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Organismal design and causation in social evolution

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Armando Maestro.

The appearance of design in nature has been the subject of much debate over the past few centuries. Organisms seem to be fit for purpose and are remarkably adapted to their environment. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection provided a key scientific development in the understanding of organismal design. Yet, organismal design still remains a contentious topic. Multicellular organisms are composed of cells, organisms live in societies that are part of populations, which in turn form communities of different species. Is there a privileged biological unit on which selection operates? Here I will review different theories of organismal design, and in particular I will clarify recent misconceptions regarding kin selection theory.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Science Society series.

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