Skip to main content
Journal cover image
Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology: Volume I

THE INDETERMINISTIC CHARACTER OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: NO "NO HIDDEN VARIABLES PROOF" BUT NO ROOM FOR DETERMINISM EITHER

Publication ,  Chapter
Brandon, RN; Carson, S
January 1, 2017

ET is also apparently indeterministic; certainly the best and most influential treatments of the probabilistic nature of ET have drawn this conclusion (Beatty 1984, Sober 1984, Richardson and Burian 1992). Moreover, the propensity interpretation of fitness (Brandon 1978, 1990; Brandon and Beatty 1984; Burian 1983; Mills and Beatty 1979; Richardson and Burian 1992), which has been accepted by most philosophers of biology and many working evolutionary biologists, presupposes that natural selection is fundamentally probabilistic. Recently, however, two philosophers, Rosenberg (1988, 1994) and Horan (1994), have questioned this conclusion. They have argued that the statistical character of evolutionary theory is best viewed instrumentally, i.e., that the probabilities involved in evolutionary theory are epistemic-they reflect our ignorance-and that if we were smarter and/or if we had different aims, evolutionary theory could be recast as a purely deterministic theory. In other words they argue that the process of evolution is deterministic while, for various reasons, our best theory of evolution is indeterministic. This is exactly the sort of position that has been ruled out in QM by Bell's Theorem (Bell 1964, 1966). We want to show that it is also ruled out in ET, though in a less decisive way.

Duke Scholars

ISBN

9780754627531

Publication Date

January 1, 2017

Start / End Page

213 / 236
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
NLM
Brandon, R. N., & Carson, S. (2017). THE INDETERMINISTIC CHARACTER OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: NO "NO HIDDEN VARIABLES PROOF" BUT NO ROOM FOR DETERMINISM EITHER. In Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology: Volume I (pp. 213–236).
Brandon, R. N., and S. Carson. “THE INDETERMINISTIC CHARACTER OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: NO "NO HIDDEN VARIABLES PROOF" BUT NO ROOM FOR DETERMINISM EITHER.” In Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology: Volume I, 213–36, 2017.
Brandon RN, Carson S. THE INDETERMINISTIC CHARACTER OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: NO "NO HIDDEN VARIABLES PROOF" BUT NO ROOM FOR DETERMINISM EITHER. In: Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology: Volume I. 2017. p. 213–36.
Brandon, R. N., and S. Carson. “THE INDETERMINISTIC CHARACTER OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: NO "NO HIDDEN VARIABLES PROOF" BUT NO ROOM FOR DETERMINISM EITHER.” Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology: Volume I, 2017, pp. 213–36.
Brandon RN, Carson S. THE INDETERMINISTIC CHARACTER OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: NO "NO HIDDEN VARIABLES PROOF" BUT NO ROOM FOR DETERMINISM EITHER. Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology: Volume I. 2017. p. 213–236.
Journal cover image

ISBN

9780754627531

Publication Date

January 1, 2017

Start / End Page

213 / 236