Time and Fitness in Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality.
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It is striking that the concept of fitness although fundamental in evolutionary theory, still
remains ambiguous. I argue here that time, although usually neglected, is an important
parameter in regards to the concept of fitness. I will show some of the benefits of taking
it seriously using the example of recent debates over evolutionary transitions in
individuality. I start from Okasha's assertion that once an evolutionary transition in
individuality is completed an ontologically new level of selection emerges from lower
levels of organization. I argue that Okasha's claim to have identified two ontologically
distinct levels of selection is an artifact created by an undeserved comparison between
the fitness of the collective level and the fitness of its constituents. Once fitness is
assessed over the same period of time at the two levels of organization it becomes
clear that only one, unique process of selection is acting upon both levels.
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Time and Fitness in Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality. (deposited 09 Nov 2012 13:36)
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