A Bayesian Analysis of Strategies in Evolutionary Biology

Most work done in philosophy of experiment has focused on experiments taken from the domain of physics. The present essay tests whether Allan Franklin's (1984, 1986, 1989, 1990) philosophy of experiment developed in the context of high energy physics can be extended to include examples from evolutionary biology, such as H. B. D. Kettlewell's (1955, 1956, 1958) famous studies of industrial melanism in the peppered moth, Biston betularia. The analysis demonstrates that many of the techniques used by evolutionary biologists exemplify the strategies Franklin lists, and identifies an additional strategy that can likewise be justified by appeal to Bayes's Theorem.