The Paradox of Sexual Reproduction and the Levels of Selection: Can Sociobiology Shed a Light?

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Philosophy and Theory in Biology, ISSN: 1949-0739, Vol: 4, Issue: 20170609, Page: 1-16

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Dagg, Joachim
University of Michigan Library; Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library
article description
The rejection of group selection in the 1960s left the evolutionary maintenance of sex bereft of its previous explanations and turned it into an anomaly or paradox. While the levels of selection debate advanced towards multilevel selection theory as a tentative resolution, the paradox of sex became increasingly decoupled from it. Only differential extinction or speciation of sexual and asexual taxa have been considered in relation to the maintenance of sex. This agrees with multilevel selection scenario 2 (MLS2) in which the groups have their own component of fitness. In multilevel selection scenario 1 (MLS1), however, groups can structure selection without having their own component of fitness. Moreover, MLS1 defines trait-groups via social interactions. Here I suggest that MLS1 can be applied to the maintenance of sexual reproduction against the twofold cost of sex. This neither denies the existence of other costs of sex nor the legitimacy of other hypotheses concerning these costs.