Amplifying the importance of EGI.
How do the papers on social epistasis and social genetic effects affect our understanding of EGI?
This would greatly increase the importance of EGI. Not only do we need to be concerned with differences in gene frequencies and with genetic structure/integration (this latter concern a significant increase in genetic interest compared to the original formulation) between individuals and groups, but now we need to understand and, if possible, quantify the interests inherent in how these genetic difference interact epistatically in a social genetic fashion. Thus, not only do we have to compare and contrast distinctive genetic information between, say, groups A,B, and C but we need to understand how the genepools of A,B, and C actually dynamically interact with each other – as described in the social epistasis and social genetic effects papers – to affect the fitness (and hence genetic interests) of these groups. This represents an enormous increase in the importance and impact of genetic interests, and one can speculate that these interactive networks of genes would represent genetic interests that would increase exponentially, and not merely linearly, with increasing genetic distance, given that each unit of distance affects a wide array of overlapping epistatic interactions. Not only is the original formulation a tip of the iceberg compared to considerations of genetic structure/integration, but even this latter concern is a tip of the iceberg compared to the possible full ramifications of how genetically distinct populations can interact, influencing fitness and hence ultimate interests.
Thus, three levels of genetic interests:
1. The original version involving gene frequencies in isolation (“beanbag genetics”).
2. Genetic integration/structure.
3. Social genetic effects including social epistasis.
More analysis to come in future posts.