A phenotypic view of evolution Evolution in Structured Populations

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 …

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 …

Interactions among Individuals and the response to Community Selection

Last week, based on theory, I made the claim that group selection could act on interactions among individuals.  At the risk of exposing my over-inflated ego I think that one of the best experiments demonstrating this is my postdoctoral research on selection in two species communities of Tribolium (Goodnight 1990. Evolution 44: 1614-1624; Goodnight 1990. …

Indirect Effects, Bruce Griffing, and Mean Plants

One of the striking results of the Wade group selection experiment is just how effective group selection was.  Indeed, it was far more effective than anybody ever expected.  On thinking about this Wade (and I as a hanger-on starting graduate student) a likely cause of this unexpected response quickly became clear.  When Thomas Park did …

Wynne-Edwards, Theoreticians and Group Selection: When Data Meets Theory

When talking about multilevel selection it is worth giving a bit of history.  This does two things.  First, it shows us where we came from, but more importantly, the study of MLS is fraught with missteps that perhaps we can avoid in the future. . . In talking about MLS one should probably go back …

Multilevel Selection: The Adaptation Approach and the Evolutionary Change Approach

Last week I finished talking about gene interaction for at least a while.  I hope I convinced you that assigning fitnesses to individual genes is a fools errand, both because in a world with interactions the assignment of fitnesses to individual alleles would be so context dependent as to be useless, and because it ends …

Why I like the phenotypic view: Epistasis and the mean field approximation

Before we move on to multilevel selection, I realized that I had not finished an important aspect of the story I was developing.  In particular, I did not step back and ask how all the talk of gene interaction affected the main thesis of this blog, the phenotypic view of evolution.  I tell other that …

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