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Please answer: Group selection and Sociobiology

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Please answer: Group selection and Sociobiology

Postby Veritophilia » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:07 pm


I hope this question is relevant to this thread.
I'm currently into sociobiology (not studying it, just thinking of doing so)

I've read on a topic called group selection but I haven't fully understood it yet.
I know that group selection is the idea that genetic traits (specific genes or mutations of genes) accumulate in a group of individuals because that trait is advantageous. Some scholars I've heard reject it in favor of simple kin selection.

But I don't understand why many eminent scientists reject group selection. And also, since I'm interested in its relation to human societies: I wonder if group selection is a valid way of explaining social phenomena like cultures, religions etcetera? I know that there is a cultural analog to genetics for cultures called memetics, but long I've wondered if cultures aren't just constructs that are based on biological entities (genes). After all, all social phenomena and indeed society itself must somewhere begin in the human brain which is itself reducable to its genetic coding.

So my two part question is:

1. Why do many scientists reject group selection?
2. What do you think of the idea that social phenomena can be reduced to biological entities?
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Postby Darby » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:48 pm

The idea that evolution could be applied to groups became tied to the idea that Western culture could suppress local cultures, and it was just a natural process. The concept became politically very incorrect.

Rejecting group selection means saying that, in colonial species, the interactions and subgroups within the colony are irrelevant to the continuation of the group.
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