Re: Between groups.

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Fri 27 Feb 2004 - 19:54:46 GMT

  • Next message: Richard Brodie: "RE: Individual - Collective / digest V1#1480"

    Keith wrote:

    >At 08:10 PM 26/02/04 -0500, frankie wrote:
    >>Keith wrote:
    >>>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.
    >>I'll look into it, but I don't know that it will change my
    >>contention - if you have a bunch of genetically identical
    >>individuals running around (as in ants) then they are pretty
    >>expendable as individual units.
    >Worker ants are not identical, just related. Because of the odd way
    >sex is determined in bees, ants and wasps, ants share 3/4 of their
    >genes with sisters rather than the mammal norm of 1/2. Thus from
    >the viewpoint of their genes, the genes are better off (more copies
    >in future generations) if the worker ants raise sister reproductives
    >rather than their own offspring. (Bees share less because of the
    >way the mate.) So you won't have to hunt, here is a taste.

    I am not unfamiliar with kin-selection, but I don't understand why this means that considering things at the group-level is invalid. It is kind of fractal like - patterns recurring across scale. Thanks for all the URL's. I hadn't heard of the conflict between Gould and Wilson, both of whom I admire.


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