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The Genetics Of Altruism - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780121156503, 9780323148856

The Genetics Of Altruism

1st Edition

Authors: Scott Boorman Paul Levitt
eBook ISBN: 9780323148856
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1980
Page Count: 480
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The Genetics of Altruism covers the primary findings on social evolution, social trait, and altruism from a population genetics standpoint to establish a system of genetic boxes. It presents an evolutionary question with two faces: Why are there so many social species? Why, in all the diversity of the animal kingdom, are the social species so few? To address the evolutionary question, this book focuses on recognition of the fact that on an evolutionary time, scale genetics must underlie all changes in the capacity for social structure and other aspects of organic evolution. It presents comparative analyses framed in mathematical terms; mathematical concepts as a means of getting outside human, perhaps more generally primate and carnivore; frames of reference; and alternative network combinatorics as a natural basis for comparing social structures that are phylogenetically remote. It also discusses the comparative biology of social behavior on a purely descriptive basis through the social and evolutionary structures emergent. The book concludes by discussing major evolutionary pathways, various kinds of preadaptedness for sociality, and the use of cascade principle to suggest ways in which human evolution may have been a special case.
This book is a valuable resource for biologists, social scientists, researchers, students, and all those who want to broaden their knowledge in the field of social behavior and altruism.

Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of Tables

Chapter 1 The Evolutionary Roots of Sociality

1.1. Statement of the Problem

1.2. Varieties of Selection for Social Behavior

1.3. Characteristics of Social Behavior as an Object of Selection

1.4. Genetic Models

1.5. The Evolutionary Setting

1.6. Plan of the Book


Part I The Theory of Reciprocity Selection

Chapter 2 Mathematical Models for a Simple Cooperative Trait

2.1. A Minimal Model and Its Threshold ßerit

2.2. Behavioral Interpretation of the Parameters

2.3. Generalizations of the Minimal Model: Robustness and the Effects of Cheating

2.4. Effects of Varying the Mendelian Dominance of the Social Trait

Appendix. Interactions with the Mating System


Chapter 3 Cascade t o Takeover by the Social Trait

3.1. Extension of the Minimal Model to an Island-Structured Metapopulation

3.2. Cascade Behavior: Numerical Examples

3.3. The Two-Island Approximation and Its Uses

Appendix. Notes on a Demographic Accounting Problem


Chapter 4 Dynamics of the Cascade Using the Two-Island Approximation

4.1. Analysis of a True Two-Island Model

4.2. Analysis of the Two-Island Approximation

4.3. The Case Where the Source Island for Socials Remains at Fixation

Appendix. Perturbation Solutions for the Fixed Points in the Small m Case and Determination of Stability Character


Chapter 5 The Cascade Continued—Initial Conditions and Global Dynamics

5.1. Setting the Initial Conditions by Genetic Drift

5.2. The Cascade: Basic Mechanisms of Propagation

5.3. Comparative Statics: Effect of Mother Site Centrality on Viability and Speed of Cascade

5.4. Self-Erasing Cascade Histories and the Reversibility of Social Evolution

5.5. Generalizations

Appendix. Numerical Studies of Two-Dimensional Regular Stepping-Stone Models


Part II The Theory of Kin Selection

Chapter 6 General Models for Sib and Half-Sib Selection

6.1. Précis of the Hamilton Theory

6.2. Outline of the New Models

6.3. Formalism and Derivation of Random Mating Recursions

6.4. Stability Analysis: Conditions for Stability at Fixation and Justification of Hardy-Weinberg Analysis near Dominant Fixation

Appendix 6.1. The Concept of Genes Identical by Descent and the Calculation of Wright's Coefficient of Relationship

Appendix 6.2. A General Haplodiploid Model


Chapter 7 Axiomatization of Sib Selection Theories

7.1. Axiomatic Comparisons of Fixation Stability Conditions

7.2. Analysis of Polymorphism


Chapter 8 Alternative Combinatorial Models and the Status of the Hamilton Theory

8.1. The Appropriateness of Sib Selection as a Model of Social Evolution in Hymenoptera

8.2. A First Combinatorial Model and Its Hamilton Limit

8.3. Alternative Combinatorics for Fitness Assignment

8.4. Concurrent Individual and Sib Selection

8.5. The Present Status of the Hamilton Conjecture: Information from the Axioms 247

8.6. Models for the Evolutionary Differentiation of Caste in Social Insects

Appendix 8.1. Details of ó Graphs 261

Appendix 8.2. Stability Conditions for Sib Selection Models with Combinatorial Coefficients from Section 8.2


Chapter 9 Models of Intergenerational Altruism

9.1. Child-Parent Altruism in a Haplodiploid Species

9.2. Parental Investment in a Haplodiploid Species


Part III The Theory of Group Selection

Chapter 10 Analysis of Group Selection in the Levins E = E( x ) Formalism

10.1. Overtime Solution of the Basic Levins Equation

10.2. Biological Discussion of the Results

10.3. Comparison with the Levins Analysis

Appendix. Behavior of ⌀(x, 1) near x = 0 and x = 1 for h ⍷ (0,1)


Chapter 11 Group Selection of Founder Populations

11.1. Derivation of a New Model

11.2. Analysis: Fixed Points and Stability

11.3. Interpretation


Chapter 12 Conclusions

12.1. Pathways to Sociality

12.2. Preadaptations for Social Evolution

12.3. Reflections on Data

12.4. Evolutionary Limits on Sociality

12.5. Notes on Hominid Applications

Technical Appendix: Genetics Background



Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1980
28th January 1980
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Scott Boorman

Paul Levitt

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