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windy 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: windy 12 November 2007 07:42:00PM 0 points [-]

Windy, the point you referred to from Caledonian is not different than my own, so clearly it is you who is misunderstanding something here.

Your scenario is plausible, it's just not group selection. It's K selection. Just because "group" is mentioned in the scenario doesn't make it group selection.

Your definition also makes *every* adaptation that rescues a group from extinction an example of group selection. What's special about reproductive restraint? Antibiotic resistance is group selection, since otherwise that population would go extinct. Industrial melanism is group selection, since otherwise that population would(might?) go extinct.

Remember, if the degree to which the individual was able to survive decreased, if it was actual decreased fitness, we arrive back at the paradox where somehow the group is flourishing while all the individuals of that group are dead.

"Actual decreased fitness" does not mean "all will die". If it is logically impossible for "actual decreased fitness" to evolve, how do you explain worker ants? (ignore for the moment whether it's kin or group selection or what, just consider what the fitness of the workers is.)