Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 723–735

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
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10539-012-9321-7

Cite this article as:
Barrett, M., Clatterbuck, H., Goldsby, M. et al. Biol Philos (2012) 27: 723. doi:10.1007/s10539-012-9321-7

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.

Keywords

Biological lawsCausationComplexityDriftForceHardy–WeinbergStasis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Barrett
    • 1
  • Hayley Clatterbuck
    • 1
  • Michael Goldsby
    • 1
  • Casey Helgeson
    • 1
  • Brian McLoone
    • 1
  • Trevor Pearce
    • 1
  • Elliott Sober
    • 1
  • Reuben Stern
    • 1
  • Naftali Weinberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA