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Highly Accessed Opinion

Mayr, mathematics and the study of evolution

James F Crow

Author affiliations

Genetics Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, 425 G Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706-1574, USA

Citation and License

Journal of Biology 2009, 8:13  doi:10.1186/jbiol117

Published: 23 February 2009


In 1959 Ernst Mayr challenged the relevance of mathematical models to evolutionary studies and was answered by JBS Haldane in a witty and convincing essay. Fifty years on, I conclude that the importance of mathematics has in fact increased and will continue to do so.