Re: [asa] David S Wilson

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sun May 06 2007 - 11:20:55 EDT

That could well be, Dave. That's partly why I remain skeptical of these
kinds of experiments. It's hard to pinpoint and verify the real underlying
factors. But Wilson's hypothesis isn't unreasonable and perhaps future work
will add support for his case.


----- Original Message -----
From: "D. F. Siemens, Jr." <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 12:26 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] David S Wilson

> In small part, Randy wrote:
> The animal study compared two flocks of hens, each
> grouped into cages of 9-10 hens. One flock was artificially selected
> for individual top egg-layers while the other flock was selected for
> cage-level top egg-layers. After six generations, the flock selected
> for individual performers was decimated and only a few battle-scarred
> hen-pecked warriors remained with low egg production. The other flock
> that was selected for group performance still thrived with high egg
> production. Conclusion: groups of hens that had a positive influence
> on each other had a higher survival rate. Ergo, groups of altruistic
> organisms can have better survival rates.
> It looks to me as though this is not so much a matter of altruism as one
> of what is essentially inbreeding with a loss of fertility and vitality.
> The individuals selected would be more likely to have similar genes
> affecting egg production than the cages selected.
> Dave

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Received on Sun May 6 11:21:35 2007

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