On price's equation and average fitness

Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):551-565 (2002)

Peter Godfrey-Smith
University of Sydney
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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References found in this work BETA

The Return of the Gene.Kim Sterelny & Philip Kitcher - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):339.
Artifact, Cause and Genic Selection.Elliott Sober & Richard C. Lewontin - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (2):157-180.
The Return of the Group.Kim Sterelny - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (4):562-584.

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Citations of this work BETA

Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions.P. Godfrey-Smith & B. Kerr - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):205-222.
How to Defeat Complexity.James Maclaurin - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):491 – 501.

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