Between groups.

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu 26 Feb 2004 - 04:14:05 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "RE: Between groups."

    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 pointers.

    >Mutual interdependence decreases the importance of the individual.

    I don't think so, not from a gene's viewpoint.


    Keith Henson

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