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Génétique des populations et mécanique statistique : stratégie explicative et analogie formelle

Jodoin, Laurent (2014) Génétique des populations et mécanique statistique : stratégie explicative et analogie formelle. Lato Sensu, revue de la Société de philosophie des sciences, 1 (1). pp. 12-25. ISSN 2295-8029

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Abstract

The relationship between statistical mechanics and population genetics has a long history. Both take advantage of statistics to address the behavior of large groups of entities. The main objective of this article is to assess the obstacles population genetics is meeting in its claim to explain biological phenomena from the conceptual apparatus of statistical mechanics according to two recent articles (Sella & Hirsh 2005; Barton & Coe 2009). Several tools available to the latter (phenomenological thermodynamics, concept of thermal equilibrium, energy conservation) are missing in the former. Thus, in the absence of an adequate justification of the relevance of the analogy and without the satisfaction of certain basic assumptions, I argue that the explanatory strategy of the analogously based model is seriously compromised.

La relation entre mécanique statistique et génétique des populations a une longue histoire. À l’instar de la première, la seconde tire profit des statistiques afin de traiter le comportement des grands ensembles d’entités. L’objectif principal du présent article est d’identifier les obstacles que rencontre la génétique des populations dans sa prétention d’explication des phénomènes biologiques à partir de l’appareillage conceptuel de la mécanique statistique selon deux articles récents (Sella & Hirsh 2005 ; Barton & Coe 2009). Or, plusieurs outils dont dispose cette dernière (thermodynamique phénoménologique, notion d’équilibre thermique, conservation de l’énergie) manque à la première. Ainsi, en l’absence d’une justification adéquate de la pertinence de l’analogie et sans la satisfaction de certaines hypothèses fondamentales, je soutiens que la stratégie explicative du modèle analogue est sérieusement compromise.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jodoin, Laurentlaurentjodoin@hotmail.com
Keywords: population genetics statistical mechanics analogy explanation entropy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Lato Sensu
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2017 16:48
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2017 16:48
Item ID: 12893
Journal or Publication Title: Lato Sensu, revue de la Société de philosophie des sciences
Publisher: Société de philosophie des sciences
Official URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/latosensu/index.php/lato...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.20416/lsrsps.v1i1.13
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: July 2014
Page Range: pp. 12-25
Volume: 1
Number: 1
ISSN: 2295-8029
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12893

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