• Corpus ID: 53180329

The extended phenotype : the gene as the unit of selection

  title={The extended phenotype : the gene as the unit of selection},
  author={Richard Dawkins},
A stimulating investigation of new perspectives on gene effects, this sequel to The Selfish Gene argues that since genes can be said to have extended phenotypes outside the body in which they sit, we will have to revolutionize our views of evolutionary adaptation. It also looks at the theory of evolutionary stable strategies, the relationship between Darwinian and Lamarckian theories of adaptation, and Dawkin's suggestion that some of the surplus DNA in eukaryotic genomes may be parasitic. 
The Beanbag Genetics Controversy: Towards a synthesis of opposing views of natural selection
This claim that genic models of natural selection break down in the face of epistatic interactions among genes during phenotypic development is explored from both a conceptual and a quantitative point of view, and is shown to be defective on both counts.
On the Adaptations of Organisms and the Fitness of Types
We claim that much of the confusion associated with the "tautology problem" about survival of the fittest is due to the mistake of attributing fitness to individuals instead of to types. We argue
The Social Epistasis Amplification Model: A Diachronic Test and Expansion of Theoretical Foundations
We build on the finding of accumulating deleterious mutations with the SEAM (the social epistasis amplification model), which posits that the fitness costs of deleterious mutations are not limited to
Evolutionary biology today and the call for an extended synthesis
The proposition that phenotypic plasticity may engender new adaptive phenotypes that are later genetically assimilated or accommodated is theoretically plausible; it may be most likely when the new phenotype is not truly novel, but is instead a slight extension of a reaction norm already shaped by natural selection in similar environments.
Evolutionary plasticity in prokaryotes: A panglossian view
A refutation of G.C. Williams' argument that selection for mutator activity on a priori grounds is dismissed, and some conceptual problems related to recent claims made by microbiologists on the adaptiveness of “molecular variety generators” in the evolution of prokaryotes are discussed.
Phylogenies and the New Evolutionary Synthesis
It is now finally being recognized as the only way to fully explain the patterns and processes that have led to the present diversity of life is a more holistic approach based on robust phylogenies, sound biogeographical data, a good fossil record and molecular developmental information.
The unit of natural selection: groups, families, individuals, or genes?
Evidence for and against the theories that evolution acts essentially on genes, on individuals, on kin, or on larger groups are reviewed.
Fitness Transmission - A Genealogic Signature of Adaptive Evolution
Fitness transmission is the correlation between the fitness of parents and children, where fitness is evaluated after the number of grandchildren, suitably normalised, and is demonstrated to accurately detect the presence or absence of Darwinian evolution.
Genes and Cultures
Information from twin studies, crossfostering, sexual behavior, and the Human Genome Project makes it abundantly clear that most interesting aspects of the human behavioral phenome are programmed into the brain by the environment.


How does selection reconcile individual advantage with the good of the group?
  • E. Leigh
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1977
It is shown how selection within populations may reconcile individual and group advantage, as in the evolution of "honest meioses" resistant to segregation distortion, and the avoidance of the "cost of sex".
The principle of natural selection as the motive force for evolution was framed by Darwin in terms of a "struggle for existence" on the part of organisms living in a finite and risky environment. The
Is a cultural ethology possible?
The possibility, desirability, and potential outcomes of applying ethological methods to the study of culture-specific human behaviors are investigated. Ethology and culture are explored. A new term,
What Are Dandelions and Aphids?