Statistical tests of neutrality in the age of weak selection

Trends Ecol Evol. 1998 Jun 1;13(6):236-40. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5347(98)01360-3.


Why review statistical tests of neutrality at a time when pan-selectionists and pan-neutralists alike seem to have been replaced by weak selectionists? First, we still don't actually know how variation is maintained at the molecular level; and second, tests of neutrality have a utility for evolutionary biologists beyond the neutralist/selectionist debate. New tests and variations on the existing tests are arising practically every month. From the complementary viewpoints of an empiricist and a theoretician, we sample the recent literature on tests of statistical neutrality and discuss the motivations, applications, assumptions, interpretations and future directions of these tests.