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  1. Jonathan Birch (2014). Gene Mobility and the Concept of Relatedness. Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):445-476.
    Cooperation is rife in the microbial world, yet our best current theories of the evolution of cooperation were developed with multicellular animals in mind. Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness is an important case in point: applying the theory in a microbial setting is far from straightforward, as social evolution in microbes has a number of distinctive features that the theory was never intended to capture. In this article, I focus on the conceptual challenges posed by the project of extending Hamilton’s (...)
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  2. Lindell Bromham (2009). Does Nothing in Evolution Make Sense Except in the Light of Population Genetics? Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):387-403.
    “ The Origins of Genome Architecture ” by Michael Lynch (2007) may not immediately sound like a book that someone interested in the philosophy of biology would grab off the shelf. But there are three important reasons why you should read this book. Firstly, if you want to understand biological evolution, you should have at least a passing familiarity with evolutionary change at the level of the genome. This is not to say that everyone interested in evolution should be a (...)
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  3. Brian Charlesworth (1998). Principles of Population Genetics. 3rd Edition (1993-Re-Issued 1997). By Daniel L. Hartl and Andrew G. Clark. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer 519 Pp. [REVIEW] Bioessays 20 (12):1055-1055.
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  4. James F. Crow (1987). Muller, Dobzhansky, and Overdominance. Journal of the History of Biology 20 (3):351 - 380.
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  5. Michael R. Dietrich (1996). Monte Carlo Experiments and the Defense of Diffusion Models in Molecular Population Genetics. Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):339-356.
    In the 1960s molecular population geneticists used Monte Carlo experiments to evaluate particular diffusion equation models. In this paper I examine the nature of this comparative evaluation and argue for three claims: first, Monte Carlo experiments are genuine experiments: second, Monte Carlo experiments can provide an important meansfor evaluating the adequacy of highly idealized theoretical models; and, third, the evaluation of the computational adequacy of a diffusion model with Monte Carlo experiments is significantlydifferent from the evaluation of the emperical adequacy (...)
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  6. A. W. F. Edwards (2006). Fisher, Demetrius and Wright: Contending Models. Bioessays 28 (4):440-440.
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  7. A. W. F. Edwards (2003). Human Genetic Diversity: Lewontin's Fallacy. Bioessays 25 (8):798-801.
    In popular articles that play down the genetical differences among human populations, it is often stated that about 85% of the total genetical variation is due to individual differences within populations and only 15% to differences between populations or ethnic groups. It has therefore been proposed that the division of Homo sapiens into these groups is not justified by the genetic data. This conclusion, due to R.C. Lewontin in 1972, is unwarranted because the argument ignores the fact that most of (...)
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  8. Peter Gildenhuys (2009). An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
    Among philosophers, controversy over the notion of drift in population genetics is ongoing. This is at least partly because the notion of drift has an ambiguous usage among population geneticists. My goal in this paper is to explicate the causal dimension of drift, to say what causal influences are responsible for the stochasticity in population genetics models. It is commonplace for population genetics to oppose the influence of selection to that of drift, and to consider how the dynamics of populations (...)
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  9. Bruce Glymour (2006). Wayward Modeling: Population Genetics and Natural Selection. Philosophy of Science 73 (4):369-389.
    Since the introduction of mathematical population genetics, its machinery has shaped our fundamental understanding of natural selection. Selection is taken to occur when differential fitnesses produce differential rates of reproductive success, where fitnesses are understood as parameters in a population genetics model. To understand selection is to understand what these parameter values measure and how differences in them lead to frequency changes. I argue that this traditional view is mistaken. The descriptions of natural selection rendered by population genetics models are (...)
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  10. Nigel C. Hughes (2007). Strength in Numbers: High Phenotypic Variance in Early Cambrian Trilobites and its Evolutionary Implications. Bioessays 29 (11):1081-1084.
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  11. Simon M. Huttegger (2013). Probe and Adjust. Biological Theory 8 (2):195-200.
    How can players reach a Nash equilibrium? I offer one possible explanation in terms of a low-rationality learning method called probe and adjust by proving that it converges to strict Nash equilibria in an important class of games. This demonstrates that decidedly limited learning methods can support Nash equilibrium play.
