Graduate studies at Western
Biology and Philosophy 24 (1):81-105 (2009)
|Abstract||Can a heritability value tell us something about the weight of genetic versus environmental causes that have acted in the development of a particular individual? Two possible questions arise. Q1: what portion of the phenotype of X is due to its genes and what portion to its environment? Q2: what portion of X’s phenotypic deviation from the mean is a result of its genetic deviation and what portion a result of its environmental deviation? An answer to Q1 provides the full information about X’s development, while an answer to Q2 leaves out a large portion unexplained—that portion which corresponds to the phenotypic mean. Q1 is unanswerable, but I show it is nevertheless legitimate under certain quantitative genetics models. With regard to Q2, opinions in the philosophical and biological literature differ as to its legitimacy. I argue that not only is it legitimate, but in particular, under a few simplifying assumptions, it allows for a quantitative probabilistic answer: for normally distributed quantitative traits with no G-E correlation or statistical G × E interaction, we can assess the probability that X’s genes had a greater effect than its environment on its deviation from the mean population value. This probability is expressed as a function the heritability and the individual’s phenotypic value; we can also provide a quantitative probabilistic answer to Q2 for an arbitrary individual where the probability is a function only of heritability.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Peter Taylor (2010). Three Puzzles and Eight Gaps: What Heritability Studies and Critical Commentaries Have Not Paid Enough Attention To. Biology and Philosophy 25 (1):1-31.
Samir Okasha (2003). The Concept of Group Heritability. Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):445-461.
Massimo Pigliucci & Carl D. Schlichting (1997). On the Limits of Quantitative Genetics for the Study of Phenotypic Evolution. Acta Biotheoretica 45 (2):143-160.
Matteo Mameli (2004). Nongenetic Selection and Nongenetic Inheritance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):35-71.
Daniel Dennett & Christopher Viger, Is Hirsch or Wilson Confused? A Commentary on "The Pitfalls of Heritability ".
Neven Sesardic (1993). Heritability and Causality. Philosophy of Science 60 (3):396-418.
Peter Taylor (2006). Heritability and Heterogeneity: The Limited Relevance of Heritability in Investigating Genetic and Environmental Factors. Biological Theory 1 (2):150-164.
Sidney J. Segalowitz (1999). Why Twin Studies Really Don't Tell Us Much About Human Heritability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):904-905.
Neven Sesardic (2003). Heritability and Indirect Causation. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1002-1014.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #62,831 of 740,021 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,960 of 740,021 )
How can I increase my downloads?