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Darwinian Dynamics: Evolutionary Transitions in Fitness and Individuality

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The concept of fitness has long been a topic of intense debate among evolutionary biologists and their critics, with its definition and explanatory power coming under attack. In this book, Richard Michod offers a fresh, dynamical interpretation of evolution and fitness concepts. He argues that evolution has no enduring products; what matters is the process of genetic change. Whereas many biologists have focused on competition and aggression as determining factors in survival, Michod, by concentrating on the emergence of individuality at new and more complex levels, finds that cooperation plays even a greater role.

Michod first considers the principles behind the hierarchically nested levels of organization that constitute life: genes, chromosomes, genomes, cells, multicellular organisms, and societies. By examining the evolutionary transitions from the molecular level up to the whole organism, the author explains how cooperation and conflict in a multilevel setting leads to new levels of fitness. He builds a model of fitness drawing on recent developments in ecology and multilevel selection theory and on new explanations of the origin of life. Michod concludes with a discussion of the philosophical implications of his theory of fitness, a theory that addresses the most fundamental and unique concept in all of biology.

Synopsis:

The concept of fitness has long been a topic of intense debate among evolutionary biologists and their critics, with its definition and explanatory power coming under attack. In this book, Richard Michod offers a fresh, dynamical interpretation of evolution and fitness concepts. He argues that evolution has no enduring products; what matters is the process of genetic change. Whereas many biologists have focused on competition and aggression as determining factors in survival, Michod, by concentrating on the emergence of individuality at new and more complex levels, finds that cooperation plays even a greater role.

Michod first considers the principles behind the hierarchically nested levels of organization that constitute life: genes, chromosomes, genomes, cells, multicellular organisms, and societies. By examining the evolutionary transitions from the molecular level up to the whole organism, the author explains how cooperation and conflict in a multilevel setting leads to new levels of fitness. He builds a model of fitness drawing on recent developments in ecology and multilevel selection theory and on new explanations of the origin of life. Michod concludes with a discussion of the philosophical implications of his theory of fitness, a theory that addresses the most fundamental and unique concept in all of biology.

Synopsis:

The concept of fitness has long been a topic of intense debate among evolutionary biologists and their critics, with its definition and explanatory power coming under attack. In this book, Richard Michod offers a fresh, dynamical interpretation of evolution and fitness concepts. He argues that evolution has no enduring products; what matters is the process of genetic change. Whereas many biologists have focused on competition and aggression as determining factors in survival, Michod, by concentrating on the emergence of individuality at new and more complex levels, finds that cooperation plays even a greater role.

Michod first considers the principles behind the hierarchically nested levels of organization that constitute life: genes, chromosomes, genomes, cells, multicellular organisms, and societies. By examining the evolutionary transitions from the molecular level up to the whole organism, the author explains how cooperation and conflict in a multilevel setting leads to new levels of fitness. He builds a model of fitness drawing on recent developments in ecology and multilevel selection theory and on new explanations of the origin of life. Michod concludes with a discussion of the philosophical implications of his theory of fitness, a theory that addresses the most fundamental and unique concept in all of biology.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

