Selfish and contentious people will not cohere and without coherence nothing can be effected.

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson is an American evolutionary biologist and a Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He is a son of the author Sloan Wilson and co-founder of the Evolution Institute.

Wilson is a prominent proponent of the concept of group selection in evolution (also known as multi-level selection). He and Elliott Sober proposed a framework called multilevel selection theory, which incorporates the more orthodox approach of gene-level selection and individual selection, in their book Unto Others. This framework argues that while genes serve as the means by which organisms' designs are transmitted across generations, individuals and groups are vehicles for those genes and both are arenas for genes to act on. Indeed, genes themselves can be affected by selection, not just because of their effects on the design of their vehicle (the organism) but also because of their effect on the functioning of the DNA on which they reside. Hence the notion of multilevel selection. Wilson has also coined the concept of a trait-group, a group of organisms linked not permanently as a group but having a shared fate due to their interactions with each other.

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