The mind, the lab, and the field: Three kinds of populations in scientific practice

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R.A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and their pertinent models, in three examples: the notion of “effective” population size, the work of Thomas Park on /Tribolium/ populations, and model-based clustering algorithms such as /Structure/. Finally, we discuss ways to move safely between three distinct population types while avoiding confusing models and reality.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
WINTMT-2
Upload history
First archival date: 2015-11-21
Latest version: 3 (2015-11-21)
View other versions
Added to PP index
2015-01-19

Total views
1,326 ( #2,644 of 58,186 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
59 ( #12,110 of 58,186 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.