Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 723–735

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

Authors

  • Martin Barrett
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Hayley Clatterbuck
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Michael Goldsby
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Casey Helgeson
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Brian McLoone
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Trevor Pearce
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Reuben Stern
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
  • Naftali Weinberger
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Wisconsin
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 laws Causation Complexity Drift Force Hardy–Weinberg Stasis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012