Article ID: CBB833496691

Neo-Paleyan biology (2019)


There is a ‘Neo-Paleyan’ tradition in British evolutionary theorising, which began with Darwin and continues to the present day. This tradition conceives of adaptation in terms of design, and it often puts natural selection in the role of an ersatz designer. There are significant disanalogies between Paleyan conceptions of design and modern conceptions of adaptation and selection, which help to explain why the neo-Paleyan programme is sometimes treated with hostility. These general disanalogies do not suffice to dismiss the most interesting forms of recent neo-Paleyanism, which draw on theoretical principles such as Fisher's Fundamental Theorem to ground a general approach to what we can call (following Grafen) the ‘criterion’ of evolutionary design. It is important to distinguish between justifications of this ‘criterion’ and justifications of approaches to nature which presuppose that natural selection produces good designs.

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Authors & Contributors
Shapiro, Adam R.
Gliboff, Sander Joel
Topham, Johnathan R.
Reiss, John O.
Flaherty, Niall O'
Eddy, Matthew D.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Science and Education
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Journal of Biosciences
British Journal for the History of Science
University of California Press
Oxford University Press
Vanderbilt University
Natural theology
Intelligent design (teleology)
Science and religion
Darwin, Charles Robert
Paley, William
Dawkins, Richard
Cuvier, Georges
Darwin, Erasmus
Hume, David
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
20th century, early
Great Britain
United States

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