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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

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I would argue that group selection is ALWAYS present in the sense that it is the whole group (population or species) which must be viable in order for its genes to pass on to the next generation. If the group is not viable as such, both genes and individuals get de-selected. So there is at present a group selection (or rather, de-selection) of chimpanzees and bonobos, which are probably headed for extinction as a group, give or take a few specimens in the hothouse of zoos. As for the third level, has it got anything to do with "self-directed" evolution, Baldwinian evolution as it is called, or ecological niche construction? This evolutionary mode would seem to be the preserve of animals with a measure of consciousness, and is prominent in the case of humans.
BLOGGER: I'll have to think about Baldwinian vs tri-level selection. Usually Baldwinian selection reflects a behavioral change and an adaptation to the new behavior. Purpose plays no necessary role.

As for group selection, in normal circumstances, if the fittest chimpanzees survive, chimpanzees survive. But it is true that gene-level competition tends to be between members of the same group. Tensions such as that between African wild dogs and spotted hyenas do tend to get played out on the group level.

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