Thinking like a population geneticist

All scientific fields possess a body of concepts that define their domain as well as a specialized vocabulary used to express these concepts precisely. Population genetics is no different and the entirety of this book is designed to introduce, explain, and demonstrate these concepts and their vocabulary. What may be unique about population genetics among the natural sciences is the way that its practitioners approach questions about the biological world. Population genetics is a dialog between predictions based on principles of Mendelian inheritance and results obtained from empirical measurement of genotype and allele frequencies that form the basis of hypothesis tests. Idealized predictions stemming from general principles form the basis of hypotheses that can be tested. At the same time, empirical patterns observed within and among populations require explanation through the comparison of various processes that might have caused a pattern. This first chapter will explore some of the ways in which population genetics approaches and defines problems that are relevant to the topics in all chapters. The chapter is also intended to give some insight into how to approach the study of population genetics.

0 0

Post a comment