Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. The paper by Nowak et al. has the evolution of eusociality as its title, but it is mostly about something else. It argues against inclusive fitness theory and offers an alternative modelling approach that is claimed to be more fundamental and general, but which, we believe, has no practical biological meaning for the evolution of eusociality. Nowak et al. overlook the robust empirical observation that eusociality has only arisen in clades where mothers are associated with their full-sibling offspring; that is, in families where the average relatedness of offspring to siblings is as high as to their own offspring, independent of population structure or ploidy. We believe that this omission makes the paper largely irrelevant for understanding the evolution of eusociality.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nature09832

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature

Publication Date

24/03/2011

Volume

471

Pages

E4 - E5

Keywords

Altruism, Animals, Biological Evolution, Cooperative Behavior, Female, Game Theory, Genetic Fitness, Genetics, Population, Male, Models, Biological, Reproducibility of Results, Reproduction, Selection, Genetic, Sex Ratio, Siblings