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Quantitative zoology [electronic resource] : numerical concepts and methods in the study of recent and fossil animals / by George Gaylord Simpson and Anne Roe.

By: Simpson, George Gaylord, 1902-1984.
Contributor(s): Roe, Anne, 1904-1991 [joint author.].
Series: McGraw-Hill publications in the zoological sciences: Publisher: New York ; London : McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1939Edition: 1st ed.Description: xvii, 414 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.Subject(s): Zoology | ZoologyAdditional physical formats: OriginalDDC classification: 590.7 Online resources: Fulltext available via EBSCOhost - Shibboleth login required Also issued in print.Summary: "The zoologist is not, and surely should not be, interested in reducing his observations or theories to a purely numerical basis simply because he likes numbers. His interest is not at all in formulas or digits, but in animals. He is concerned with the anatomy, behavior, and relationships of these animals; and he quite properly refuses to fit his studies into any a priori framework, such as that of formal mathematics or statistics. In zoology, numbers and formulas are of no interest or value for their own sake but only to the extent that they may be the best means of describing and of interpreting what animals are and do. In presenting to zoologists and paleontologists a book especially devoted to numerical concepts and containing many mathematical symbols and formulas, it is essential to state this fact at the outset and to maintain and stress this viewpoint throughout, as we have done. The symbols are merely shorthand expressions for concepts that necessarily enter into most work in zoology. The formulas are only the most convenient and usable way of summarizing operations that have logical, common-sense meanings. If in the course of using such mathematical methods these zoological, nonmathematical implications are lost sight of the zoologist will also lose sight of the whole purpose of his work and will fall into futility or even absurdity, although his arithmetic is perfectly correct. While urging and facilitating the use of numerical methods, the authors have tried at every point to guard against these grave dangers and to insist that the methods be used zoologically, not by rote and not as mathematical abstractions. If zoology and paleontology have lagged behind most other sciences in their numerical methods, a major reason has been the extreme difficulty of learning the methods that are known in other fields and of adapting them to this one"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 399-406) and index.

"The zoologist is not, and surely should not be, interested in reducing his observations or theories to a purely numerical basis simply because he likes numbers. His interest is not at all in formulas or digits, but in animals. He is concerned with the anatomy, behavior, and relationships of these animals; and he quite properly refuses to fit his studies into any a priori framework, such as that of formal mathematics or statistics. In zoology, numbers and formulas are of no interest or value for their own sake but only to the extent that they may be the best means of describing and of interpreting what animals are and do. In presenting to zoologists and paleontologists a book especially devoted to numerical concepts and containing many mathematical symbols and formulas, it is essential to state this fact at the outset and to maintain and stress this viewpoint throughout, as we have done. The symbols are merely shorthand expressions for concepts that necessarily enter into most work in zoology. The formulas are only the most convenient and usable way of summarizing operations that have logical, common-sense meanings. If in the course of using such mathematical methods these zoological, nonmathematical implications are lost sight of the zoologist will also lose sight of the whole purpose of his work and will fall into futility or even absurdity, although his arithmetic is perfectly correct. While urging and facilitating the use of numerical methods, the authors have tried at every point to guard against these grave dangers and to insist that the methods be used zoologically, not by rote and not as mathematical abstractions. If zoology and paleontology have lagged behind most other sciences in their numerical methods, a major reason has been the extreme difficulty of learning the methods that are known in other fields and of adapting them to this one"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

Also issued in print.

Electronic reproduction. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association, 2011. Available via World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement. s2011 dcunns

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