10 April 2015
David Sloan Wilson
Departments of Biology and Anthropology
Major controversies in science have a way of appearing obvious in retrospect. We wonder why smart people took so long to agree that the earth revolves around the sun, that glaciers once covered the northern latitudes, or that the continents drift. So it is with multilevel selection, a theory that explains how adaptations can evolve at any level of a multi-tier hierarchy of units, from genes to ecosystems. MLS theory is entering its resolution phase after over half a century of controversy. I will provide an overview of MLS theory and how it can be applied to phenomena as diverse as the origin of life, cancer, human evolution, and the efficacy of contemporary social groups.
current theory lunch schedule