The problem of multilevel selection

In the chapter about selection of my book, I wrote a draft on what would be the unit of selection in the selective process, namely, what biological entity has its frequency increased because of selective processes. This is a rather controversial topic in evolutionary biology, and I quickly decided to drop it, focusing only on the basic explanation of fundamental concepts related to the selection itself, because, from the beginning, I planned to write a fairly brief and short book. But now, here in the blog, I can try to write a line or two about the unit of selection. This post is a first superficial exploration on this subject. Continue reading

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Gene fossilization and cavefish

When I started teaching biology, and that was a long time ago, I didn’t know most of what I know today about the theoretical framework of evolutionary biology, and I was not properly prepared for a lot of questions from students. Mea culpa. That unpreparedness led me to take certain paths in the classroom that, today, certainly I wouldn’t. The theme of this short post is exactly an example of this. Continue reading