Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (1):59-82 (2006)
|Abstract||Fisher’s ‘fundamental theorem of natural selection’ is notoriously abstract, and, no less notoriously, many take it to be false. In this paper, I explicate the theorem, examine the role that it played in Fisher’s general project for biology, and analyze why it was so very fundamental for Fisher. I defend Ewens (1989) and Lessard (1997) in the view that the theorem is in fact a true theorem if, as Fisher claimed, ‘the terms employed’ are ‘used strictly as defined’ (1930, p. 38). Finally, I explain the role that projects such as Fisher’s play in the progress of scientific inquiry.|
|Keywords||fundamental theorem natural selection R. A. Fisher|
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