Kin selection vs multilevel selection

A significant group of biologists support inclusive fitness as the explanation for social behavior in a wide range of species, as supported by experimental data. Wilson suggests the equation for Hamilton's rule: However, this cooperation seems to be density dependent.

Experimentally imposed multilevel selection on Japanese quail was more effective by an order of magnitude on closely related kin groups than on randomized groups of individuals. Moreover, it provides a potential solution to the central problem of sociobiology, as it shows that even costly social behaviors can be favored by natural selection as long as the direct costs are outweighed by a sufficient amount of indirect benefit to sufficiently closely related individuals Figure 1 Altruistic groups beat selfish groups.

While these spatial populations do not have well-defined groups for group selection, the local spatial interactions of organisms in transient groups are sufficient to lead to a kind of multi-level selection.

In this model, genetically related individuals cooperate because survival advantages to one individual also benefit kin who share some fraction of the same genes, giving a mechanism for favoring genetic selection.

Wilson summarized, "In a group, selfish individuals beat altruistic individuals. We subsequently review two important aspects of the current debate in more detail: An article was published in Nature with over a hundred coauthors.

Language, tools, lethal weapons, fire, cooking, etc. However, early theoretical models by D. However, relatedness should still remain a key consideration in studies of multilevel selection. This understanding has been stated in research articles in the past, but the broader biological and scientific community has not recognized it.

Multilevel and kin selection in a connected world

Specifically, the parasites do not individually moderate their transmission; rather, more transmissible variants "continually arise and grow rapidly for many generations but eventually go extinct before dominating the system. Under these conditions, they can act altruistically to any other individual, and it is likely that the other individual will be related.

To find out more, visit www. On the other hand, kin selection is accepted as an explanation of altruistic behavior.

Multilevel and kin selection in a connected world

However, relatedness should still remain a key consideration in studies of multilevel selection. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Multiple versions of the gene—or even meme —would have virtually the same effect.

Here, we first provide a concise introduction into the kin selection and multilevel selection theories and shed light onto the roots of the controversy surrounding them.

Group selection

But, groups of altruistic individuals beat groups of selfish individuals. NatureE8-E9 Perrins[12] and George C. He wrote, "If one man in a tribe Perrins[12] and George C. Accepted Apr They do not posit evolution on the level of the species, but selective pressures that winnow out small groups within a species, e.

Kin and multilevel selection in social evolution: a never-ending controversy?

However, early theoretical models by D. Green-bearded men tend to cooperate with each other simply by seeing a green beard, where the green beard trait is incidentally linked to the reciprocal kindness trait. Language led to a change in the human larynx and an increase in brain size. The phenotype of altruism relies on recognition of the altruistic behavior by itself.

Boyd and Richerson believe that the ability to collaborate evolved during the Middle Pleistocenea million years ago, in response to a rapidly changing climate. Here we show that their model is a well- known special case of the more general theory of multilevel selection, and that the cause of reduced virulence resides in the opposition of two processes: One argument given by Hamilton is that many individuals operate in "viscous" conditions, so that they live in physical proximity to relatives.

This is because any benefit generated by kin cooperation is exactly cancelled out by kin competition; additional offspring from cooperation are eliminated by local competition. Wilson himself compared his model to such a set. By affecting these interspecific interactions, multilevel and kinship selection can change the population dynamics of an ecosystem.

Kin and multilevel selection in social evolution: a never-ending controversy?

However, their evolution is more strongly dictated by artificial selection (crop breeding), which incorporates individual and group selection, making multilevel selection more relevant than kin selection in favouring altruism.

Recently, a number of authors have argued that the opposition between kin and multi-level (or group) selection is misconceived, on the grounds that the two are actually equivalent—a suggestion first broached by W.D.

Hamilton as early as In order for kin selection to be important, the related kin have to be in groups that preferentially confer altruistic behaviors on each other. In order for group selection to operate, the members of a group have to be closer kin than they are to other groups.

kin and multilevel selection theories (e.g. ,,). Interestingly, kin and multilevel selection approaches might ultimately prove to be very useful exactly when applied to the same system.

Kin selection analyses often follow an optimal- ity (‘adaptationist’) approach. Recently, a number of authors have argued that the opposition between kin and multi-level (or group) selection is misconceived, on the grounds that the two are actually equivalent—a suggestion first broached by W.D.

Hamilton as early as In order for kin selection to be important, the related kin have to be in groups that preferentially confer altruistic behaviors on each other.

In order for group selection to operate, the members of a group have to be closer kin than they are to other groups.

Individual versus Group in Natural Selection Kin selection vs multilevel selection
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Kin and multilevel selection in social evolution: a never-ending controversy?