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Paper: What was Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection and what was it for?

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  • Stephan Pickering
    Anya Plutynski, 2006. What was Fisher s fundamental theorem of natural selection and what was it for? Studies in History & Philosophy of Biological &
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2007
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      Anya Plutynski, 2006. What was Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection and what was it for? Studies in History & Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Sciences 37(1):59-82. 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.
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      cf. W.J. Ewens, 1989. An interpretation and proof of the fundamental theory of natural selection. Theoretical Population Biology 36(2):167-180
      S.A. Frank & Montgomery Slatkin, 1992. Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 7(3):92-95
      Sabin Lessard, 1997. Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection revisited. Theoretical Population Biology 52(2):119-136
      STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham
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