Monte Carlo experiments and the defense of diffusion models in molecular population genetics

Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):339-356 (1996)
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 of the same diffusion model.
Keywords Experimentation  idealization  Monte Carlo methods  neutral theory of molecular evolution
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DOI 10.1007/BF00128786
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References found in this work BETA
Theory and Evidence.Clark Glymour - 1980 - Princeton University Press.
The Origins of the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution.Michael R. Dietrich - 1994 - Journal of the History of Biology 27 (1):21-59.
Theory and Evidence.Isaac Levi & Clark Glymour - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (1):124.

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Citations of this work BETA
Confirmation and Explaining How Possible.Patrick Forber - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (1):32-40.
Why Monte Carlo Simulations Are Inferences and Not Experiments.Claus Beisbart & John D. Norton - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):403-422.
Calibration of Laboratory Models in Population Genetics.Robert A. Skipper - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (4):369-393.
Confirmation and Explaining How Possible.Patrick Forber - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (1):32-40.

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