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The Price Equation, Fisher's Fundamental Theorem, Kin Selection, and Causal Analysis

Steven A. Frank
Evolution
Vol. 51, No. 6 (Dec., 1997), pp. 1712-1729
DOI: 10.2307/2410995
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410995
Page Count: 18
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The Price Equation, Fisher's Fundamental Theorem, Kin Selection, and Causal Analysis
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Abstract

A general framework is presented to unify diverse models of natural selection. This framework is based on the Price Equation, with two additional steps. First, characters are described by their multiple regression on a set of predictor variables. The most common predictors in genetics are alleles and their interactions, but any predictor may be used. The second step is to describe fitness by multiple regression on characters. Once again, characters may be chosen arbitrarily. This expanded Price Equation provides an exact description of total evolutionary change under all conditions, and for all systems of inheritance and selection. The model is first used for a new proof of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection. The relations are then made clear among Fisher's theorem, Robertson's covariance theorem for quantitative genetics, the Lande-Arnold model for the causal analysis of natural selection, and Hamilton's rule for kin selection. Each of these models is a partial analysis of total evolutionary change. The Price Equation extends each model to an exact, total analysis of evolutionary change for any system of inheritance and selection. This exact analysis is used to develop an expanded Hamilton's rule for total change. The expanded rule clarifies the distinction between two types of kin selection coefficients. The first measures components of selection caused by correlated phenotypes of social partners. The second measures components of heritability via transmission by direct and indirect components of fitness.

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