Sunday, November 2, 2008

Economic post-Darwinism?

Stanley, Gould, & Co. have earned a popular blog endorsement. A recent article about the proposed GM-Chrysler megamerger in the Daily Kos puts itself squarely into the species selection corner. It argues that species selection for body size in dinosaurs can be instructive in consideration of state-aided large corporate mergers. While clearly meant for a layperson, it is surprisingly lucid and on the mark.

The units and levels of selection, as well as the emergent properties within and among state-aided corporations remain unclear, however.


Glor said...

The metaphor is nicely developed, but I'm not on board with the notion that this scenario is tied to species selection. The problem is that extinction's role as an agent of species selection is hard to pin down if one accepts the notion that species selection requires fitness that is emergent only at higher taxonomic levels. If species go extinct because each individual member of the species is unfit, extinction can be attributed to processes acting at the individual level rather than a higher level process like species selection. This is why most students of species selection have tried to focus more on speciation.

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