Advertisement

A Backward Question About Multilevel Selection: Can Species Selection Help Disentangle the Notion of Group Selection?

  • Andreea Eşanu
Chapter

Abstract

I maintain that a fresh insight into the notion of multilevel selection and its significance for the science of evolution may be gained once an empiricist stance to higher-level selection is preferred. This is why I choose not to focus on the abstract idea of “group selection”, as paradigmatic realization of multilevel selection, but instead I tackle the notion of species selection for which elementary empirical determinations are currently available. Following David Jablonski, I also maintain that species selection opens up a promising perspective on evaluating hypotheses about the contribution of different hierarchical components to macroevolutionary dynamics, and thus it presents itself as a source of new theory in evolutionary biology, beyond the classical debate over where to place the “focal level” of selection.

Keywords

Species selection Group selection Theory of evolution Macroevolution Generalized linear models David Jablonski 

References

  1. Arnold, A. J., & Fristrup, K. (1982). The theory of evolution by natural selection: A hierarchical expansion. Paleobiology, 8, 113–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Crespi, B. J. (2001). Species selection. In Encyclopedia of life sciences (pp. 1–3). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Damuth, J. (1985). Selection among ‘species’: A formulation in terms of natural functional units. Evolution, 39(5), 1132–1146.Google Scholar
  4. Eldredge, N., & Gould, S. J. (1972). Punctuated equilibria: An alternative to phyletic gradualism. In T. J. M. Schopf (Ed.), Models in paleobiology (pp. 82–115). San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  5. Gould, S. J. (2002). The structure of evolutionary theory. Cambridge, MA: Belknam Press.Google Scholar
  6. Grantham, T. (2007). Is macroevolution more than successive rounds of microevolution? Paleontology, 50(1), 77–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hunt, G., Kaustuv, R., & Jablonski, D. (2005). Species-level heritability reaffirmed: A comment on the “heritability of geographic range sizes”. The American Naturalist, 166(1), 129–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jablonski, D. (1986). Larval ecology and macroevolution of marine invertebrates. Bulletin of Marine Science, 39, 565–587.Google Scholar
  9. Jablonski, D. (1987). Heritability at the species level: Analysis of geographic ranges of Cretaceous mollusks. Science, 238, 360–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jablonski, D. (2000). Micro- and macroevolution: Scale and hierarchy in evolutionary biology and paleobiology. Paleobiology, 26(4), 15–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jablonski, D. (2005). Mass extinctions and macroevolution. Paleobiology, 31(2), 192–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jablonski, D. (2007a). Scale and hierarchy in macroevolution. Palaeontology, 50, 87–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jablonski, D. (2007b). A multilevel exploration. Evolution, 316, 1428–1430.Google Scholar
  14. Jablonski, D. (2008). Species selection: Theory and data. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 39, 501–524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jablonski, D., & Hunt, G. (2006). Larval ecology, geographic range, and species survivorship in cretaceous mollusks: Organismic versus species-level explanations. The American Naturalist, 168(4), 556–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jablonski, D., & Lutz, R. A. (1983). Larval ecology of marine benthic invertebrates: Paleobiological implications. Biological Reviews, 58(1), 21–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewontin, R. C. (1970). The units of selection. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 1, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lloyd, E., & Gould, S. J. (1993). Species selection on variability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 90(2), 595–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mitter, C., Farrell, B., & Weigmann, B. (1988). The phylogenetic study of adaptive zones: Has phytophagy promoted insect diversification? American Naturalist, 132, 107–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nunney, L. (1989). The maintenance of sex by group selection. Evolution, 43, 245–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Okasha, S. (2003). Does the concept of ‘clade selection’ make sense? Philosophy of Science, 70(4), 739–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Okasha, S. (2006). Evolution and the levels of selection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Okasha, S. (2012). Emergence, hierarchy and top-down causation. Interface Focus, 2, 49–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Price, G. R. (1970). Selection and covariance. Nature, 227, 520–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rice, S. H. (1995). A genetical theory of species selection. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 177, 237–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rice, S. H. (2004). Evolutionary theory: Mathematical and conceptual foundations. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.Google Scholar
  27. Shpak, M. (2008). Units of selection. In Encyclopedia of ecology (Vol. 1, pp. 3645–3650). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sober, E., & Wilson, D. S. (1998). Unto others. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Stanley, S. M. (1979). Macroevolution. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  30. Sterelny, K. (1996). Explanatory pluralism in evolutionary biology. Biology and Philosophy, 11(2), 193–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. van Fraassen, B. (1980). The scientific image. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Van Valen, L. (1975). Group selection, sex, and fossils. Evolution, 29, 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vrba, E. S. (1984). What is species selection? Systematic Zoology, 33, 318–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vrba, E. S. (1989). Levels of selection and sorting with special reference to the species level. Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology, 6, 111–168.Google Scholar
  35. Vrba, E., & Gould, S. J. (1986). The hierarchal expansion of sorting and selection. Paleobiology, 12(2), 217–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreea Eşanu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Philosophy “Alexandru Dragomir”BucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations