Explaining drift from a deterministic setting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Drift is often characterized in statistical terms. Yet such a purely statistical characterization is ambiguous for it can accept multiple physical interpretations. Because of this ambiguity it is important to distinguish what sorts of processes can lead to this statistical phenomenon. After presenting a physical interpretation of drift originating from the most popular interpretation of fitness, namely the propensity interpretation, I propose a different one starting from an analysis of the concept of drift made by Godfrey-Smith. Further on, I show how my interpretation relates to previous attempts to make sense of the notion of expected value in deterministic setups. The upshot of my analysis is a physical conception of drift that is compatible with both a deterministic and indeterministic world.
LanguageEnglish
Pages27-38
Number of pages12
JournalBiological theory
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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Physical
Propensity
Fitness
Conception

Keywords

  • determinism
  • drift
  • evolution
  • fitness
  • probabilities

Cite this

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Explaining drift from a deterministic setting. / Bourrat, Pierrick.

In: Biological theory, Vol. 12, No. 1, 03.2017, p. 27-38.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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