Summary: In: Avilés, L. 1998. Interjournal on Complex Systems, ms. # 256 (www.interjournal.org).
Also to appear in: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Complex
Systems, Nashua, NH, Oct 25-30, 1998.
nonlinear dynamics and
the levels of selection
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Az 85721
The history of life is the history of the association of lower level units into
higher levels of organization [Buss 1987; Maynard Smith and Szathmáry 1995;
Michod 1997; Frank 1997]. Genes became associated in chromosomes, prokaryotic
cells in eukaryotic cells, single-celled organisms in multicellular organisms, and
multicellular organisms into social groups. In understanding these evolutionary
transitions two questions need to be addressed: What caused the lower level
units to become associated into a higher level entity? And then, once the
associations were under way, whether and, if so, under what circumstances was