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  1. W.F.R. Weldon changes his mind.Charles H. Pence - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-20.
    A recent debate over the causal foundations of evolutionary theory pits those who believe that natural selection causally explains long-term, adaptive population change against those who do not. In this paper, I argue that this debate – far from being an invention of several articles in 2002 – dates from our very first engagements with evolution as a quantified, statistical science. Further, when we analyze that history, we see that a pivotal figure in the early use of statistical methodology in (...)
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  • Beyond Mendelism and Biometry.Yafeng Shan - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89:155-163.
    Historiographical analyses of the development of genetics in the first decade of the 20th century have been to a great extent framed in the context of the Mendelian-Biometrician controversy. Much has been discussed on the nature, origin, development, and legacy of the controversy. However, such a framework is becoming less useful and fruitful. This paper challenges the traditional historiography framed by the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction. It argues that the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction fails to reflect the theoretical and methodological diversity in the controversy. (...)
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  • The Early History of Chance in Evolution.Charles H. Pence - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:48-58.
    Work throughout the history and philosophy of biology frequently employs ‘chance’, ‘unpredictability’, ‘probability’, and many similar terms. One common way of understanding how these concepts were introduced in evolution focuses on two central issues: the first use of statistical methods in evolution (Galton), and the first use of the concept of “objective chance” in evolution (Wright). I argue that while this approach has merit, it fails to fully capture interesting philosophical reflections on the role of chance expounded by two of (...)
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  • Physics in the Galtonian Sciences of Heredity.Gregory Radick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):129-138.
    Physics matters less than we once thought to the making of Mendel. But it matters more than we tend to recognize to the making of Mendelism. This paper charts the variety of ways in which diverse kinds of physics impinged upon the Galtonian tradition which formed Mendelism’s matrix. The work of three Galtonians in particular is considered: Francis Galton himself, W. F. R. Weldon and William Bateson. One aim is to suggest that tracking influence from physics can bring into focus (...)
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