gallery index

William D. Hamilton

British biologist who has succeeded in explaining the "altruistic" behavior of the workers of ants and bees in terms of "kin selection". That is, female workers can contribute to increasing their genes more efficiently by raising their sisters, than by bearing their own offsprings; and such behavior can evolve by natural selection. Robert Trivers followed him by introducing "reciprocal altruism" which can evolve without kinship, but with frequent interactions among the same members and appropriate memory.

Hamilton also proposed the notion of Evolutionarily Stable Strategy (ESS) with John Maynard-Smith; ESS is a behavioral strategy which, when most members of a group adopt it, does not permit (according to natural selection) the intrusion of other types of strategy into the group. Hamilton was awarded a Kyoto Prize in 1993.


links students ito uchii newsletters gallery English index index

Last modified Dec. 6, 2008. (c) Soshichi Uchii