Research NewsEvolutionary Biology

Genes vs. Teams: Weighing Group Tactics in Evolution

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Science  09 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5276, pp. 739-740
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5276.739


Most biologists think of individual organisms as the main players in the evolutionary game. But some evolutionary biologists have argued that this view overlooks the struggles and strategies of “teams”—whether they be species, groups of cells, or groups of organisms. And although the idea of group selection was discredited more than 30 years ago, a growing number of researchers say that it deserves a fresh hearing. New models and data, they say, answer some of the criticisms originally aimed at group selection.