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

TitleNot just a theory--the utility of mathematical models in evolutionary biology.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
JournalPLoS biology
Volume12
Issue12
Paginatione1002017
ISSN1544-9173
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.

URLhttp://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002017
DOI10.1371/journal.pbio.1002017
Short TitlePLoS Biol
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