Multilevel Selection and the Major Transitions in Evolution

Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1013-1025 (2005)
A number of recent biologists have used multi-level selection theory to help explain the major transitions in evolution. I argue that in doing so, they have shifted from a ‘synchronic’ to a ‘diachronic’ formulation of the levels of selection question. The implications of this shift in perspective are explored, in relation to an ambiguity in the meaning of multi-level selection. Though the ambiguity is well-known, it has never before been discussed in the context of the major transitions.
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DOI 10.1086/508102
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Abraham H. Gibson (2013). Edward O. Wilson and the Organicist Tradition. Journal of the History of Biology 46 (4):599-630.

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