Individuals and Types

Epistemologically, fitness is not a property of individuals, but of hereditary types. Individuals do not have a probability to die before maturity; they just die or survive. Moreover, the phrase that fitness is a property of types only makes sense under an implicit ceteris paribus condition, as the fitness of a type necessarily depends on the environment in which it lives. Hence, except in very restricted cases, fitness should be treated not as a single number, but as a function of two variables, type and environment.

What objects should be considered individuals, as well as the attribution of types, depends on the evolutionary question. About the only restriction is that adaptive evolution crucially depends on the almost faithfulness of reproduction, that is, offspring should nearly always have the same type as their parents or at least a very similar type. If this were not the case, the smearing out over type space would overwhelm any evolutionary dynamics due to selection. This also means that the appropriate reference frame for any definition of fitness is clonal reproduction. The connection with the Mendelian world is made by observing that alleles reproduce clonally.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment