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Evolution and the Levels of Selection$
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Samir Okasha

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267972.001.0001

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Causality and Multi‐Level Selection

Causality and Multi‐Level Selection

(p.76) 3 Causality and Multi‐Level Selection
Evolution and the Levels of Selection

Samir Okasha (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the causal dimension to multi-level selection theory. Particular attention is paid to the idea that direct selection at one hierarchical level may generate, as a side effect, a character-fitness covariance at a different level, and thus the appearance of direct selection at that level. Such ‘cross-level’ byproducts lie at the heart of the levels of selection problem and show that Price's equation cannot be an infallible guide to determining the level(s) at which selection is acting. The nature of cross-level byproducts in MLS1 and MLS2 is examined, and the statistical technique known as contextual analysis, which can be used to detect cross-level byproducts, is explored.

Keywords:   causation, correlation, character-fitness covariance, cross-level byproducts, contextual analysis, Price's equation, MLS1, MLS2

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