Essay on Natural Selection Acts On Organisms ( Millstein )

Essay on Natural Selection Acts On Organisms ( Millstein )

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Millstein, a scientists experimenting with species of beetles, argued that each of these positions could be right in one way, but wrong in another in that natural selection takes place at the level of populations, but it is a causal process when done this way (2006). Arguments between scientists are often if natural selection acts on a population level or an individual level (Millstein, 2006). Dealing with this issue of levels, the difference between the two arguments can be shown by an example of a person believing, in terms of the levels of selection, that selection acts on organisms (Millstein, 2006). This person may ask whether the selection process was acting on individual organisms or populations of organisms (Millstein, 2006). The second question is the one that strikes scientists as interesting (Millstein, 2006). Scientists wish to talk about individual population rather than a class or type of population (Millstein, 2006). However, they should understand that individual refers to individual organisms, whereas a population refers to a collection of organisms, where natural selection would be taking place (Millstein, 2006).

Selection exhibits population-level causation in accordance with a number of different accounts of causation (Millstein, 2006). Three of which can be a counterfactual account, a manipulability account, and a controlled experiment account (Millstein, 2006), but only the first two will be reviewed. For each of the three cases heritable differences in physical characteristics and differences in reproductive success can be seen (Millstein, 2006). With the counterfactual account, the heritable difference can be explained by saying that the differences in reproductive success do not occur (Millstein, 2006). N...


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...the ideas of kin selection and altruism between the members of the species (Wyatt et. al., 2013).

Drawing from ideas from Darwin’s famous book and experiments dealing with different levels of selection, one can explore the thought that natural selection may favor selection on the population, gene, and group levels while also acquiring ideas of kin selection. A central issue in evolutionary biology is the exploration of functional traits among populations and the extent to which this variation has adaptive value (Ramírez-Valiente et. al., 2014). Scientists also look into the idea of how these variations play into natural selection and how it acts on groups of individuals (Ramírez-Valiente et. al., 2014). Darwin saw organismal selection as the main process by which varieties were created and embraced the idea that group selection is a viable possibility (Haug, 2007).

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