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Not Just a Theory - The Utility of Mathematical Models in Evolutionary Biology

By: Servedio, Maria R., Brandvain, Yaniv, Dhole, Sumit, Fitzpatrick, Courtney L., Goldberg, Emma E., Stern, Caitlin A., Van Cleve, Jeremy, Yeh, D. Justin
Progress in science often begins with verbal hypotheses meant to explain why certain biological phenomena exist. An important purpose of mathematical models in evolutionary research, as in many other fields, is to act as “proof-of-concept” tests of the logic in verbal explanations, paralleling the way in which empirical data are used to test hypotheses. Because not all subfields of biology use mathematics for this purpose, misunderstandings of the function of proof-of-concept modeling are common. In the hope of facilitating communication, we discuss the role of proof-of-concept modeling in evolutionary biology.
Servedio, Maria R., Brandvain, Yaniv, Dhole, Sumit, Fitzpatrick, Courtney L., Goldberg, Emma E., Stern, Caitlin A., Van Cleve, Jeremy, Yeh, D. Justin, (2014), "Not Just a Theory - The Utility of Mathematical Models in Evolutionary Biology", 12, 12: December, (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002017). Cited by:

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Type Article
Year 2014
Month December
Volume 12
Issue/Number 12
DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002017