This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Jos Gibbons

Of course I do; that's what replication is about. "Like begets like" is one thing; "identical begets identical" is another. Remember, "it replicates at least in some parts" is true of sexual reproduction, too; I have half my father's genes.

As for the r thing, its definition is the conditional probability$ that the recipient of altruism contains an altruism-causing gene given that the altruist does. Therefore, it'll naturally be a dyadic fraction. The reason it "matters" is because, while a gene can't find out whether or not it's present in an individual, a probabilistic altruism rule is successful on average (which is what selection requires) iff it accords with Hamilton's rule.

$ More precisely, the limit thereof as the gene's frequency tends to 0.

Thu, 24 May 2012 20:54:05 UTC | #943354