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Adirian comments on The Tragedy of Group Selectionism - Less Wrong

36 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 November 2007 07:47AM

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Comment author: Adirian 08 November 2007 05:10:59AM 0 points [-]

You can alter the question slightly to permit a very limited form of group selection - you have to have completely isolated genomes, to start with, and a high level of mutative cost between the two groups. (I/e, mammalian versus octopus eyes - refinement guarantees the two groups can't crossover or mutate to adapt the other's characteristics.) If selective pressure favours one of the two characteristics, one group will be effectively "selected out."

The genetic variance doesn't even have to be defined - it could just be a selective tendency against. (I/e, groups for whom quality of children is more important than quantity may be more resistant to certain selective pressures, and vice versa - it isn't individual genes be selected upon in this case, it's the genome.)

So genomes, insofar as they may BE atomic, can be operated upon with selective pressure. Any atomic construct with reproductive capacity is subject to some form of evolution. It's simply much, much slower and rarer for larger constructs. (Because evolution on a smaller-construct form operates at such a high speed comparatively.)