Theory in Biosciences

, Volume 121, Issue 4, pp 331–350 | Cite as

On the notion of fitness, or: The selfish ancestor

  • Jürgen JostEmail author


We introduce a concept of fitness of a lineage as the number of descendents weighted by their degree of relatedness with the ancestor of the lineage and propose this as a scheme for analyzing altruistic behavior.

Key words

Fitness lineage altruism 


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Copyright information

© Urban & Fischer Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the SciencesLeipzigGermany

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