Introduction to Contextual Analysis

First off, I have been told that you can’t talk about social evolution without mentioning kin selection:  “kin selection”.  With that done, lets now talk about contextual analysis.  (Ok, lets be honest, in future posts I will more fully diss kin selection.  Suffice it to say, as presently constructed it simply makes no sense from […]

Measuring Selection on Multiple Traits

Models and laboratory studies of multilevel selection are all well and good, but, of course, the real question is how important is group selection in nature. All proselytizing by old dead white men aside (ok I admit, I am a old live white man), this is an empirical question, that no amount of theorizing will […]

Changes in Species Abundance and the Response to Community Selection

In all of the previous discussions I have been talking about evolution through changes within species.  However, when considering community selection there is another way that evolution can occur, that is evolution can occur through changes in species composition. First off, I should mention that this is a classic case of listening to experiments.  This […]

Group structure, Ecology and Heritability.

One of the interesting points raised by the community selection experiments I talked about last week is the issue of the mode of founding of new units.  When we think about genes and individual level traits in a typical sexual organisms this is a non-issue.  Every individual has two parents, and each contributes half of […]