Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
II 56
Altruism/Behavior/Evolution/Gould: Definition Haplodiploid: the males develop from unfertilized eggs and have no father. Fertilized eggs, on the other hand, produce diploid females. This can be used to control the number of females.
II 57
This fascinating system can help explain the origin of social systems in ants. Or also, for example, that a male mite dies before his own birth after fertilising his sisters in the womb.
At least 10% of all known animal species are haplodiploid
This leads to problems from the Darwinian point of view: in a world where every individual works for personal reproductive success, why should a large number of females give up their own reproduction in order to help their mother (the queen) to bring in more sisters?
The ingenious explanation is based on the asymmetric relationship between the sexes of haplodiploid animals. In both diploid and haplodiploids, the mother gives half of her genetic material to her offspring (other half the father). Therefore, she is related to her sons and daughters in equal measure.
A diplo female also shares half of her genes with her brothers and sisters. A haplo female, on the other hand, shares three quarters of the genes with the sisters but only one quarter with the brothers.
If the Darwinian imperative causes organisms to maximize the number of their own genes in future generations, then the females of haplodiploids would do better to help their mothers raise their sisters than to produce their own offspring.
In fact, such developments have occurred several times independently of each other.
II 59
Causality: The biologists were so fascinated by these observations that a subtle reversal of causality has crept into many descriptions: the very existence of haplodiploidism is elegantly associated with the decision "for" a better social system such as ants.
II 61
GouldVs: Haplodiploid ancestors were certainly not completely social, this has only developed as a "phylogenetic additional thought" in some independent tribes.
Environment of such tribes: every single female! Even a non-full-grown one becomes a possible founder of new colonies, as it is able to produce a generation of males, with which it can mate to create a new generation of females.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-12-14
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