Group Selection in Every Way Except Using the Words: A Critique of “The Goodness Paradox” by Richard Wrangham

David Sloan Wilson: Richard Wrangham does an excellent job addressing all four questions that must be asked to fully explain any product of evolution, concerning their function (if any), phylogeny, mechanism, and development. He is also one of the most lucid writers for a general audience. Hence, I warmly recommend The Goodness Paradox to experts and laypeople alike. I learned a lot from it and think that you will also. But there is one thing that Wrangham gets wrong. He thinks that he can develop his thesis without invoking group selection, when he is invoking group selection in every way except using the words. Group selection is the evolution of traits based on the differential survival and reproduction of groups in a multi-group population, as opposed to the differential survival and reproduction of individuals within groups. It is famously controversial.

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