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Health

Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory, follow up

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanNovember 11, 2007 12:59 PM

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Just a note, as I've read most of it now I'm starting to think that Alan Templeton's Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory is an excellent complement to R.A. Fisher's classic The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Fisher's prose is dense, and sometimes it is a bit much to extract clarity from his somewhat turgid early 20th century style. The wordiness which I complained about earlier serves Templeton well in clarifying concepts Fisher introduced such as average excess, a, and average effect, α, but did not elaborate upon in great detail.^1 Where Fisher might define a concept with a few sweeping allusions to statistical and genetic concepts over two or three pages Templeton might spend half a chapter and round out the exposition with helpful charts, graphs and tables. 1 - You probably might object that Fisher spends a fair amount of time on average excess & effect, but I think Templeton does a really good job in relating the two terms in an algebraic manner which makes it really clear how best to use and conceive of them. I think Fisher's treatment is mostly intelligible, but mostly isn't really the optimal situation when it comes to the ideas presented in The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection.

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