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Kin selection and eusociality



Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson Nature 466, 1057–1062 (2010)10.1038/nature09205; Nowak et al. reply

Hamilton1 described a selective process in which individuals affect kin (kin selection), developed a novel modelling strategy for it (inclusive fitness), and derived a rule to describe it (Hamilton’s rule). Nowak et al.2 assert that inclusive fitness is not the best modelling strategy, and also that its production has been “meagre”. The former may be debated by theoreticians, but the latter is simply incorrect. There is abundant evidence to demonstrate that inclusive fitness, kin selection and Hamilton’s rule have been extraordinarily productive for understanding the evolution of sociality.

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All authors conceived the project, analysed the material and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Joan E. Strassmann.

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Competing financial interests: declared none.

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Strassmann, J., Page, R., Robinson, G. et al. Kin selection and eusociality. Nature 471, E5–E6 (2011).

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