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  12. Luba Kalaydjieva, Bharti Morar, Raphaelle Chaix & Hua Tang (2005). A Newly Discovered Founder Population: The Roma/Gypsies. Bioessays 27 (10):1084-1094.
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  13. James G. Lennox (1991). Commentary on Byerly and Michod. Biology and Philosophy 6 (1):33-37.
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  14. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1984). A Semantic Approach to the Structure of Population Genetics. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):242-264.
    A precise formulation of the structure of modern evolutionary theory has proved elusive. In this paper, I introduce and develop a formal approach to the structure of population genetics, evolutionary theory's most developed sub-theory. Under the semantic approach, used as a framework in this paper, presenting a theory consists in presenting a related family of models. I offer general guidelines and examples for the classification of population genetics models; the defining features of the models are taken to be their state (...)
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  15. David Magnus (1998). Evolution Without Change in Gene Frequencies. Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):255-261.
    Biologists often define evolution as a change in allele frequencies. Consideration of the evolution of the pocket mouse will show that it is possible to have evolution without any change in the allele frequencies in a population (through change in the genotype frequencies). The implications of this for genic selectionism are then discussed. Sober and Lewontin (1982) have constructed an example to demonstrate the blindness of genic selectionism in certain cases. Sterelny and Kitcher (1988) offer a defense against these arguments (...)
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  16. Mohan Matthen (2009). Drift and “Statistically Abstractive Explanation”. Philosophy of Science 76 (4):464-487.
    A hitherto neglected form of explanation is explored, especially its role in population genetics. “Statistically abstractive explanation” (SA explanation) mandates the suppression of factors probabilistically relevant to an explanandum when these factors are extraneous to the theoretical project being pursued. When these factors are suppressed, the explanandum is rendered uncertain. But this uncertainty traces to the theoretically constrained character of SA explanation, not to any real indeterminacy. Random genetic drift is an artifact of such uncertainty, and it is therefore wrong (...)
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  17. Mohan Matthen & André Ariew (2009). Selection and Causation. Philosophy of Science 76 (2):201-224.
    We have argued elsewhere that: (A) Natural selection is not a cause of evolution. (B) A resolution-of-forces (or vector addition) model does not provide us with a proper understanding of how natural selection combines with other evolutionary influences. These propositions have come in for criticism recently, and here we clarify and defend them. We do so within the broad framework of our own “hierarchical realization model” of how evolutionary influences combine.
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  18. Mohan Matthen & André Ariew (2002). Two Ways of Thinking About Fitness and Natural Selection. Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):55-83.
    How do fitness and natural selection relate to other evolutionary factors like architectural constraint, mode of reproduction, and drift? In one way of thinking, drawn from Newtonian dynamics, fitness is one force driving evolutionary change and added to other factors. In another, drawn from statistical thermodynamics, it is a statistical trend that manifests itself in natural selection histories. It is argued that the first model is incoherent, the second appropriate; a hierarchical realization model is proposed as a basis for a (...)
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  19. Roberta L. Millstein & Robert A. Skipper (2007). Population Genetics. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
    Population genetics attempts to measure the influence of the causes of evolution, viz., mutation, migration, natural selection, and random genetic drift, by understanding the way those causes change the genetics of populations. But how does it accomplish this goal? After a short introduction, we begin in section (2) with a brief historical outline of the origins of population genetics. In section (3), we sketch the model theoretic structure of population genetics, providing the flavor of the ways in which population genetics (...)
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  20. Margaret Morrison (2004). Population Genetics and Population Thinking: Mathematics and the Role of the Individual. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1189-1200.
    Ernst Mayr has criticised the methodology of population genetics for being essentialist: interested only in “types” as opposed to individuals. In fact, he goes so far as to claim that “he who does not understand the uniqueness of individuals is unable to understand the working of natural selection” (1982, 47). This is a strong claim indeed especially since many responsible for the development of population genetics (especially Fisher, Haldane, and Wright) were avid Darwinians. In order to unravel this apparent incompatibility (...)
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  21. Margaret Morrison (2002). Modelling Populations: Pearson and Fisher on Mendelism and Biometry. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):39-68.
    The debate between the Mendelians and the (largely Darwinian) biometricians has been referred to by R. A. Fisher as ‘one of the most needless controversies in the history of science’ and by David Hull as ‘an explicable embarrassment’. The literature on this topic consists mainly of explaining why the controversy occurred and what factors prevented it from being resolved. Regrettably, little or no mention is made of the issues that figured in its resolution. This paper deals with the latter topic (...)
