Planet Earth

A box full of Ping-Pong balls: My article on inclusive fitness in NY Times

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerAug 30, 2010 9:29 PM

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On Wednesday, EO Wilson and colleagues at Harvard came out swinging at a major concept in modern evolutionary biology, known as inclusive fitness. A generation of scientists has used it to explain how animals help each other--because they're kin. In the new paper, Wilson and colleagues say it's superfluous. I've written a story about the paper--and the sparks flying from it in biology circles--for tomorrow's issue of the New York Times. I very much liked the way Jim Hunt, an expert on wasps, described the debate to me: “Things are just bouncing around right now like a box full of Ping-Pong balls.” To see what he means, check out the story. [Image from Alex Wild]

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