Prediction in selectionist evolutionary theory

Philosophy of Science 76 (5):889-901 (2009)
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Abstract

Selectionist evolutionary theory has often been faulted for not making novel predictions that are surprising, risky, and correct. I argue that it in fact exhibits the theoretical virtue of predictive capacity in addition to two other virtues: explanatory unification and model fitting. Two case studies show the predictive capacity of selectionist evolutionary theory: parallel evolutionary change in E. coli, and the origin of eukaryotic cells through endosymbiosis.

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Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther
University of California, Santa Cruz

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