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Phylogenetic Inference, Selection Theory, and History of Science
Selected Papers of A. W. F. Edwards with Commentaries


Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Walter Bodmer, Joseph Felsenstein, Rasmus Nielsen, Mark Pagel, Elizabeth Thompson, Ziheng Yang, Warren J. Ewens, Samir Okasha, Maurizio Esposito, Jean-Baptiste Grodwohl, Noah A. Rosenberg, Amir Najmi, A. W. F. Edwards
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  • Date Published: July 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107111721

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About the Authors
  • A. W. F. Edwards is one of the most influential mathematical geneticists in the history of the discipline. One of the last students of R. A. Fisher, Edwards pioneered the statistical analysis of phylogeny in collaboration with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, and helped establish Fisher's concept of likelihood as a standard of statistical and scientific inference. In this book, edited by philosopher of science Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Edwards's key papers are assembled alongside commentaries by leading scientists, discussing Edwards's influence on their own research and on thinking in their field overall. In an extensive interview with Winther, Edwards offers his thoughts on his contributions, their legacy, and the context in which they emerged. This book is a resource both for anyone interested in the history and philosophy of genetics, statistics, and science, and for scientists seeking to develop new algorithmic and statistical methods for understanding the genetic relationships between and among species both extant and extinct.

    • Brings together A. W. F. Edwards's seminal papers, which are often hard to find as published in a wide range of journals, but which remain influential in the field today
    • Leading experts share with readers the influence Edwards's research has had on their own work and their field as a whole
    • Additional context provided by A. W. F. Edwards, based on an extensive interview with him, helping readers to contextualise the contribution he has made
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… those interested in the scientific process want to look behind that public image. How did these theories and experiments develop? What were the false starts and confusions that were embraced initially and then overcome? In what way do ethical and political factors affect the scientific process, and ought they to do so? One of the virtues of this volume is that it does not shortchange this set of questions.' Elliott Sober, The Quarterly Review of Biology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107111721
    • length: 552 pages
    • dimensions: 258 x 177 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1.22kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther
    Part I. Selected Papers of A. W. F. Edwards:
    1. The reconstruction of evolution (1963) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    2. Reconstruction of evolutionary trees (1964) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    3. Analysis of human evolution under random genetic drift (1964) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and I. Barrai
    4. Analysis of human evolution (1965) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    5. A method for cluster analysis (1965) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    6. Studying human evolution by computer (1966)
    7. Estimation procedures for evolutionary branching processes (1966) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    8. Fundamental theorem of natural selection (1967)
    9. Phylogenetic analysis: models and estimation procedures (1967) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    10. Statistical methods in scientific inference (1969)
    11. Estimation of the branch points of a branching diffusion process (1970)
    12. Review of Evolution and the Genetics of Populations, Volume 2 by S. Wright (1971)
    13. Affinity as revealed by differences in gene frequencies (1972) with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    14. Likelihood (1972)
    15. The history of likelihood (1974)
    16. Are Mendel's results really too close? (1986)
    17. Probability and likelihood in genetic counselling (1989)
    18. The fundamental theorem of natural selection (1994)
    19. Assessing molecular phylogenies (1995)
    20. The origin and early development of the method of minimum evolution for the reconstruction of evolutionary trees (1996)
    21. Darwin and Mendel united: the contributions of Fisher, Haldane and Wright up to 1932 (2001)
    22. Human genetic diversity: Lewontin's fallacy (2003)
    23. Parsimony and computers (2004)
    24. Statistical methods for evolutionary trees (2009)
    25. Mathematizing Darwin (2011)
    26. Robert Heath Lock and his textbook of genetics, 1906 (2013)
    27. R. A. Fisher's gene-centred view of evolution and the fundamental theorem of natural selection (2014)
    28. Analysing nature's experiment: Fisher's inductive theorem of natural selection (2016)
    Part II. Commentaries:
    29. Anthony Edwards' seminal contributions to phylogenetics, likelihood, and understanding R. A. Fisher and the history of genetics Walter Bodmer
    30. Anthony Edwards, Luca Cavalli-Sforza, and phylogenies Joseph Felsenstein
    31. The historic split and merger of gene trees and species trees Rasmus Nielsen
    32. Likelihood and the comparative method in evolutionary biology Mark Pagel
    33. Likelihood inference in models for the genetic diversity of populations Elizabeth Thompson
    34. A. W. F. Edwards and the origin of Bayesian phylogenetics Ziheng Yang
    35. A conversation about Fisher (1930, 1958) Warren J. Ewens
    36. Edwards on Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection Samir Okasha
    37. A. W. F. Edwards, R. A. Fisher and the genetical theory of natural selection Maurizio Esposito
    38. Reading and misreading Fisher: Anthony Edwards and the history of population genetics Jean-Baptiste Grodwohl
    39. Variance-partitioning and classification in human population genetics Noah A. Rosenberg
    Part III. Interviews with A. W. F. Edwards: Day 1: Selection theory
    Day 2: Phylogenetic inference
    Day 3: Edwards and Fisher
    Part IV. A. W. F. Edwards:
    40. A W. F. Edwards: curriculum vitae
    41. A. W. F. Edwards: list of scientific publications
    Appendices: a geometric interpretation of Edwards 2003 Amir Najmi
    The genetic reification of 'race': a story of two mathematical methods Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther
    'My Fisher' A. W. F. Edwards
    1963 Antonio's theorem.

  • Editor

    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, University of California
    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther is a philosopher of science, researcher, writer, educator, diver, seeker and explorer. His professional website is available at


    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Walter Bodmer, Joseph Felsenstein, Rasmus Nielsen, Mark Pagel, Elizabeth Thompson, Ziheng Yang, Warren J. Ewens, Samir Okasha, Maurizio Esposito, Jean-Baptiste Grodwohl, Noah A. Rosenberg, Amir Najmi, A. W. F. Edwards

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