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Journal of Genetics

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 341–343 | Cite as

Sex, spite, and selfish genes

  • J. ARVID ÅGRENEmail author
Book Review

Nature’s oracle: the life and work of W. D. Hamilton

Ullica Segerstrale

Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK; 2013; 336 pages; ISBN13: 978-0198607274

The greatest honour that can be bestowed upon an Argentinian football player is to be named heir to Diego Maradona. In evolutionary biology, the equivalent recognition comes by being compared to Charles Darwin. The English theoretical biologist and naturalist William Donald (Bill) Hamilton (1936–2000) is, together with his hero R. A. Fisher, probably the biologist who most often receives this homage. Fisher, and the other architects of the Modern Synthesis, had solved one of the main problems left by Darwin: to reconcile gradual evolution with a functioning theory of inheritance. Hamilton is best known for providing the solution to another of Darwin’s puzzles, that of altruistic behaviour, something Darwin called his ‘one special problem’. In addition, he made substantial contributions to theories on the evolution of sex, senescence, sex...

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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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