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First of all, there is a very heated debate about this in the field of social evolution at present, and you aren't likely to get a conclusive answer. One theorist may give you one answer, but another will vehemently disagree. I'll start by logically answering your questions in reverse order! Question 2: Can you please provide an intuitive explanation of why ...


6

What you are describing usually falls under the category of computational biology or just mathematical biology. Unfortunately, the biggest part of this field is bioinformatics, or the application of statistical and/or dynamical programming techniques to sequence data. You exclude this in your question, and I would agree with you that it is a "boring&...


6

I'll try to beat @Remi.b to the suggestion that you review Understanding Evolution as a general overview of evolutionary topics. For a quick answer: no. Sometimes people confuse the great importance of natural selection in evolution with an equivalency between natural selection and evolution. However, there are many many contributors to evolution, many of ...


5

It sounds like what you may be referring to is Fermi Paradox: The Fermi paradox — or Fermi's paradox — is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, such as in the Drake equation, and the lack of evidence for such civilizations. The basic points of the argument, made by physicists ...


4

Joan Strassman's work is probably the route to go for this. The short of your answer is that several things mediate who ends up where in the slug: Cheaters are limited from exploiting other clones by high relatedness, kin discrimination, pleiotropy, noble resistance, and lottery-like role assignment. Here's the most relevant paper: Strassmann, J. E....


4

Nothing is at a genome-wide local equilibrium. Graham Bell wrote fairly extensively on this (IIRC). Some loci will be at what are likely global optimums (e.g. Cytochrome oxidase) will be at local but not global optimums (e.g. low-fitness malaria resistance vs. high fitness malaria resistance: for the extremely cool story check out this page) will not be ...


4

The $sR$ that your looking at is the average relatedness of the next generation. This assumes that the new immigrants into the the population are completely unrelated. So if the population is completely viscous ($s=1$) the average relatedness of the next generation equals that of the current generation. On the other hand, if the population is not viscous ($...


4

The key point is that the first equation is describing frequencies, i.e., $\sum_{i=1}^n x_i = 1$, so there are only $n-1$ degrees of freedom. For instance, if $n=2$ (as in Hawk-Dove), you can totally describe the state of the system with just $x_1$, because $x_2$ is just $x_2=1-x_1$. This constraint is enforced by adjusting $\phi$. To convert the Lotka-...


4

Rephrasing the question Does evolution only give rise to traits that confer fitness? The phrasing is actually a little nonsensical, but it is easy to understand what you mean. The reason is that "fitness" is not a characteristic of individuals but a measure (a variable if you wish) of a characteristic. Imagine you are talking about Shaquille O'Neal and ...


4

This sort of thing absolutely happens; useful search terms are "sex ratio distortion", "segregation distortion" (i.e. modifying the ratios with which different chromosomes segregate), and "meiotic drive" (a specific form of segregation distortion). Your scenario (Y-chromosome genes forcing all offspring to be male) is much less ...


3

Actually the derivation is pretty straightforward. It's easier to use the fact that $Cov(X,Y) = E(XY) - E(X)E(Y)$ to derive this result. Suppose $x_{j} = \sum_{i} s_{ij}$. \begin{align*} Cov (x_j, q_{j}) &= E (x_{j}q_{j}) - E (x_{j}) E (q_{j}) \\ &= \frac{1}{n}\sum x_{j} q_{j} - \frac{1}{n}\sum x_{j} q \\ ...


3

Are kin selection and group selection the same thing? Yes and no. Yes: These days people tend to use the "direct fitness approach" (Taylor and Frank JTB 1996). It turns out that this is based on EXACTLY the same equation as is contextual analysis, which is the currently favored approach for measuring multilevel selection in natural populations (...


3

It is just worded a little wierdly in my opinion. The key line in the paper is: 'Fitness components are also defined for all individuals, for example, $C$ is defined, even for a non-altruist, as the cost it would incur if were altruistic.' Essentially, if it doesn't matter what individual you are you always pay the same cost, then $C$ is a constant. This is ...


3

The writings by Samir Okasha (philosopher of biology/science) could be a good starting point. In his book Evolution and the Levels of Selection, he explicitly uses the Price equation to discuss selection at multiple levels (e.g. chapter 2.3: Price's equation in a hierarchical setting), and also derives a multi-level version of the Price equation: $$\bar{w}\...


3

The prototypical example of this is t, whose existence was predicted by Robert Trivers and featured prominently in the Selfish Gene. The current dominant point of view in evolutionary biology is that genes act in their own interest and even the 'self' is just a manifestation of the gene's reproductive properties. t is a locus in some male mice. The t ...


3

Tracing it backwards this was the earliest reference I found via google scholar, it's from 1988 and uses the $r B C$ notation in the format we are used to. Hamilton's rule states that for a social action to be favored under natural selection, rb - c > 0, where c is the cost to the actor in terms of the effect on (usually a reduction in) his expected ...


3

Have you looked into "Fundamental of Molecular Evolution" by Dan Graur & Li. Another suggestion in line of population genetics and different evo. theories would be - Evolutionary Genetics: Concepts and Case studies (Multi-author book. Editor Fox & Wolf)


3

He defines lineage selection as selection for traits which increase the fitness of a group of plasmids, rather than an individual plasmid with in a cell or a particular cell containing plasmids. He says that the unit of selection are "plasmid-host clades" : in other words the unit of selection is the group of closely related plasmids in separate cells. It is ...


3

I don't know much about this particular species of snake but here are some info that may help. What do we mean by right-handed snakes? I doubt that in this context a snake could be ambidextrous. What they call handedness in these snakes (Pereatids) concerns the density and size of teeth on each side of the jaw (pictures from Hoso et al. (2010)) This ...


3

The cat is probably just having fun. So, we could ask "What is the evolutionary benefit for having fun?" Through play, animal learn (Fagen 1974, Spinka et al. 2001, Pellegrini 2007, Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff, 2008). This is particularly true for juvenile. Adults play is not uncommon though and might follow from the same principles (Bekoff and Byers, 1998). ...


2

It has been shown that predictions based on weak selection can be different from that on strong selection. In fact, for rare mutations, each strategy has stationary distribution at the mutation selection equilibrium. The rank of the component depicts the relative prevalence of the available strategies. Yet the rank of the components of this distribution can ...


2

Selfish behaviour is not necessarily preferred. It depends on the game (game theory). For example, in absence of relatedness and reciprocity, we would expect: All the population defect in the Prisoner's dilemna Some defect and some cooperate in the snow-drift game Either all inds defect or all inds cooperate (depending on initial condition because it is an ...


2

I think the jury is out on this one, there are examples of evidence both for and against reachability of local equilibrium and even these examples can be interpreted in many ways. I present three pieces of evidence and some interpretations. In general, my feeling after reading about this is that the assumption of equilibrium is ingrained in mathematical ...


2

What I think the question is "Why wouldn't an organism be more efficient from selection than the environment demands?" Please let me know if I'm hitting the mark here. A scenario suggested by the question is this: If there is selection pressure on say an animal to resist a disease, and then it evolves two resistance systems to the disease. This could be ...


2

I think at @fileunderwater provides a good explanation of the basics math behind it, and some good references. I would like to go more into detail about the modeling decisions and benefits of assuming weak selection and why it is done in the literature. When you are making evolutionary models, especially one in evolutionary game theory, the first place is ...


2

This is my take in this, without experience of using the Taylor series to analyse evolutionary game theory problems. As you know the Taylor series expansion of $f(x)$ at point $a$ can be written as: $f(x)= f'(a)(x-a) + \frac{f''(a)}{2!}(x-a)^2 + \frac{f^{(3)}(a)}{3!}(x-a)^3 + ... + \frac{f^{(n)}(a)}{n!}(x-a)^n + ...$ Often factors above second order are ...


2

Unfortunately, the answer depends completely on how stringent you are with "Hamilton's rule". If you just mean the equation $r \geq c/b$ then it is important to look at modern usages. In modern usage, all three of the terms $r$, $c$, and $b$ can be arbitrarily complicated. My favorite examples include when $r$ takes into account spatial structure saying that ...


2

Is it interesting? Perhaps, but "complexity" is a vague notion. If you want to simplify and just say "variation" then sure, sex increases variation. But so does that random mutation you brought in. Really, all you need for increased variability is some difference between generations and genetic Drift will take care of the rest. Mutation is enough, which ...


2

It is not a regression (not at this stage of the paper, a regression will be done latter) The only complicated thing to understand is $b_i$, which is the 'base relatedness', ie how $i$ is related to a random individual (to be compared to how related it is to individuals with whom it interacts). To simplify let's first consider the situation where $b_i = 0$...


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