Adaptive speciation: The role of natural selection in mechanisms of geographic and non-geographic speciation

Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):303-326 (2005)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recent discussion of mechanism has suggested new approaches to several issues in the philosophy of science, including theory structure, causal explanation, and reductionism. Here, I apply what I take to be the fruits of the 'new mechanical philosophy' to an analysis of a contemporary debate in evolutionary biology about the role of natural selection in speciation. Traditional accounts of that debate focus on the geographic context of genetic divergence--namely, whether divergence in the absence of geographic isolation is possible (or significant). Those accounts are at best incomplete, I argue, because they ignore the mechanisms producing divergence and miss what is at stake in the biological debate. I argue that the biological debate instead concerns the scope of particular speciation mechanisms which assign different roles to natural selection at various stages of divergence. The upshot is a new interpretation of the crux of that debate--namely, whether divergence with gene flow is possible (or significant) and whether the isolating mechanisms producing it are adaptive

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
165 (#75,292)

6 months
15 (#60,349)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jason M. Byron
Duquesne University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations