Some thoughts on adaptive topographies

Last week I discussed Wright’s “seven generalizations” about populations. His seventh generalization, that there were multiple selective peaks, led him to develop his famous “adaptive topography” metaphor. As Provine (2001) discussed, there is considerable controversy over exactly what Wright meant by an adaptive topography. My understanding is that Wright never meant his topography to be […]

Sewall Wright’s Seven Generalizations about Populations

Once again I seem to be reorganizing my plan of attack, and this will be a big one. I think it would be entertaining to move over to a discussion of Wright’s shifting balance theory. This is not a minor topic, and indeed, I am told that the two longest papers ever published in Evolution […]

Soft Selection: Why it is Multilevel Selection

It has come to my attention that it makes sense to spend a blog entry talking strictly about contextual analysis and soft selection. The problem which, as Okasha (2006 Evolution and the levels of selection) puts it, some “theorists find deeply counter-intuitive” is that in soft selection every group puts out exactly the same number […]

Why I Like the Multilevel Selection Approach

For the past two weeks I have been rather destructionist (is that a word), with my diatribe against kin selection. It seems to me that if you are going to tear down a structure and declare it not useful then you had better be willing to provide an alternative and explain why your alternative is […]

Dynamical models of multilevel selection: Another problem with Kin selection

First off, if you haven’t seen it check out the American Museum’s on line collection of photographs. I haven’t had a chance to really explore the hundreds of thousands of photos they have, but I am certain there are some real gems in there. One of the photos from the American Museum of Natural History. […]