Genetic variance–covariance matrices: A critique of the evolutionary quantitative genetics research program
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):1-23 (2006)
This paper outlines a critique of the use of the genetic variance–covariance matrix (G), one of the central concepts in the modern study of natural selection and evolution. Specifically, I argue that for both conceptual and empirical reasons, studies of G cannot be used to elucidate so-called constraints on natural selection, nor can they be employed to detect or to measure past selection in natural populations – contrary to what assumed by most practicing biologists. I suggest that the search for a general solution to the difficult problem of identifying causal structures given observed correlation’s has led evolutionary quantitative geneticists to substitute statistical modeling for the more difficult, but much more valuable, job of teasing apart the many possible causes underlying the action of natural selection. Hence, the entire evolutionary quantitative genetics research program may be in need of a fundamental reconsideration of its goals and how they correspond to the array of mathematical and experimental techniques normally employed by its practitioners
|Keywords||quantitative genetics evolutionary theory G-matrices|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Massimo Pigliucci (2012). On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology. Biological Theory 7 (4):DOI 10.1007/s13752-012-0047-1.
Massimo Pigliucci (2010). Okasha's Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Toward a Broader Conception of Theoretical Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):405-415.
Massimo Pigliucci (2008). The Proper Role of Population Genetics in Modern Evolutionary Theory. Biological Theory 3 (4):316-324.
Massimo Pigliucci (2009). Samir Okasha: Evolution and the Levels of Selection. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):551-560.
Similar books and articles
Sahotra Sarkar (1994). The Selection of Alleles and the Additivity of Variance. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:3 - 12.
Mohan Matthen & Andre Ariew (2005). How to Understand Casual Relations in Natural Selection: Reply to Rosenberg and Bouchard. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):355-364.
John Beatty (1984). Chance and Natural Selection. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
Barbara L. Horan (1994). The Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 61 (1):76-95.
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.
Matthew C. Keller & Geoffrey Miller (2006). Resolving the Paradox of Common, Harmful, Heritable Mental Disorders: Which Evolutionary Genetic Models Work Best? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):385-404.
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.
Massimo Pigliucci & Carl D. Schlichting (1997). On the Limits of Quantitative Genetics for the Study of Phenotypic Evolution. Acta Biotheoretica 45 (2):143-160.
S. J. Steppan, P. C. Phillips & D. Houle (2002). Comparative Quantitative Genetics: Evolution of the G Matrix. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17 (7):320-327.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads689 ( #267 of 1,696,507 )
Recent downloads (6 months)36 ( #8,964 of 1,696,507 )
How can I increase my downloads?