From: Keith Henson (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 26 Feb 2004 - 04:14:05 GMT
At 01:08 PM 20/02/04 -0500, frankie wrote:
>But in social animals, competition occurs *between groups* as well as
>between individuals. Prides of lions and troops of monkeys compete for
>territory much like individual birds do. And in the example of ants, the
>concept of individuals being the unit of selection is a bit of a stretch.
You really need to read Hamilton who worked out how it works at the level
of shared genes.
Lion prides are generally sisters or half sisters and the transient males
are usually closely related, typically brothers. Hamilton was particularly
interested in ants, bees and wasps. They have a particular gene system
where the workers are closer related to their reproductive sibs than they
are to their own offspring. I can't really do justice to this, if you
can't find Hamilton's work described on the web, ask and I will get you the
>Mutual interdependence decreases the importance of the individual.
I don't think so, not from a gene's viewpoint.
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