Re: Group selection

From: Agner Fog (
Date: Tue 22 Feb 2005 - 07:53:42 GMT

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    >The main argument against group selection is that it does not close the <br>
    >causal loop, mainly against free loaders taking advantage of others.  Now<br>
    >if the group is *also* your relatives, the loop does close.<br>
    I agree. If the group is completely inbred and effectively keeps outsiders out, then kin selection and group selection will be the same. The problem is that even a small immigration of egoists or back-mutation can destroy the scheme because the egoists can outcompete the altruists inside the group. My simulations show that the topology (or geographics) og migration plays a significant role. If immigrants come only from nearby groups and group selection is sufficiently strong then the altruist gene can become fixated in an increasing geographic area. But if immigrants can come from distant groups then the altruism gene tends to win.
    This is one of the problems with earlier models. They simplify their models in order to make them mathematically tractable, and these simplified models can't handle the topology. This is why I have to use similation. Also, it won't work without random genetic drift, which most traditional models ignore.
    The species that have the strongest altruism, i.e. social insects and naked mole rat, are ferociously keeping foreign intruders out. This is necessary for group selection to work.


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