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Arch. Anim. Breed., 61, 229-243, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-61-229-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Original study
14 Jun 2018
Possible mathematical definitions of the biological term “breed”
Gregor Langer Gierkeweg 1, 4040 Linz, Austria
Abstract. For scientific discussions it is necessary to clearly define the terms used. Otherwise, scientific statements are open to interpretation and remain unclear which hampers scientific progress. A clear specification of scientific terms can be reached using tools such as mathematical definitions. So far, the biological term breed lacks a mathematical definition. Based on common biological literature, four mathematical definitions of the term breed for gonochoric species are proposed in this paper. These definitions were tested on the dog breed whippet. It was discussed if bully whippets and their offspring can be considered to be part of the whippet dog breed. Although all mathematical definitions proposed are consistent with common word-based definitions, the results of the bully whippet test differ. According to two definitions bully whippets may be considered part of the whippet breed. However, according to the other definitions bully whippets are not part of the whippet breed. Under certain conditions the introduced mathematical structure may also be used to define other biological terms like variety or species.
Citation: Langer, G.: Possible mathematical definitions of the biological term “breed”, Arch. Anim. Breed., 61, 229-243, https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-61-229-2018, 2018.
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Short summary
For scientific discussions it is necessary to clearly define the terms used; otherwise, scientific statements are open to interpretation which hampers the scientific progress. A clear specification of scientific terms can be reached via mathematical definitions. In this paper, four mathematical definitions of the term "breed" for gonochoric species are proposed. Although all proposed definitions are consistent with common word-based definitions, the result of the whippet test differs.
For scientific discussions it is necessary to clearly define the terms used; otherwise, scientific...
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