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]