That’s a good number of top notch evolutionary biologists, colleagues that I very much respect, on both sides of the aisle.(I guess Planck was right, if a bit harsh, when he famously said: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”) Why, then, am I writing this essay?Müller, Armin Moczek, Eva Jablonka, and John Odling-Smee. That said, I wasn’t going to chime in about the Nature commentaries because I had made my case plenty of times before, and also because I think I see the tide (among the all-important young practitioners of the field) moving our way, so why bother.Arguing for the “No, all is well” thesis were Gregory A. It is interesting, and both amusing and flattering, for instance, to see that in recent years I have almost without exceptions been invited to talk about these issues by groups of graduate students around the country, but rarely by older colleagues.We introduce a powerful method to study dynamical population structure: evolutionary set theory.The individuals of a population are distributed over sets.
This theory attempted to deal with some of the major problems of Darwin's theory, especially the origin of biological information.For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.Received ; Revised 28 July 2010; Accepted 12 August 2010 One central tenet of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (1930s-1950s), and the consensus view among biologists until now, is that all genetic mutations occur by “chance” or at “random” with respect to adaptation.As a particular example, we study the evolution of cooperation and derive precise conditions for cooperators to be selected over defectors. We participate in activities or belong to institutions where we meet and interact with other people. Such sets can be defined, for example, by working for a particular company, living in a specific location, going to certain restaurants, or holding memberships at clubs. For example, the students of the same university have different majors, take different classes, and compete in different sports.These set memberships determine the structure of human society: they specify who meets whom, and they define the frequency and context of meetings between individuals.