Wednesday, August 23, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Maynard Smith (1920 – 2004)


British evolutionary biologist and geneticist.
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John Maynard Smith
It is an occupational risk of biologists to claim, towards the end of their careers, that the problems which they have not solved are insoluble.
Smith quotes
Natural selection is the only workable explanation for the beautiful and compelling illusion of 'design' that pervades every living body and every organ. Knowledge of evolution may not be strictly useful in everyday commerce. You can live some sort of life and die without ever hearing the name of Darwin. But if, before you die, you want to understand why you lived in the first place, Darwinism is the one subject that you must study.
Smith
The last decade has seen a steady increase in the application of concepts from the theory of games to the study of evolution. Fields as diverse as sex ratio theory, animal distribution, contest behaviour and reciprocal altruism have contributed to what is now emerging as a universal way of thinking about phenotypic evolution.




Smith John Maynard quotes
Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is the only workable explanation that has ever been proposed for the remarkable fact of our own existence, indeed the existence of all life wherever it may turn up in the universe.
Smith John Maynard
Evolutionary game theory is a way of thinking about evolution at the phenotypic level when the fitnesses of particular phenotypes depend on their frequencies in the population.
John Maynard Smith quotes
Game theory concepts were first explicitly applied in evolutionary biology by Lewontin (1961). His approach, however, was to picture a species as playing a game against nature, and to seek strategies which minimised the probability of extinction. A similar line has been taken by Slobodkin & Rapoport (1974). In contrast, here we picture members of a population as playing games against each other, and consider the population dynamics and equilibria which can arise.
John Maynard Smith
It is in the nature of science that once a position becomes orthodox it should be suggested to criticism.... It does not follow that, because a position is orthodox, it is wrong.
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