chapter  1
4 Pages

On the Effects of Selection on Social Insects

ByA. H. Sturtevant

There are two conflicting tendencies in recent developments of the mathematical theory of the behavior of wild populations. On the one hand there is the view that selection is ever present and is the only effective agent in altering the constitution of populations. On this view selection operates only on individuals, and the members of a group are not thought of as occurring in semi-independent subgroups. On the other hand there is the point of view expressed by Wright, according to which the most favorable conditions for evolution are those in which the members of a large population do not interbreed at random, but exist in more or less independent subgroups, which undergo exchanges of genes at times but are also effectively in competition with each other. On this latter view there is an opportunity, lacking on the first view, for selection to bring about the establishment of characteristics favorable to the group but unfavorable to the individual.