On price's equation and average fitness

Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):551-565 (2002)
A number of recent discussions have argued that George Price's equationfor representing evolutionary change is a powerful and illuminatingtool, especially in the context of debates about multiple levels ofselection. Our paper dissects Price's equation in detail, and comparesit to another statistical tool: the calculation and comparison ofaverage fitnesses. The relations between Price's equation and equationsfor evolutionary change using average fitness are closer than issometimes supposed. The two approaches achieve a similar kind ofstatistical summary of one generation of change, and they achieve thisvia a similar loss of information about the underlying fitnessstructure.
Keywords altruism  average fitness  clumping  group selection  individual selection  marginal fitness  multi-level selection  Price's equation  statistics
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DOI 10.1023/A:1020572704223
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