Kin selection is the key to altruism

Foster, Kevin R, Wenseleers, Tom and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2006) Kin selection is the key to altruism. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 21 (2). pp. 57-60. ISSN 0169-5347

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Kin selection theory, also known as inclusive fitness theory, has been the subject of much debate and misunderstanding. Nevertheless, the idea that relatedness among individuals can drive the evolution of altruism has emerged as a central paradigm in evolutionary biology. Or has it? In two recent articles, E.O. Wilson argues that kin selection should no longer be considered the main explanation for the evolution of altruism in insect societies. Here, we discuss what these articles say about kin selection and how it relates to the theory. We conclude that kin selection remains the key explanation for the evolution of altruism in eusocial insects.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Francis Ratnieks
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:19
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 09:40
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