>watch some stanford biology lecture
>prof tells story about a herd of wilderbeasts that perform a group behavior to sacrifice a weak old member so the herd can escape danger, crocodiles or whatever
>prof points out how the old dude got pushed out by the rest of the herd meaning it is not individual altruistic behavior
>prof claims this is not 'group selection' as that means altruistic behavior 'for the good of the species'
>prof says animals never behave this way and so there is no such thing as 'group selection'
so just, lets summarise
>a group of animals finds itself in a dangerous situation
>the group of animals selects one individual to sacrifice
>the group performs a form of colective behavior effectively sacrificing the individual(the whole herd cooperates in pushing him out)
>helps the group escape to safety so obviously, logicaly is 'for the good of the species'
>this is not literaly a blatant example of 'group selection'
I'd say that it could be explained as a 'selfish' act in the sense of 'you don't need to be the fastest, just not the slowest. Pushed out, sacrifice, selects an individual, seem to be colloquial terms easier for undergrads to understand.
>prof says animals never behave this way
This is correct, some species such as chimps performs "mutual" (important term) grooming to remove parasites, as it benefits both individuals involved.
Even bee hive's aren't an example of group selection, as the non reproductive females share 3/4 of their genetics with the queens, so if they reproduced on their own only 50% of their genes would be passed on rather than the more effective 75% due to haplodipoidy.
Group selection really is a subtle idea which seems to often be violated, i've considered it as an explanation, but there is often a point to which i've found myself ignorant in hindsight.
back to your example, the group does not select anything, it just happens that the less able individual is the one which succumbs to predation, which incidentally leads to a reduction of risk to the rest of the group.
There is no moral or ethical views which can be inferred from this however (naturalistic fallacy), as humans are able to contemplate consequences and act in manners outside of those beneficial to your own genes, see celibacy and suicide. If anything the 'selfishness' of natural selection provides an example which humans are able to transcend due to our comprehension of it.
Group selection is a technical term which is often misunderstood.
>sacrifice, selects an individual
no those are my words, he just emphasised that it not a altruistic suicide, and so he dismissed it
he completely focused on the 'individualist' aspect so to speak
as in the animal didnt do that on purpose, it was forced by enviroment
he completely ignored the fact it was a form of group behavior, and the the group literaly made a selection(yes i know thats not what the term itself means), and that every individual within the group obviously cooperated, thus helping all the others, except for that one weak old fuck
jeremy bentham confirmed for wildebeest
come on man, it's decent discussion, also the fact that many people do draw moral views from natural would mean that the topic is related to some peoples philosophical views, and discussion of these example is related to the formation of said views, whether they are correct or not.
How can you be sure that "they all kicked out the same guy". did they actively harass a single member of the group once a predator was detected, did they simply not actively try to include the 'one who fell out' rather than kick him out?
Dhabi Alsaija animal looks alike attempt of roe grow trunk as on elephant. Nature is miraculous.
the way he explained it he was pushed out, but even if its all hypothetical and he just told a story as a example, im talking about the logic of it somehow not being animals behaving 'for the good of the species' because it wasnt 'individual altruism'
why would all behavior that ends up logicaly being 'for the good of the species' have to be 'individual altruism', othervise it doesent count
>the old dude got pushed out by the rest of the herd
Is that not just our human interpretation? If a heard cudle together in fear of a predator and the old and weaker one gets pushed to the outside, is that realy a consious and deliberate group effort? Isn't that just a weakling failing at survival?
>for the good of the species
Because animals (excluding humans) have no comprehension of this, a behaviour can in hindsight be seen an beneficial to the species, but it's not due to foresight from the individuals involved.
I'd guess the professor was perhaps a little flippant with the particular example which was given.
The groups selection topic is actually one which is still unproven amongst professional biologists, it seems impossible, but it hasn't been ruled out, if the example you gave was a real example of group selection someone would have published it and been a pioneer of biological theory.
It's not group selection because there is no selection for specific traits here.
Assuming the herd sacrifices members based on their age-related frailty alone, then the genetic composition of members removed from the population is effectively random. As a result there's a change in age distribution within the population but no specific direction of selection for certain genes
but if the behavior is ultimately a expression of genes present in the population then the behavior itself is a result of selection
that is the genes that were selected were the ones of every animal that got out of that situation alive because the group performed a behavior, which behavior is expression of the genes so selected
so it stil is a form of selection, even if it isnt simple negative selection
I'm not trying to be condescending but your understanding of the topic isn't complete, while you obviously understand more than a layman. natural selection operates due to members of the same population possessing different genetic makeups and the subsequent non random survival based on the differential survival of individuals, also this process has been altered in human populations, we are no longer completely subject to the natural cycles of resource availability and our technology can mitigate the effects of selection pressures upon our species.
In case anyone's curious, the lecturer is Robert Sapolsky, referring to an old series of nature documentaries sponsored by Mutual of Omaha or something.
IIRC he raised that point specifically to address the group-selectionist hypothetical of individual self-sacrifice for the group. That's only one prediction of group-selection and its being false doesn't on its own disprove the full range of group-selectionist ideas.
It's simply that the old documentary he was talking about always presented the wildebeest sacrifice as self-driven (and thus compatible with group selection). Sapolsky regards group selection as broadly false (there are of course very weak senses in which it is obviously true) but wildebeest not being altruistic outside of kin-selectionist models of same is not the only reason why.
This can be reduced to absurdity by considering the case of an identical twin of the sacrificed wildebeest who simply happens not to be in the same position within the herd at that time.