Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Lew Bryson rants. I grade.

Things are coming along. I gave my presentation in population genetics today. I talked about some crazy new ideas that philosophers of biology have about population genetics and my take on it and it got people kind of riled up. Which was cool.

Now I just have to grade projects and finals from my class, put together a research outline for North Carolina this summer, write the FDIBS beer guide, write an article for Indianabeer.com, get my loan straightened out, go out with Brian for his birthday tomorrow, and meet with a couple students all before Friday at 7pm when I head for Plucky One's house in beautiful Clairton PA. Ain't no thang.

Also, Lew Bryson, beer writer extraordinaire, bitches about the Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage of beer. He makes a lot of good points.

Read it here.

6 comments:

Robert Skipper said...

I gave my presentation in population genetics today. I talked about some crazy new ideas that philosophers of biology have about population genetics and my take on it and it got people kind of riled up.

Such as?

Matthew D Dunn said...

I presented some of the arguments in Matthen and Ariew 2002 and Walsh et al. 2002. Then I presented Reisman and Forber 2004/forthcoming and some "corrections and extensions" of it I've been thinking about.

I argue that premise two of their argument is false because the manipulation condition for identifying causal relations fails to pick out drift as the only cause (actual difference making cause) of the increased variation between equilibrium PP frequencies in the small founder treaments.

But I agree with them and show that my argument strengthens their case that population level causes (whatever they may be) were manipulated, i.e. that there was population level causation.

I conclude that oftentimes, in practice, it may be difficult (or impossible?) to tease apart drift and selection in the lab, but give an example of a kind of experiment where it is possible.

I also mentioned Millstein 2002 and made her "conceptual distinction" between selection and drift. I'm really interested in exploring the relationships between the conceptual and experimental distinctions of drift and selection.

Although, as I expected, people weren't really interested in my ideas. They wanted to talk about WALM.

Robert Skipper said...

You're on the right track with R&F's paper; pop size isn't a good enough manipulation to establish the right Woodwardian counter factual.

It may be, given the problem of empirically distinguishing evolutionary causes, that you rarely are able to establish Woodwardian causation in evolutionary biology. And that may be ok for biology.

You should go get Millstein's new paper on selection as a population-level cause (at the PhilSci Archive) if you haven't already. It's a step in the right direction (without the metaphysics).

At any rate, it's not surprising people wanted to focus on WALM. Things go wrong everywhere.

Anonymous said...

My class got pretty riled up today talking about the butterflys that are starting to emerge from their cocoons. Some of the boys were chasing the girls and the girls thought it was "gross." So I know how science classes can get.
Glen Rank
Fourth Grade Science Teacher at East Bardford Elementary School

Anonymous said...

I'd like to strip you down and spank you with strips of fine imported ham, preferably pancetta.
Tiffany Hilton

Anonymous said...

Why are beer geeks so obsessed with head retention? I mean head is great, don't get me wrong, but you guys seem obsessed.
Please explain what head brings to the table.
And this isn't a joke there are a couple of people in Watertown, NY, who want to know more about head retention. You say you're a teacher, so educate us then.
Pell and Zimmerman