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← Dear E. O. Wilson: Please retire or stick to ants

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Richard Dawkins

No they are not a clone. and no the colony doesn't behave as a single organism. It's much more interesting than that. It's the middle of the night and I must try to get back to sleep, but it isn't hard to look up. It's all in The Selfish Gene and lots of other places.

Good night.

Comment 13 by Steven Mading :

Doesn't an ant colony all share the same DNA? The workers, the soldiers, the queen - they're all the same genes, and differentiate only based on what they are fed - is that true?

If so, then I don't see what the difference is between group selection and kin selection in an ant colony. They're the same thing. If you're an ant, then your whole group you interact with is the tightest sort of kin you can have - they're your clones.

Could it be that someone who studies ants primarily would mistake kin selection for group selection because of this?

Sun, 22 Apr 2012 01:10:23 UTC | #936388