The beanbag lives on

  title={The beanbag lives on},
  author={James F. Crow},
  • J. Crow
  • Published 15 February 2001
  • Biology
  • Nature
The purpose of science, says Herbert Simon, “is to find meaningful simplicity in the midst of disorderly complexity”. A real population includes individuals of all ages, some dying, some being born, some choosing mates, some reproducing, some migrating, some simply growing old. And in a sexual population each individual has a different genotype. Keeping track of all these goingson is impractical and not very interesting. Most questions of genetic or evolutionary importance do not require such… 

Commentary: Growth of beanbag genetics.

  • N. Morton
  • Biology
    International journal of epidemiology
  • 2008
It is argued that evo-devo and population genetics are separate, even incompatible fields—in Steve Gould’s pomposity, ‘nonoverlapping magisteria’.

J. B. S. Haldane, Ernst Mayr and the Beanbag Genetics Dispute

Starting from the early decades of the twentieth century, evolutionary biology began to acquire mathematical overtones. This took place via the development of a set of models in which the Darwinian

Modelling the evolution and consequences of mate choice

Overall, mate choice is shown to be an important evolutionary force, with wide-ranging ramifications across diverse taxa, and e�ects so varied as to include the evolution of sex, the genetic variation in species, speciation, and post-copulatory behaviour, amongst others.

“Genetic Load”: How the Architects of the Modern Synthesis Became Trapped in a Scientific Ideology

The blooming and persistence of the concept of genetic load, after its theoretical basis had already expired, are a historical puzzle that reveals the intricacy of science and policy-making in eugenic matters.

Précis of Evolution in Four Dimensions

A better insight into evolutionary processes will result from recognizing that transmitted variations that are not based on DNA differences have played a role, particularly true for understanding the evolution of human behavior, where all four dimensions of heredity have been important.

Weak Epistasis May Drive Adaptation in Recombining Bacteria

Epistasis may play an important role in both the short- and long-term adaptive evolution of bacteria, and, unlike in eukaryotes, is not limited to strong effect sizes, closely linked loci, or other conditions that limit the impact of recombination.

Understanding human DNA sequence variation.

Examples of many of the ways these new data can be analyzed from a population perspective using results from the laboratory on multiple individual DNA-based polymorphisms, many clustered in haplotypes, studied in multiple populations representing all major geographic regions of the world are presented.

Commentary: The objection is sustained: a defence of the defense of beanbag genetics.

  • R. Borges
  • Psychology
    International journal of epidemiology
  • 2008
As outlined in Borges, even among the Darwinists, the 1950s was a time of conflict between experimental biologists and naturalist-systematists such as Mayr on one hand and theoreticians on the other.

Genetics and the conservation of natural populations: allozymes to genomes

I consider how the study of genetic variation has influenced efforts to conserve natural populations over the last 50 years and believes current training in conservation genetics focuses too much on the latest techniques and too little on understanding the conceptual basis which is needed to interpret data and ask good questions.

Trimming, weighting, and grouping SNPs in human case-control association studies.

A set-association method to blend relevant sources of information such as allelic association and Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium to detect association to sets of SNP markers in different genes in a real data application has shown remarkable success.



Gustave Malécot and the transition from classical to modern population genetics.

Certain aspects of the theory of inbreeding, the correlation between relatives, the evolution of finite panmictic populations, and (in more depth) spatial variation are reviewed.

The Selfish Gene

  • 1976