Darwin y la selección de grupo

Ludus Vitalis 17 (32):101-143 (2009)
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Do traits evolve because they are good for the group, or do they evolve because they are good for the individual organisms that have them? The question is whether groups, rather than individual organisms, are ever “units of selection.” My exposition begins with the 1960’s, when the idea that traits evolve because they are good for the group was criticized, not just for being factually mistaken, but for embodying a kind of confused thinking that is fundamentally at odds with the logic that Darwin’s theory requires. A counter-movement has arisen since the 1960’s, called multi-level selection theory, according to which selection acts at multiple levels, including the level of the group. After discussing the 1960’s attack on group selection and the concept’s subsequent revival, I examine Darwin’s views on the subject. I discuss what Darwin says about four examples: human morality, the barbed stinger of the honeybee, neuter workers in species of social insect, and the sterility of many interspecies hybrids. I argue that Darwin defended hypotheses of group selection in the first three problems, but rejected it in the fourth. I also discuss Darwin’s general views about the role of group selection in evolution.
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