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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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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
Pence, Charles
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 05:07
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2012 03:55
Item ID: 9224

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