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  22. Catherine Nash (2006). Mapping Origins : Race and Relatedness in Population Genetics and Genetic Genealogy. In Paul Atkinson (ed.), New Genetics, New Indentities. Routledge.
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  23. Maarten Nauta (1996). Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory. Selected Papers. Acta Biotheoretica 44 (1).
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  24. Jay Odenbaugh (2006). The Strategy of “the Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology”. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):607-621.
    In this essay, I argue for four related claims. First, Richard Levins’ classic “The Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology” was a statement and defense of theoretical population biology growing out of collaborations between Robert MacArthur, Richard Lewontin, E. O. Wilson, and others. Second, I argue that the essay served as a response to the rise of systems ecology especially as pioneered by Kenneth Watt. Third, the arguments offered by Levins against systems ecology and in favor of his own (...)
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  25. Samir Okasha, Population Genetics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  26. Massimo Pigliucci (2008). The Proper Role of Population Genetics in Modern Evolutionary Theory. Biological Theory 3 (4):316-324.
    Evolutionary biology is a field currently animated by much discussion concerning its conceptual foundations. On the one hand, we have supporters of a classical view of evolutionary theory, whose backbone is provided by population genetics and the so-called Modern Synthesis (MS). On the other hand, a number of researchers are calling for an Extended Synthe- sis (ES) that takes seriously both the limitations of the MS (such as its inability to incorporate developmental biology) and recent empirical and theoretical research on (...)
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  27. Massimo Pigliucci (2004). Studying Mutational Effects on G-Matrices. In M. Pigliucci K. Preston (ed.), The Evolutionary Biology of Complex Phenotypes.
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  28. Anya Plutynski (2006). Strategies of Model Building in Population Genetics. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):755-764.
    In 1966, Richard Levins argued that there are different strategies in model building in population biology. In this paper, I reply to Orzack and Sober's (1993) critiques of Levins and argue that his views on modeling strategies apply also in the context of evolutionary genetics. In particular, I argue that there are different ways in which models are used to ask and answer questions about the dynamics of evolutionary change, prospectively and retrospectively, in classical versus molecular evolutionary genetics. Further, I (...)
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  29. Anya Plutynski (2006). Strategies of Model Building in Population Genetics. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):755-764.
    In 1966, Richard Levins argued that there are different strategies in model building in population biology. In this paper, I reply to Orzack and Sober’s (1993) critiques of Levins, and argue that his views on modeling strategies apply also in the context of evolutionary genetics. In particular, I argue that there are different ways in which models are used to ask and answer questions about the dynamics of evolutionary change, prospectively and retrospectively, in classical versus molecular evolutionary genetics. Further, I (...)
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  30. Anya Plutynski (2005). Explanatory Unification and the Early Synthesis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):595-609.
    The object of this paper is to reply to Morrison's ([2000]) claim that while ‘structural unity’ was achieved at the level of the mathematical models of population genetics in the early synthesis, there was explanatory disunity. I argue to the contrary, that the early synthesis effected by the founders of theoretical population genetics was unifying and explanatory both. Defending this requires a reconsideration of Morrison's notion of explanation. In Morrison's view, all and only answers to ‘why’ questions which include the (...)
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  31. Anya Plutynski (2004). Explanation in Classical Population Genetics. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1201-1214.
    The recent literature in philosophy of biology has drawn attention to the different sorts of explanations proffered in the biological sciences—we have molecular, biomedical, and evolutionary explanations. Do these explanations all have a common structure or relation that they seek to capture? This paper will answer in the negative. I defend a pluralistic and pragmatic approach to explanation. Using examples from classical population genetics, I argue that formal demonstrations, and even strictly “mathematical truths,” may serve as explanatory in different historical (...)
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  32. Xavier de Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos (2012). The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11 - 27.
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different "degrees of contingency". We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative (...)
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  33. DavidWÿss Rudge (1999). Taking the Peppered Moth with a Grain of Salt. Biology and Philosophy 14 (1).
