Frank, S. A. and Fox, G. A. 2020. The inductive theory of natural selection. Pages 171-193 in The Theory of Evolution, S. M. Scheiner and D. P. Mindell, eds. University of Chicago Press.
The theory of natural selection has two forms. Deductive theory describes how populations change over time. One starts with an initial population and some rules for change. From those assumptions, one calculates the future state of the population. Deductive theory predicts how populations adapt to environmental challenge. Inductive theory describes the causes of change in populations. One starts with a given amount of change. One then assigns different parts of the total change to particular causes. Inductive theory analyzes alternative causal models for how populations have adapted to environmental challenge. This chapter emphasizes the inductive analysis of cause.