Biology and Philosophy (5):1-10 (2017)

Authors
Ehud Lamm
Tel Aviv University
Abstract
Statistical reasoning is an integral part of modern scientific practice. In The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom Stephen Stigler presents seven core ideas, or pillars, of statistical thinking and the historical developments of each of these pillars, many of which were concurrent with developments in biology. Here we focus on Stigler’s fifth pillar, regression, and his discussion of how regression to the mean came to be thought of as a solution to a challenge for the theory of natural selection. Stigler argues that the purely mathematical phenomenon of regression to the mean provides a resolution to a problem for Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Thus, he argues that the resolution to the problem for Darwin’s theory is purely mathematical, rather than causal. We show why this argument is problematic.
Keywords Francis Galton  Regression to the mean  Mathematical explanations  Biology and statistics  Evolution and inheritance
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-017-9582-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,554
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge.Deborah Mayo - 1996 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (1):455-459.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Regression to the Mean: More Than a Statistic.Robert J. Smith - 2005 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 25 (1):106-115.
The Development of Francis Galton's Ideas on the Mechanism of Heredity.Michael Bulmer - 1999 - Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):263 - 292.
Gemmules and Elements: On Darwin’s and Mendel’s Concepts and Methods in Heredity. [REVIEW]Ute Deichmann - 2010 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (1):85-112.
Darwin Was a Teleologist.James G. Lennox - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):409-421.
The Early History of Chance in Evolution.Charles H. Pence - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:48-58.
Understanding Regression.James Woodward - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:255 - 269.
Against Darwinism.Jerry Fodor - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (1):1–24.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-07-19

Total views
31 ( #313,124 of 2,331,147 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #194,946 of 2,331,147 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes