[ExI] Ants for spike! Dawkins and Wilson

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Nov 13 22:01:04 UTC 2009


> ...On Behalf Of Keith Henson
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Ants for spike! Dawkins and Wilson
> On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 4:00 AM,  spike wrote:
> snip
> >> I read this when it came out, and no, it does not overturn the 
> >> central dogma of where evolution occurs.  If you think it does, 
> >> please explain.
> >>
> >> Keith
> >
> >
> > I have pondered this to no avail.  Could there be another 
> layer of subtlety?
> > For instance 94% of genetic drift takes place at a genome 
> level as a 
> > result of competition between individuals, and about 6% at a group 
> > selection level on the average, but these propertions can go up  or 
> > down under certain conditions such as a battle between 
> competing genomes, etc.
> URL for where you got these numbers please.
> Keith

No references Keith, I just offered of them as an example.  I should have
worded it differently, such as "If, for instance, 94% of..."

I pulled these numbers out of the air to suggest perhaps it isn't exactly
right to say evolution does not work at all on the group level.  I agree it
works primarily at the gene level, over 90%, but it is important to
understand whether or not there is a small percentage of genetic change as a
result of group selection.  Most theorists today agree there is no group
selection in evolution, but a few say group selection sometimes plays some
small part.

It might be that group selection applies only to those lifeforms in which
memes dominate behavior, such as in humans.  We are seeing a clear case
where the meme "breed early and often" is causing dominance of the genome of
that group which holds these memes, over the group which holds the meme
"breed seldom if at all, in order to save the earth."

The reason why I think this is important is that I perceive we really are on
the verge of the holy grail of modern evolutionary theory: a working
computer simulation of evolution.  If we are within a decade or two of that
breakthrough, then we need to program in that factor of group selection, if
its influence is non-zero.  I suspect the influence of group selection is
usually flat zero, but in a few species, such as humans, under a few
circumstances, such as war, group selection goes non-zero.



More information about the extropy-chat mailing list