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← The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

kriton's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by kriton

Zeuglodon, how is that different tracks? The gene is useless without the protein, and the genome is useless without the organism. The organism is the vehicle for the genome, but they would not be around without each other and can't really be separated in the physical world.

The genome can be destroyed, but it is by no means necessary. It is perfectly possible for a bacterial genome to go on reproducing itself for thousands of generations. There will be changes over time, yes, just as there will be mutations in individual genes. New variants of the same gene, new variants of the same genome. I don't see how epigenetics would make a difference, since it affects both genes and genomes.

I'm not asking for evidence of altruistic behaviour in general, but evidence that the numbers 1/2, 1/4 can somehow be demonstrated to be relevant in actual such behaviour. You said:

Even when it reaches fixation, the allele will still be programming its host to use the rules of thumb that ensured it got there in the first place.

So is there empirical evidence that people or animals really treat their children like "half a priority compared to yourself"? Are there really such rules of thumb in real life, and are they stable over time?

Do the 1/2, 1/4 numbers apply only when the altruistic gene variant is new and has not yet spread in the population, or are they still relevant even after the new gene variant has spread to a large proportion (say 60%) of the population? Which one is it and why? That's what I would like a clear explanation of.

Fri, 25 May 2012 06:47:51 UTC | #943430