The Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Altruism in Evolutionary Biology
Altruism has many meanings both in science and in common language. In multilevel selection theory, “increase” and “decrease” are defined in relative terms. If an individual increases the fitness of its group, relative to other groups, while decreasing its own fitness, relative to other individuals in the same group, then it qualifies as an evolutionary altruist. In evolutionary jargon, phenotypically plastic is termed as “norm of reaction,” and it is portrayed graphically by showing the different environments on the x-axis and the corresponding phenotypes on the y-axis. To characterize a phenotypically plastic organism, we must know its repertoire of responses.
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