Objective and subjective probability in gene expression

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In this paper I address the question of whether the probabilities that appear in models of stochastic gene expression are objective or subjective. I argue that while our best models of the phenomena in question are stochastic models, this fact should not lead us to automatically assume that the processes are inherently stochastic. After distinguishing between models and reality, I give a brief introduction to the philosophical problem of the interpretation of probability statements. I argue that the objective vs. subjective distinction is a false dichotomy and is an unhelpful distinction in this case. Instead, the probabilities in our models of gene expression exhibit standard features of both objectivity and subjectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Chance
  • Objective
  • Probability
  • Stochastic
  • Subjective


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