Principles of Social Evolution

Paperback | February 6, 2011

byAndrew F.G. Bourke

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Living things are organized in a hierarchy of levels. Genes group together in cells, cells group together in organisms, and organisms group together in societies. Even different species form mutualistic partnerships. Throughout the history of life, previously independent units have formedgroups that, in time, have come to resemble individuals in their own right. Evolutionary biologists term such events "the major transitions". The process common to them all is social evolution. Each transition occurs only if natural selection favours one unit joining with another in a new kind ofgroup. This book presents a fresh synthesis of the principles of social evolution that underlie the major transitions, explaining how the basic theory underpinning social evolution - inclusive fitness theory - is central to understanding each event. The book defines the key stages in a major transition,then highlights the shared principles operating at each stage across the transitions as a whole. It addresses in new ways the question of how, once they have arisen, organisms and societies become more individualistic.

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Living things are organized in a hierarchy of levels. Genes group together in cells, cells group together in organisms, and organisms group together in societies. Even different species form mutualistic partnerships. Throughout the history of life, previously independent units have formedgroups that, in time, have come to resemble indi...

Andrew Bourke graduated with a degree in Zoology from the University of Cambridge in 1983, before conducting a PhD on the social biology of slave-making ants at the University of Bath. In 1988 he obtained a Junior Research Fellowship from Jesus College, Cambridge, which he held until 1991 in the Department of Zoology, University of Ca...

other books by Andrew F.G. Bourke

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pagesPublished:February 6, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199231168

ISBN - 13:9780199231164

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements1. An Expanded View of Social Evolution2. A Primer in Inclusive Fitness Theory3. The Major Transitions in Light of Inclusive Fitness Theory4. Social Group Formation5. Social Group Maintenance6. Social Group Transformation7. Synthesis and ConclusionsReferencesIndex