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

Martin Barrett, Hayley Clatterbuck, Michael Goldsby, Casey Helgeson, Brian McLoone, Trevor Pearce, Elliott Sober, Reuben Stern, Naftali Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-735
Number of pages13
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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