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Cooperation, inclusive fitness and complexity: Hamilton was right after all!
By John Pepper
November 1st, 2007

Abstract: One of the most persistent and important issues in evolutionary biology is the origin of cooperation. The most influential theoretical approach has been Hamilton’ theory of inclusive fitness, which is mathematically equivalent to the more recent formulations of multi-level selection theory.

The scope of inclusive fitness theory is controversial. Other authors have equated inclusive fitness effects with kin selection, while Hamilton insisted that his approach was more general, but incorporated kin selection as a special case. John will present recent results showing that Hamilton was correct in principle, and that mechanisms other than common descent can generate the genetic similarity between individuals that drives inclusive fitness effects. The alternative mechanism John will describe is driven by self- organization. It is non-intuitive, yet requires only conditions that are widely met in nature.























Readings for seminar:

Simple Models of Assortment through Environmental Feedback (.pdf)

A Mechanism for the Evolution of Altruism among Nonkin: Positive Assortment through Environmental Feedback (.pdf)


View announcement (.pdf)



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Time and location:
Thursday, November 1, 2007
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity
ISTB-1, Room 401