4. In Darwin’s writings (e.g., see Darwin 1859, 131; 1868, 249; 1903, 312), we can distinguish different ways of understanding the notion of “chance variation” (Beatty 1984, 1987, 2006, 2008; Eble 1999; Lennox 2010). According to the most influential and persistent meaning in biology, variations are not caused because they can provide adaptation to the individual organisms concerned and their offspring. In this sense, variations are a matter of chance.


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