Ernst Mayr’s interactions with J. B. S. Haldane

Rao, Veena and Nanjundiah, Vidyanand (2016) Ernst Mayr’s interactions with J. B. S. Haldane. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 38 (1). pp. 138-150.

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    Abstract: Ernst Mayr and J. B. S. Haldane, major contributors to the ‘modern synthesis’ in evolutionary theory, set an example of how scientific disagreements need not come in the way of friendship. After getting acquainted, they kept discussing issues related to evolution until just before Haldane’s death in 1964. Their dissimilar backgrounds meant that they adopted different approaches. A major disagreement emerged regarding the right way to look at the role of genes in evolution. Mayr felt that the elementary models of population genetics were oversimplifications and therefore inadequate for representing evolutionary processes, though he was not consistent in his attitude. Haldane, on the other hand, maintained that the mathematical treatment of simple models had an important role to play. The Mayr-Haldane interactions illustrate divergent viewpoints concerning the utility of mathematics in biology.
    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Population genetics; Beanbag dispute; Evolution; Mathematical models
    Subjects: School of Humanities > Science Studies
    Divisions: Schools > Humanities
    Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2016 11:35
    Last Modified: 13 Jul 2016 11:42

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