A Darwinian Dream: On Time, Levels, and Processes in Evolution


The core, new idea of Darwinism is that natural selection over heritable blind variation provides a naturalistic explanation for adaptation. Challengers to current evolutionary theory target this core idea. In this contribution, I recast pro and con arguments. I argue that Darwinian explanations of adaptation require decoupling times and levels of development and selection, and that modern challengers call this decoupling into question. This provides a sharp, salient articulation between current evolutionary theory and challenging developments. I argue that decoupling should not be abandoned lightly, but speculate that non-decoupling (entanglement) may lead to a new vision of evolution.

Evolutionary Causation. Biological and Philosophical Reflections, edited by Tobias Uller and Kevin N. Laland. Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology. Boston: MIT Press
Arnaud Pocheville
Arnaud Pocheville
CNRS researcher