(Read with GroupSelection)

The units of selection problem has two general themes :

  • what is the "unit" on which selection operates?
  • how do you identify it?
  • how do you explain altruism?

What unit?

Suggestions :

  • the individual creature
  • the individual gene
  • "groups" of creatures
  • the "trait"

Altruism

What explains apparent altruism in animal behaviour? (Altruism is a problem for a naive Darwinian theory because altruistic decrease one's relative fitness, so why should they have evolved?)

  • mutualism - ie. acts which increase the relative fitness of others but also increase your own. Symbiosis between members of different species. Herding and huddling together for warmth, etc.
  • KinSelection
  • ReciprocalAltruism