A phenotypic view of evolution Evolution in Structured Populations

The 1984 founder event debate: Its relation to Phase 1 of Wright’s Shifting Balance Process

Today I am speeding south on the Empire State in the morning and the Silver Star in the afternoon. I should be in Raleigh Durham for the Evolution meetings late this evening. For the uninitiated Amtrak trains have names that reflect where they are going. Thus, the famous Steve Goodman/Arlo Guthrie song, “City of New …

Wright’s Shifting Balance Process

Now that I have talked about how Wright thought evolution didn’t occur on adaptive landscapes, now it is time to talk about how he thought it did occur. The 7 assumptions and the adaptive topography were all basically background for his “shifting balance” process of evolution (Wright 1977 Evolution and Genetics of Populations. Vol. III. …

Of Population Structure and the Adapative Landscapes

Last week I talked about adaptive topographies, and while my discussion may have done little more than add to the confusion, at least it got across Wright’s view that there are multiple selective peaks, which in essence means that there are multiple solutions to the problem of achieving high fitness. Figure taken from http://locustofauthority.wordpress.com/ Wright …

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. …

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