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Rob Sheldon on the failure of selfish gene theory in peacocks, as well as bees

Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon writes to offer some thoughts on the recent study of bees, which failed to confirm selfish gene thinking as an explanation for communal life: This is really a most interesting study. If you recall, E. O. Wilson got fame and glory for studying ants. The problem he addressed, is why social insects will sacrifice their life for the sake of the hive-for someone else’s genes. Altruism, whether in humans or ants, seemed to contradict Darwin’s dictum “survival of the fittest.” Wilson argued that it was actually the percentage of genes that mattered, and for humans defended a child was more likely than defending a niece, and a niece greater than a 2nd cousin. Dawkins Read More ›