CHAPTER 1 The Language of Selection

Plan of the Book

Darwinian Dynamics

Major Evolutionary Transitions

Cooperation and Conflict

Fisherian Fitness

Deconstructing Fitness

Selection as Fitness Covariance

Mathematical Models

Adequacy Criterion for Understanding Fitness

Definitions of Basic Concepts

CHAPTER 2 Origin of Fitness

Complementarity

Spontaneous Creation

Self-Replication and the Origin of Fitness

Replicator Dynamics

Design Analysis of Molecular Replicator

Life History Evolution

Survival of the Fittest

Survival of Anybody

Overview of the Origin of Fitness

CHAPTER 3 The First Individuals

Origin of Gene Networks

Cooperation and Conflict

Survival of the First

Evolutionary Transitions Are Inherently Nonlinear

Origin of Hypercycles

Quasispecies

Population Structure

Kin Selection in Evolutionary Transitions

Conflict Mediation through Individuality

Further Evolution of the Cell

Heritable Capacities of Single Cells

Reconsidering Adaptedness and Fitness

Early Transitions in Evolution

CHAPTER 4 Evolution of Interactions

Gene Frequency Change

Population Growth

Frequency-Dependent Selection

Constant Selection

Adaptive Topography

Frequency Dependence Decouples Fitness in a Selection Hierarchy

Selection as Covariance

Fisher's Fundamental Theorem

Evolution in Hierarchically Structured Populations

Evolution of Multicellular Organisms

Kin Selection

Game Theory

Modification of Genetic Constraints

Population Dynamics and Natural Selection

Fitness Minima

Prisoner's Dilemma

Spatial Structure and the Evolution of

Cooperation

The Problem of Frequency Dependence

CHAPTER 5 Multilevel Selection of the Organism

A Scenario

A Model for the Emergence of Organisms

Recurrence Equations

Within-Organism Mutation Selection Model

Mutation Rate

Covariance Methods

The Risk of Development

Increase of Cooperation

Level of Cooperation among Cells within Organisms

Fitness of Organisms

Effect of Sex and Diploidy on the Emerging Organism

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Model

CHAPTER 6 Rediscovering Individuality

Evolutionary Individuals

Two-Locus Modifier Model

Model Parameters

Equilibria of the System

Evolution of the Germ Line

Evolution of the Mutation Rate

Evolution of Self-Policing

Evolution of Adult Size

Effect of Transition on the Level of

Cooperation

Increase of Fitness Covariance at Organism

Level

Heritability of Fitness and the Evolution

of Individuality

Sex and Individuality

Origin of Multicellular Life

Transitions in Individuality

CHAPTER 7 Fitness Explanations

Overview of Fitness and Natural Selection

Trading Fitness through Cooperation

Kinship and Population Structure

Conflict Mediation

Reconsidering Fitness

The "Tautology Problem"

Surrogates for Natural Selection

Evolution of Selfing

Cost of Sex

Immortality, Death, and the Life Cycle

Kin Selection of Altruism

Heterozygote Superiority

Sickle Cell Anemia

Darwin's Dilemmas

CHAPTER 8 A Philosophy of Fitness

Dynamics of Design

What Makes Biology Different?

Success and Design

Long-Term versus Short-Term Measures of Fitness

Darwinian Dynamics

Natural Selection as a Biological Law

Paradigms for Natural Selection

Fitness in Darwinian Dynamics

The Insufficiency of Individual Fitness

Heritability and Natural Selection

Schema for Natural Selection

The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness

Brandon's Approach

Heritable Capacities as Components of Design

Overall Adaptedness of Organisms

Masking of Adaptiveness

Are Adaptation Concepts Necessary?

F-Fitness and Evolutionary Explanations

Explaining Fitness

APPENDIX A Supporting Analyses

Statistics of Fitness and Selection

Equilibria for Modifier Model (G = 0)

Cost of Sex in Diploids

APPENDIX B Fitness Phrases

APPENDIX C Notation

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691050119
Author:
Michod, Richard E.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Natural selection
Subject:
Adaptation (biology)
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Biological Sciences.
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Evolutionary Transit
Publication Date:
January 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
25 tables, 24 line illus.
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 14 oz

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Genetics
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Topology

Darwinian Dynamics: Evolutionary Transitions in Fitness and Individuality New Trade Paper
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Product details 280 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691050119 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The concept of fitness has long been a topic of intense debate among evolutionary biologists and their critics, with its definition and explanatory power coming under attack. In this book, Richard Michod offers a fresh, dynamical interpretation of evolution and fitness concepts. He argues that evolution has no enduring products; what matters is the process of genetic change. Whereas many biologists have focused on competition and aggression as determining factors in survival, Michod, by concentrating on the emergence of individuality at new and more complex levels, finds that cooperation plays even a greater role.

Michod first considers the principles behind the hierarchically nested levels of organization that constitute life: genes, chromosomes, genomes, cells, multicellular organisms, and societies. By examining the evolutionary transitions from the molecular level up to the whole organism, the author explains how cooperation and conflict in a multilevel setting leads to new levels of fitness. He builds a model of fitness drawing on recent developments in ecology and multilevel selection theory and on new explanations of the origin of life. Michod concludes with a discussion of the philosophical implications of his theory of fitness, a theory that addresses the most fundamental and unique concept in all of biology.

"Synopsis" by , The concept of fitness has long been a topic of intense debate among evolutionary biologists and their critics, with its definition and explanatory power coming under attack. In this book, Richard Michod offers a fresh, dynamical interpretation of evolution and fitness concepts. He argues that evolution has no enduring products; what matters is the process of genetic change. Whereas many biologists have focused on competition and aggression as determining factors in survival, Michod, by concentrating on the emergence of individuality at new and more complex levels, finds that cooperation plays even a greater role.

Michod first considers the principles behind the hierarchically nested levels of organization that constitute life: genes, chromosomes, genomes, cells, multicellular organisms, and societies. By examining the evolutionary transitions from the molecular level up to the whole organism, the author explains how cooperation and conflict in a multilevel setting leads to new levels of fitness. He builds a model of fitness drawing on recent developments in ecology and multilevel selection theory and on new explanations of the origin of life. Michod concludes with a discussion of the philosophical implications of his theory of fitness, a theory that addresses the most fundamental and unique concept in all of biology.

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