Group Selection May Explain Cancer Predisposition and Other Human Traits’ Evolution

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Abstract

Group selection is a matter of acute controversy among evolutionary biologists. The most well-publicized debate in this regard is that between Edward O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins. As is widely known, Edward O. Wilson is very excited about the idea of social selection and eusociality; by contrast Richard Dawkins favors the idea of gene selection. As is often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Evolution is most likely a multilevel procedure, where selection forces act on genes, individuals, and groups. Here, I would like to emphasize that group selection may be a possible cause of increased genetic variation on DNA repair genes, subsequently this driving to high cancer incidence. Additionally, if group selection is indeed happening in humans, maybe this is the reason that few adaptive loci have been discovered in human genome, even though thousands of sequenced genomes exist today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-186
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Volume86
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • DNA repair genes
  • Extreme environments
  • Group selection
  • Mismatch repair
  • Natural selection

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