Haldane. Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection (1924-1934)

JBS Lecturing at University College London | Haldane's Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection

JBS Haldane wrote his “Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection,” as a series of ten papers between 1924 and 1934. These were published across four journal titles, three of which were published by Cambridge Philosophical Society. Haldane’s work frequently is placed alongside the mathematical population genetics of Sewall Wright and Ronald Aylmer Fisher (Provine 1971), but his work has received relatively little substantial analysis (an exception is Sarkar (1992)). Provine collected Wright’s papers. Bennett collected Fisher’s papers. Dronamraju has published a collected works volume for Haldane, including some of the papers in this series (numbers 1, 4, 5, and 8). Haldane’s mathematical work appears in condensed form in Haldane (1932) The Causes of Evolution.

These three researchers were pursuing significantly different research agendas, something historians of the synthesis period need to investigate further. Some of Haldane’s archives are held at UCL Special Collections and have been digitised by Wellcome Collection.

Papers in the Haldane Series

  1. Haldane, J. B. S. (1924). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part I. Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 23(2), 19-41. 
  2. Haldane, J. B. S. (1924). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part II. The influence of partial self-fertilisation, inbreeding, assortative mating, and selective fertilisation on the composition of Mendelian populations, and on natural selection. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. Biological Sciences, 1(2), 158-163. 
  3. Haldane, J. B. S. (1926). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part III. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 23(4), 363-372. 
  4. Haldane, J. B. S. (1927). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part IV. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 23(5), 607-615. 
  5. Haldane, J. B. S. (1927). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part V. Selection and Mutation. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 23(7), 838-844. 
  6. Haldane, J. B. S. (1930). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part VI. Isolation. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 26(2), 220-230. 
  7. Haldane, J. B. S. (1931). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part VII. Selection Intensity as a Function of Mortality Rate. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 27(1), 131-136. 
  8. Haldane, J. B. S. (1931). A Mathematical Theory of Natural Selection. Part VIII. Metastable Populations. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 27(1), 137-142. 
  9. Haldane, J. B. S. (1932). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part IX. Rapid Selection. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 28(2), 244-248. 
  10. Haldane, J. B. S. (1934). A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. Part X. Some Theorems on Artificial Selection. Genetics, 19(5), 412-429.
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