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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

Evolutionary Restraints The Contentious History of Group Selection

By: Mark E Borrello
215 pages, 16 b/w photos, 1 b/w illustration
Evolutionary Restraints
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  • Evolutionary Restraints ISBN: 9780226067032 Paperback Jun 2012 Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • Evolutionary Restraints ISBN: 9780226067018 Hardback Oct 2010 Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available
Selected version: £26.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Much of the history of the evolutionary debate since Darwin has focused on the level at which natural selection occurs. Most biologists acknowledge multiple levels of selection - from the gene, the trait, and the organism, to the family, the group, and the species. However, it is the debate about group selection that Evolutionary Restraints focuses on.

Tracing the history of biological attempts to determine whether selection could lead to the evolution of fitter groups, the author takes as his focus the British naturalist V. C. Wynne-Edwards, who proposed that animals could regulate their own population levels and thereby avoid overexploitation of their food and other resources. The resultant interpretations and arguments bled out into broader conversations about population regulation, environmental crises, and the evolution of human and animal social behavior.

Customer Reviews


Mark E. Borrello is associate professor of the history of science in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota.

By: Mark E Borrello
215 pages, 16 b/w photos, 1 b/w illustration
Media reviews

"Group selection has a turbulent history, and this book, about a theory that was prematurely rejected and subsequently accepted, covers an important episode in the history of science that is more timely than ever before. Now that evolution as a multilevel process is becoming widely accepted, a proper history is badly needed; Evolutionary Restraints provides that."
- David Sloan Wilson, author of Darwin's Cathedral

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