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What was Fisher’s fundamental theorem of natural selection and what was it for?

Plutynski, A (2005) What was Fisher’s fundamental theorem of natural selection and what was it for? [Preprint]

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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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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Plutynski, Aaplutyns@wustl.edu
Keywords: natural selection, evolution, R. A. Fisher, genetic variance, evolutionary theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: A Plutynski
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 00:38
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 00:38
Item ID: 15310
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2005
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15310

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