Re: Sociobiological Concepts

From: Stevan Harnad (
Date: Sun Oct 12 1997 - 19:57:11 BST

> From: Nik Bollons <>
> An evolutionary stable strategy is only one that has been
> successful up until this point in time? In which case the
> dinosaurs would not be able to class themselves as having an
> evolutionary stable strategy because their strategy is not
> stable, it^s non-existent.

The ESS concept is used specifically in cases of conflict, usually
within a species. It is a strategy that cannot be bettered under the
iven environmental conditions. If thye earth heats up substantially, all
bets sre off: maybe the species itself will no longer be around.

> according to Dawkins, no such thing as a species, or a
> species having success in evolutionary terms. But it is the
> collection of genes within that species that are the
> successful things. That is, a gene in a species that codes
> for a specific trait is the successful thing, rather than the
> species who act out the trait.


> 5) Is the crux of the whole thing that, genes code for a
> specific physical or behaviour characteristic. Behavioral
> characteristics become evolutionary stable strategies - such
> as looking after your young - through natural selection and
> the past environment. But success should not be bestowed on
> the species, or the ESS, it should go onto the genes
> themselves because they are the cause of both of these. In
> this way we can see evolutionarily stable strategies and
> genetic traits in one species (humans) also appear in another
> (apes, mice, whales).

Yes. And all mammals -- indeed all vertebrates -- share a considerable
proportion of their genes.

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