, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 723-735
Date: 24 May 2012

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

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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.