Not just a theory--the utility of mathematical models in evolutionary biology.

Abstract:

: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.

journal_name

PLoS Biol

journal_title

PLoS biology

authors

Servedio MR,Brandvain Y,Dhole S,Fitzpatrick CL,Goldberg EE,Stern CA,Van Cleve J,Yeh DJ

doi

10.1371/journal.pbio.1002017

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2014-12-09 00:00:00

pages

e1002017

issue

12

eissn

1544-9173

issn

1545-7885

pii

PBIOLOGY-D-14-03027

journal_volume

12

pub_type

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