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Charles Darwin and group selection

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The question of the levels at which natural selection can be said to operate is much discussed by biologists today and is a key factor in the recent controversy about sociobiology. It is shown that this problem is one to which Charles Darwin addressed himself at some length. It is argued that apart from some slight equivocation over man, Darwin opted firmly for hypotheses supposing selection always to work at the level of the individual rather than the group. However, natural selection's co-discoverer, Alfred Russel Wallace, endorsed group selection hypotheses.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00033798000200421

Affiliations: Departments of History and Philosophy, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1

Publication date: November 1, 1980

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