are representations of natural systems. While they often may
be partial and abstract, they are crucially important instruments
of scientific research.
evolution is marked by a number of distinctive models of molecular
evolutionary processes as well as important approaches to
modeling, such as Kimura's diffusion equation approach.
pages will consider some of the fundamental models of mutation
as well as models of sequence evolution commonly used with
DNA sequence data.
of models of molecular evolution raise a number of important
issues concerning model construction and innovation, the relationship
between models and theories, such the neutral theory of molecular
evolution, and the relationship between models and experimental
data. In particular, the history of
modeling molecular evolution reflects the effort to match
models with available types of data. As a result the history
of different models parrallels the spread of techniques such
as electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. As these techniques
became predominant sources of data, models of molecular evolution
had to be created to take advantage of the particular form
of data being generated.