerns whether or not evolution and the various factors which constitute it (selection, drift, mutation, and so on) may profitably be considered to be “forces” in the traditional, Newtonian sense. Several compelling arguments assert that the force picture is incoherent, due to the peculiar nature of genetic drift. I consider two of those arguments here – that drift lacks a predictable direction, and that drift is constitutive of evolutionary systems – and show that they both fail to demonstrate that a view of genetic drift as a force is untenable.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: evolutionary theory, natural selection, genetic drift, force, causation
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
    General Issues > Causation
    Depositing User: Charles H. Pence
    Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2012 01:07
    Last Modified: 18 Oct 2012 23:55
    Item ID: 9224
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9224

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