Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Social vs. Sexual Selection

Coturnix of Science and Politics is currently a guest contributer at Majikthise, and he's added a really interesting post that summarises and reviews Joan Roughgarden's book Evolution's Rainbow and her new article entitled Reproductive Social Behavior: Cooperative Games to Replace Sexual Selection (abstract). He includes a number of excerpts from her writing, and adds his own rather well-founded opinion:
I do not agree that sexual selection is not confirmed. Even the first arguments, those of Darwin in Descent of Man are pretty strong [...]

A few years ago I did an almost exactly same experiment in two very different species: the Japanese quail and the crayfish. The results from the crayfish experiment were consistent with sexual selection and not with social selection theory. The data from quail were not consistent with sexual selection but were nicely explained by Roughgarden's social selection theory.

So, do not dismiss sexual selection yet, but don't dismiss Joan Roughgarden's ideas, either.
Update: A study on the influence of social selection just came out. Click here.


Anonymous Felix said...

Read the response to the mentioned article here:
Cheerio, felix

5:49 a.m.


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