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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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The Gene's‐Eye View and its Discontents

The Gene's‐Eye View and its Discontents

(p.143) 5 The Gene's‐Eye View and its Discontents
Evolution and the Levels of Selection

Samir Okasha (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ‘genic’ view of evolution associated with Williams, Dawkins, Maynard Smith, and others. A distinction is drawn between the process of genic selection and a gene's eye perspective on selection processes that occur at other levels. Outlaw genes or selfish genetic elements, which spread at the expense of other genes in the same organism, are briefly examined and the use of multi-level selection theory to explore the evolutionary dynamics of outlaws is discussed. A number of objections to gene's eye thinking are examined, including the charge of ‘confusing bookkeeping with causality’ and the charge of ignoring the context-dependence of genes' effects on phenotype.

Keywords:   genic selection, gene's eye view, selfish genes, outlaws, intra-genomic conflict, selfish genetic elements (SGEs), bookkeeping objection, heterosis, epistasis, beanbag genetics

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