    H. B. D. Kettlewell's (1955, 1956) classic field experiments on industrial melanism in polluted and unpolluted settings using the peppered moth, Biston betularia, are routinely cited as establishing that the melanic (dark) form of the moth rose in frequency downwind of industrial centers because of the cryptic advantage dark coloration provides against visual predators in soot-darkened environments. This paper critiques three common myths surrounding these investigations: (1) that Kettlewell used a model that identified crypsis as the only selective force responsible (...)
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  34. James Schwartz (2002). Population Genetics and Sociobiology: Conflicting Views of Evolution. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 45 (2):224-240.
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  35. Robert A. Skipper (2004). Calibration of Laboratory Models in Population Genetics. Perspectives on Science 12 (4):369-393.
    : This paper explores the calibration of laboratory models in population genetics as an experimental strategy for justifying experimental results and claims based upon them following Franklin (1986, 1990) and Rudge (1996, 1998). The analysis provided undermines Coyne et al.'s (1997) critique of Wade and Goodnight's (1991) experimental study of Wright's (1931, 1932) Shifting Balance Theory. The essay concludes by further demonstrating how this analysis bears on Diamond's (1986) claims regarding the weakness of laboratory experiments as evidence, and further how (...)
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  36. Robert A. Skipper (2002). The Persistence of the R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wright Controversy. Biology and Philosophy 17 (3):341-367.
    This paper considers recent heated debates led by Jerry A. Coyne andMichael J. Wade on issues stemming from the 1929–1962 R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wrightcontroversy in population genetics. William B. Provine once remarked that theFisher-Wright controversy is central, fundamental, and very influential.Indeed,it is also persistent. The argumentative structure of therecent (1997–2000) debates is analyzed with the aim of eliminating a logicalconflict in them, viz., that the two sides in the debates havedifferent aims and that, as such, they are talking past each other. (...)
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  37. Ralf J. Sommer (2007). Population Genetics Meets Development Tinkering: The Microevolution of Development. (2007). Novartis Foundation. Wiley & Sons. 270 Pp. ISBN 9780470034293. [REVIEW] Bioessays 29 (10):1062-1063.
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  38. Michael J. Wade, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Aneil F. Agrawal & Charles J. Goodnight (2001). Alternative Definitions of Epistasis: Dependence and Interaction. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16 (9):498-504.
    Although epistasis is at the center of the Fisher-Wright debate, biologists not involved in the controversy are often unaware that there are actually two different formal definitions of epistasis. We compare concepts of genetic independence in the two theoretical traditions of evolutionary genetics, population genetics and quantitative genetics, and show how independence of gene action (represented by the multiplicative model of population genetics) can be different from the absence of gene interaction (represented by the linear additive model of quantitative genetics). (...)
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  39. Günter P. Wagner (2007). How Wide and How Deep is the Divide Between Population Genetics and Developmental Evolution? Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):145-153.
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  40. Gerhard D. Wassermann (1978). Testability of the Role of Natural Selection Within Theories of Population Genetics and Evolution. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 29 (3):223-242.
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  41. Heather Widdows (2011). Localized Past, Globalized Future: Towards an Effective Bioethical Framework Using Examples From Population Genetics and Medical Tourism. Bioethics 25 (2):83-91.
    This paper suggests that many of the pressing dilemmas of bioethics are global and structural in nature. Accordingly, global ethical frameworks are required which recognize the ethically significant factors of all global actors. To this end, ethical frameworks must recognize the rights and interests of both individuals and groups (and the interrelation of these). The paper suggests that the current dominant bioethical framework is inadequate to this task as it is over-individualist and therefore unable to give significant weight to the (...)
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  42. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2014). The Genetic Reification of 'Race'? A Story of Two Mathematical Methods. Critical Philosophy of Race 2 (2):204-223.
    Two families of mathematical methods lie at the heart of investigating the hierarchical structure of genetic variation in Homo sapiens: /diversity partitioning/, which assesses genetic variation within and among pre-determined groups, and /clustering analysis/, which simultaneously produces clusters and assigns individuals to these “unsupervised” cluster classifications. While mathematically consistent, these two methodologies are understood by many to ground diametrically opposed claims about the reality of human races. Moreover, modeling results are sensitive to assumptions such as preexisting theoretical commitments to certain (...)
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  43. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2011). ¿La Cosificación Genética de la 'Raza'? Un Análisis Crítico. In Carlos López-Beltrán (ed.), Genes (&) mestizos. Genómica y raza en la biomedicina mexicana.