By Alfred J. Lotka
In the 50 years that experience handed when you consider that Alfred Latka's loss of life in 1949 his place because the father of mathematical demography has been safe. together with his first demographic papers in 1907 and 1911 (the latter co authored with F. R. Sharpe) he laid the principles for reliable inhabitants concept, and over the following many years either principally accomplished it and located handy mathematical approximations that gave it sensible applica tions. seeing that his time, the sphere has moved in numerous instructions he didn't foresee, yet basically it truly is nonetheless his. regardless of Latka's stature, in spite of the fact that, the reader nonetheless must hunt throughout the outdated journals to find his vital works. As but no exten sive collections of his papers are in print, and for his half he by no means as sembled his contributions right into a unmarried quantity in English. He did so in French, within the half Theorie Analytique des institutions Biologiques (1934, 1939). Drawing on his parts of actual Biology (1925) and so much of his mathematical papers, Latka provided French readers insights into his organic proposal and a concise and mathematically available precis of what he known as contemporary contributions in demographic analy sis. we'd be exact in additionally calling it Latka's contributions in demographic analysis.
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We extinguish our curiosity without satisfying it. Nerve energy, vital force, and all similar terms, are names which introduce error into research on the subjects to which they attach themselves. It is not in this way that science advances. t Is it not strange that a truth easily seized by the whimsical spirit of a Moliere would have escaped the more serious thoughts of certain philosophers? RECAPITULATION Before considering more definitively the specific problems which will occupy us in subsequent chapters, it will be useful to briefly recapitulate the general principles we have noted thus far.
S. Lillie has pointed out, it is precisely a characteristic of biological organisms that their action depends on their fine structure, on microscopic and ultra-microscopic details of their bodies. Certain effects that unfold on a microscopic scale or finer are translated, by an organization designed precisely for that end, into macroscopic effects, such as the movement of its members by which the organism reacts on its environment. It follows that the element of caprice that ordinarily is only felt in atomic or sub-atomic events emerges, by the action of the organism, onto the sphere of phenomena observed by the naked eye.
However, this perspective is not entirely logical. For to say that the formulas are sufficient to describe the course of events in the way we observe them, does not exclude the possibility that they are incapable of describing the entire true phenomenon, which one could imagine, includes important elements that escape our observation. To say that elements which systematically escape our observation cannot have any practical importance is to speak without reflection. Human thoughts, emotions, and aspirations are certainly not without practical importance, although it is wholly impossible for us to observe them, or even to positively establish their existence.
Analytical Theory of Biological Populations by Alfred J. Lotka