Kin Selection, Group Selection, and Philosophy

Kin-selection or group-selection? Scientists Square Off on Evolutionary Value of Helping Relatives

In the background of this debate is a concern about the philosophical implications of each view. We have the gene-centered Hamilton world, in which individuals try to maximize their genetic interest, in part, through kin selection, which implies the rationality of ethnic nepotism and concerns for ethnic genetic interest, or, alternatively, we have the group-centered Sloan world, in which individual populations evolve collectively — in primates through gene-culture evolution and multilevel selection — such that some cultural differences have a genetic bias, in the sense of norms of reaction, and some cultural ways are more adapted to certain genotypes, all of which implies that human ethnopopulations can be seen as fuzzy supra-organisms.

It can be Volk either way you go.

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