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The Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series presents:
Charles Darwin: Why Natural Selection Could Not Be at the Explanatory Core of His Theory
Guest Speaker: Prof. Richard Delisle (School of Liberal Education)
Day/Date: Friday, October 18 2019
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Abstract: The notion of “natural selection” appears in the Origin of Species (1859), implicitly or explicitly, on nearly every page. This fact seems to convey definitive support for the received view that Charles Darwin placed it at the explanatory core of a theory of evolution. I will contest this assumption inherited from a “mechanism/causal-centered” view of science. As much as Darwin attributed a role to natural selection, he seriously constrained its explanatory function by enshrining it in a framework that channelled the evolutionary process along a pan-divergent view of evolution.
A more careful reading shows a theory designed to put evolution in a pan-divergent straitjacket, with the dual principle of divergence-gradation at its irrefutable explanatory core, one that is surrounded by a protective belt (Imre Lakatos) of flexible and auxiliary explanatory variables composed of geographical distance, geological time, taxonomic level, and amount of selective pressure.
Everyone is welcome!