Adaptations in sexual reproduction - Can group selection explain sexual reproduction?
Summary of the group selection debate on the evolution of sex:
• Group selection will tend to favor sexual over asexual reproduction because sexual populations will have a lower rate of extinction.
• The taxonomic distribution of asexuality suggests that asexual populations tend to go extinct relatively quickly in evolution.
• Biologists doubt whether group selection is the reason why sex exists, for two main reasons. One is a general disbelief in group selection; the other is Williams' balance argument.
• The objections are strong enough to have inspired biologists to look for a short-term, individual advantage to sex. We shall consider two of the most influential modern ideas.