Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon’s zero force evolutionary law

Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):723-735 (2012)
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Abstract

In their 2010 book, Biology’s First Law, D. McShea and R. Brandon present a principle that they call ‘‘ZFEL,’’ the zero force evolutionary law. ZFEL says (roughly) that when there are no evolutionary forces acting on a population, the population’s complexity (i.e., how diverse its member organisms are) will increase. Here we develop criticisms of ZFEL and describe a different law of evolution; it says that diversity and complexity do not change when there are no evolutionary causes.

Author Profiles

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Casey Helgeson
Pennsylvania State University
Trevor Pearce
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
4 more

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