Individuals never win the evolution game - it's all about the group. For the vast majority of organisms that have ever existed, life has very much been about taking one for the team.
Not quite sure what you mean. Is the group at the species level, or are you talking about a group of individuals, a tribal band, for instance? As for taking one for the team, is that those individuals that have less advantageous or disadvantageous genes not reproducing or reproducing much less?
Not quite sure what you mean. Is the group at the species level, or are you talking about a group of individuals, a tribal band, for instance?
All of the above. As individuals within any population reproduce, the characteristics of the group change - evolution specifically refers to that change within the group. And as advantageous traits become more common within a population over the course of generations, it is the population as a whole that benefits, not necessarily the individuals within that population.
As for taking one for the team, is that those individuals that have less advantageous or disadvantageous genes not reproducing or reproducing much less?
More the unfortunate individuals who end up with disadvantageous traits, as they need to be killed off before passing those traits on. But again, because an advantageous trait can only spread throughout a population over the course of generations, the individuals don't really win at all.
The issue is that the term 'evolution', by definition, can only be applied to a group of organisms. So, if you want to use the 'game' metaphor, living long enough to reproduce certainly helps your team win, but because the game lasts multiple generations, you don't get to be around for the victory party. Evolution is the ultimate team sport.
Mr. Turquoise, what's your thoughts on the gene centered view? Because it is very much not team centered and pure group selection would breed out traits like deceit whereas gene selection would keep them in, albeit at a low level.
Very good information, Vene. My biology class is covering DNA replication now. The professor also explained how mutations can occur in an easy, understandable manner. This is the example she gave, and each letter in the following sentence represents a nucleotide:
The cat ate the rat
If deletion occurs (say we delete the 'e' in the first 'the'), then something like this will occur:
Thc ata tet her at
The deletion of one nucleotide screwed up everything else. It'll cause a different sequence of amino acids.
Also, sorry if I sound like a moron. I'm just excited to learn that and understand it a bit. ^_^