What is hierarchical selection?

Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):27-33 (1992)
Abstract
  It has been proposed that natural selection occurs on a hierarchy of levels, of which the organismic level is neither the top nor the bottom. This hypothesis leads to the following practical problem: in general, how does one tell if a given phenomenon is a result of selection on level X or level Y. How does one tell what the units of selection actually are?It is convenient to assume that a unit of selection may be defined as a type of entity for which there exists, among all entities on the same level as that entity, an additive component of variance for some specific component F of fitness which does not appear as an additive component of variance in any decomposition of this F among entities at any lower level. But such a definition implicitly assumes that if f(x, y) depends nonadditively on its arguments, there must be interaction between the quantities which x and y represent. This assumption is incorrect. And one cannot avoid this error by speaking of transformability to additivity instead of merely additivity
Keywords Additivity  ANOVA  evolution  hierarchical selection
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