kin selection

noun

: a theory of natural selection which states that a usually altruistic behavior or attribute that lowers the fitness of a particular individual is selected for if it increases the probability of survival and reproduction of related kin who possess some or all of the same genes as the altruistic individual

Examples of kin selection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In subsequent centuries, as evolutionary biology and genetics matured, scientists converged on a resolution to this paradox: Behavior that appeared to be altruistic was often just another manifestation of selfish genes — a phenomenon known as kin selection. New York Times, 2 Dec. 2020 But that is not kin selection. Pamela Weintraub, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2011 The fifth mechanism is a version of the familiar kin selection, the tendency to cooperate with blood relations. Kristin Ohlson, Discover Magazine, 24 Oct. 2012 Their expectations were that in regards to the evolution of altruism kin selection should be inferior to genetic similarity which should be inferior to the green-beard effect. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2010 Wilson resolved the paradox by drawing on the theory of kin selection. Pamela Weintraub, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2011 In one set of trials the organisms operated through conventional means of kin selection, whereby the heuristic was to favor those to whom an individual was closely related. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2010 The author compares her own model of altruism with other evolutionary explanations currently in vogue, notably kin selection, in which supposed altruists are in fact working for the survival of genes located within their relatives. David P. Barash, WSJ, 6 May 2022 One is kin selection, which requires the collaborators to be related (as neighbouring trees of the same species are likely to be) and works if sacrifices by one bring disproportionate reproductive benefits to others. The Economist, 25 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kin selection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kin selection was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near kin selection

Cite this Entry

“Kin selection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kin%20selection. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

kin selection

noun
: a theory of natural selection which states that a usually altruistic behavior or attribute that lowers the fitness of a particular individual is selected for if it increases the probability of survival and reproduction of related kin who possess some or all of the same genes as the altruistic individual
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