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  1. added 2020-01-19
    Cultural Replication and Microbial Evolution.Bence Nanay - 2014 - In Gergely Csibra (ed.), Naturalistic Approaches to Culture. Akademiai.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that cultural evolution is in many ways much more similar to microbial than to macrobial biological evolution. As a result, we are better off using microbial evolution as the model of cultural evolution. And this shift from macrobial to microbial entails adjusting the theoretical models we can use for explaining cultural evolution.
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  2. added 2017-08-19
    Four Pillars of Statisticalism.Denis M. Walsh, André Ariew & Mohan Matthen - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (1).
    Over the past fifteen years there has been a considerable amount of debate concerning what theoretical population dynamic models tell us about the nature of natural selection and drift. On the causal interpretation, these models describe the causes of population change. On the statistical interpretation, the models of population dynamics models specify statistical parameters that explain, predict, and quantify changes in population structure, without identifying the causes of those changes. Selection and drift are part of a statistical description of population (...)
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  3. added 2017-01-23
    Drift and Evolutionary Forces: Scrutinizing the Newtonian Analogy.Víctor J. Luque - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (3):397-410.
    This article analyzes the view of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces. The analogy with Newtonian mechanics has been challenged due to the alleged mismatch between drift and the other evolutionary forces. Since genetic drift has no direction several authors tried to protect its status as a force: denying its lack of directionality, extending the notion of force and looking for a force in physics which also lacks of direction. I analyse these approaches, and although this strategy finally succeeds, (...)
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  4. added 2015-03-23
    In Drift Wijsgerig Festival.Deva Waal (ed.) - 2014 - Drift.
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  5. added 2014-03-26
    Random Drift and the Omniscient Viewpoint.Roberta L. Millstein - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):S10-S18.
    Alexander Rosenberg (1994) claims that the omniscient viewpoint of the evolutionary process would have no need for the concept of random drift. However, his argument fails to take into account all of the processes which are considered to be instances of random drift. A consideration of these processes shows that random drift is not eliminable even given a position of omniscience. Furthermore, Rosenberg must take these processes into account in order to support his claims that evolution is deterministic and that (...)
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  6. added 2013-11-28
    Chance and Macroevolution.Roberta L. Millstein - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):603-624.
    When philosophers of physics explore the nature of chance, they usually look to quantum mechanics. When philosophers of biology explore the nature of chance, they usually look to microevolutionary phenomena, such as mutation or random drift. What has been largely overlooked is the role of chance in macroevolution. The stochastic models of paleobiology employ conceptions of chance that are similar to those at the microevolutionary level, yet different from the conceptions of chance often associated with quantum mechanics and Laplacean determinism.
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  7. added 2013-11-03
    Drift: A Historical and Conceptual Overview.Anya Plutynski - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):156-167.
    There are several different ways in which chance affects evolutionary change. That all of these processes are called “random genetic drift” is in part a due to common elements across these different processes, but is also a product of historical borrowing of models and language across different levels of organization in the biological hierarchy. A history of the concept of drift will reveal the variety of contexts in which drift has played an explanatory role in biology, and will shed light (...)
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  8. added 2012-10-15
    On the Possibility of Constructive Neutral Evolution.Arlin Stoltzfus - 1999 - Journal of Molecular Evolution 49 (2):169-181.
    The neutral theory often is presented as a theory of "noise" or silent changes at an isolated "molecular level", relevant to marking the steady pace of divergence, but not to the origin of biological structure, function, or complexity. Nevertheless, precisely these issues can be addressed in neutral models, such as those elaborated here in regard to scrambled ciliate genes, gRNA-mediated RNA editing, the transition from self-splicing to spliceosomal splicing, and the retention of duplicate genes. All of these are instances of (...)
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  9. added 2012-06-07
    Post-Genomic Musings. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2007 - Science 317:1172-1173.
    Everyone in biology keeps predicting that the next few years will bring answers to some of the major open questions in evolutionary biology, but there seems to be disagreement on what, exactly, those questions are. Enthusiasts of the various “-omics” (genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, and even phenomics) believe, as Michael Lynch puts it in the final chapter of The Origins of Genome Architecture, that “we can be confident of two things: the basic theoretical machinery for understanding the evolutionary process is (...)
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  10. added 2010-06-15
    Drift and “Statistically Abstractive Explanation”.Mohan Matthen - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (4):464-487.
    A hitherto neglected form of explanation is explored, especially its role in population genetics. “Statistically abstractive explanation” (SA explanation) mandates the suppression of factors probabilistically relevant to an explanandum when these factors are extraneous to the theoretical project being pursued. When these factors are suppressed, the explanandum is rendered uncertain. But this uncertainty traces to the theoretically constrained character of SA explanation, not to any real indeterminacy. Random genetic drift is an artifact of such uncertainty, and it is therefore wrong (...)
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  11. added 2008-12-31
    The Role of Causal Processes in the Neutral and Nearly Neutral Theories.Michael R. Dietrich & Roberta L. Millstein - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):548-559.
    The neutral and nearly neutral theories of molecular evolution are sometimes characterized as theories about drift alone, where drift is described solely as an outcome, rather than a process. We argue, however, that both selection and drift, as causal processes, are integral parts of both theories. However, the nearly neutral theory explicitly recognizes alleles and/or molecular substitutions that, while engaging in weakly selected causal processes, exhibit outcomes thought to be characteristic of random drift. A narrow focus on outcomes obscures the (...)
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