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Robert N. Brandon

Robert Brandon is Professor of Philosophy and Biology at Duke University and the coeditor of Genes, Organisms, Populations: Controversies over the Units of Selection (MIT Press, 1984).

Titles by This Editor

From Theory to Practice

The twentieth century’s conceptual separation of the process of evolution (changes in a population as its members reproduce and die) from the process of development (changes in an organism over the course of its life) allowed scientists to study evolution without bogging down in the “messy details” of development. Advances in genetics produced the modern synthesis, which cast the gene as the unit of natural selection.

Controversies Over the Units of Selection

Natural selection and the controversial issues over the units of selection are the subject of these seventeen essays which are grouped in sections that focus on the history of the topic, discuss the levels and units of selection, and present kin, group, and hierarchical models of selection.