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Formalizing Darwinism and inclusive fitness theory.

Authors
  • Grafen, Alan1
Type
Published Article
Journal
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
Publisher
The Royal Society
Publication Date
Nov 12, 2009
Volume
364
Issue
1533
Pages
3135–3141
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0056
PMID: 19805422
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Inclusive fitness maximization is a basic building block for biological contributions to any theory of the evolution of society. There is a view in mathematical population genetics that nothing is caused to be maximized in the process of natural selection, but this is explained as arising from a misunderstanding about the meaning of fitness maximization. Current theoretical work on inclusive fitness is discussed, with emphasis on the author's 'formal Darwinism project'. Generally, favourable conclusions are drawn about the validity of assuming fitness maximization, but the need for continuing work is emphasized, along with the possibility that substantive exceptions may be uncovered. The formal Darwinism project aims more ambitiously to represent in a formal mathematical framework the central point of Darwin's Origin of Species, that the mechanical processes of inheritance and reproduction can give rise to the appearance of design, and it is a fitting ambition in Darwin's bicentenary year to capture his most profound discovery in the lingua franca of science.

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