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Barkley__Rosser 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: Barkley__Rosser 08 November 2007 10:46:41PM -2 points [-]

I'm back.


I agree that ultimately the empirical issue will be more important than this model versus that model. I am not going to get into the debate about the specific math of your model as others have already done so. If you really think you have a strong and new result, submit it to my journal. The referees will be some of the top mathematical population geneticists in the world.

McCabe was the third coauthor on the piece with Smith and Houser of GMU in the Jan. 2004 JEBO special issue that took the hardest pro-Dawkins line. So, when he says "never never never..." this factoid should be kept in mind.

Also, if you do submit the paper, change the title. Indeed, while "Tragedyy of Group Selection" may get the adrenaline flowing for some readers, it is pretty absurd. Tragedy? Who died or was killed or even just had their marriage break up? (maybe a couple arguing about group selection?). Hitler's racist eugenics was tied to millions being killed in the Holocaust. That was tragedy. Stalin's support of the goofy Lamarkism of Lysenko was tied with millions dying in Soviet famines and many better scientists being thrown in jail for disputing Lysenko. This was a tragedy. Get real, please.

Oh yes. While you suggest that the hypercycle is a "whole 'nother story," I would say not really. There are links, even if the precise equations are somewhat different.


Congrats on the reasonably informative links.


Once you are dealing with hominids, which may be the most important example, indeed "enforcement" may well be important. There is a growing lit on how reciprocal altruism ultimately depends on punishment of free riders, that is, enforcement.

Comment author: DaveK 23 October 2013 01:21:25PM 0 points [-]

Bingo. Free rider punishment is a big factor here. If an organism is dependent on a social group for survival, it has to limit itself to reproductive strategies that will maintain its membership in the group.