Re: [evol-psych] Edward O. Wilson's "bombshell" on the reality of group selec...
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A review of molecular biology sheds light on the matter.
I may be, (definitely am) naive in this field, but it has seemed to me that kin selection could very easily "flow over" into group selection, particularly when the group is small enough that most members of a group are actually kin, albeit more distant that first cousins or the equivalent. I believe that groups periodically purposefully bring in new blood by accepting strangers into the group or by capturing outsiders, presumably mostly women, in tribal warfare, The latter case suggests that warfare among groups may be a genetic necessity, particularly if there are insufficient strangers to keep the gene pool fresh. Unfortunately, how one could prove/disprove these hypotheses is not apparent, although review of anthropological research and historic tales of primitive populations may shed some light on the matter. Dave Alexander
"The transition from asexual to sexual reproduction [in brewer's yeast] involves two organisms that incorporate the equally well-conserved GnRH-directed, GnRHR-enabled neuroendocrine system signaling mechanism and the MHC/HLA-directed immune system signaling mechanism. These signaling mechanisms are involved in the chemical discrimination of self from non-self, genetic diversification, and the neuroendocrine response to non-self chemical signals, like olfactory/pheromonal input from the social environment."
Kohl JV (in press) The Mind’s Eyes: Human Pheromones, Neuroscience, and Male Sexual Preferences
The Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality Volume 18(4).
Since the concept of pheromones came from insects, it seems likely that they are very much involved in kin selection across species, which would "flow over" into group selection across species, especially with regards to group alliances. These alliances might simply be based on the unconscious affect of pheromones on behavior, which would promote group effort to defend an insect colony, or kill mammalian males who "smell" different, but mate with their females.
for information on pheromones and species diversification in insects see also:
Inheritance of Olfactory Preferences III. Processing of Pheromonal Signals in the Antennal Lobe of Heliothis subflexa x Heliothis virescens Hybrid Male Moths.
Brain Behav Evol 16 May 2006 68(2): p. 90.