Category Archives: kin selection

How does altruism evolve?

The short answer: through kin selection. According to the new paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shown below, and in general in evolutionary biology, altruism is defined as “a behavior decreasing the expected survival and/or reproduction (fitness) of the actor while increasing the fitness of the recipient.” The simplest example […]

A new paper showing the usefulness of the kin-selection model

There’s a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA by David A. Galbraith et al. (free link and reference at bottom) that has a very cool result: one predicted by kin-selection theory. Kin selection, as you may know, is the idea that the adaptive value of a gene (and hence its evolutionary […]

The kin selection argument continues, with those denying its importance holding firm. They’re wrong.

In 2010, Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita, and E. O. Wilson wrote a paper in Nature (reference and link below) arguing that “kin selection,” selection based on relatedness (shared alleles among nestmates) was not—as had long been maintained—a key factor in the evolution of “eusocial” insects. (Those are species in which there are nonreproductive “castes” of workers, […]