lunes, 26 de marzo de 2012

My last rejected paper proposal

I recently sent a paper proposal to for a call for papers for an speciall issue entitled: "Evolutionary Psychology in the Modern World: Applications, Perspectives, and Strategies". Here is my proposal:

Application of EP to the collaboration in modern societies trough multilevel selection theory

Beyond naive group selection, modern selection theory was defined by, for example [1] and [2] . This modern version of group selection called Multilevel selection describes natural selection as the the process of aggregation of units of progressive higher complexity. This theoretical framework has the elegance of subsuming many different mechanisms of collaboration, for example, reciprocal altruism, inclusive fitness etc. into a single, broader mechanism where units of selection collaborate and compete simultaneously al all levels from molecules to societies. In each level, strategies for conflict resolution keep cooperation stable and prevent unit disintegration. If all levels of complexty, including societies, are studied under this common framework, then the study on society can profit from the knowledge of biological evolution, not trough informal analogies but by scientific identities.

Darwinian processes are the only well known process that produce design. Modern human society leverages multilevel selection to innovate. Offer and demand  in the markets are the particular versions of variation/selection. conjectures/refutations are the direct translation of these concepts to the scientific world.   Sports create teams and competitions. Politics uses parties and votations. Arts uses artistic productions and art critics. All of these units use Darwinian processes of variation/selection to produce innovation.

These units play with fitness unts, such are money, status and power.  The information produced  increase the fitness of the whole society. These outputs are machine designs, inventions, brands, products, theorems, laws, codes, clasifications, records.

All of these outputs can be expressed in their own specialized languages. For the purpose of efficeincy and safety from errors there is a tendency in modern societies  to the  digitalization of the outputs, just like  primeval molecular evolution evolved to create the genetic code.

.Each unit of selection produces an output given an input. This can be called social computation. Each level need mechanisms of arbitration and suppression of violent conflict, for example Laws and reglaments, that suffer its own darwinian process inside the multilevel complex.

We want to explain how this  network of specialized internal units of the modern societies evolved from the intra-competition for leadership in the traditional and tribal societies as described in the EP literature. This darwinian computation must be subsumed in a broader agreement of collaboration for the success fo the whole society . Besides the arbitration of political institutions, there must be a common worldview, a sort of “political religion” as multilevel selection theory and human nature demand and we want to demonstrate by reviewing EP literature.

Finally a clear definition of multilevel selection  at the social level could help in the knowled of the adaptation that humans have not only for its own advantage, but also specific adaptations for group collaboration and inter group competition,  besides that these adaptations disfavours its individual fitness advantage in the intragrouop competition. From the white in the eyes, to the religious affiliation to a group that demand selflessness.

[1] David Sloan Wilson ad Edward O Wilson . Evolution “for the Good of the Group”
Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality

The Response from the rewievers:
Dear Alberto
Thank you very much for submitting your proposal for the Special Issue on Evolutionary Psychology in the Modern World: Applications, Perspectives, and Strategies to be published in Evolutionary Psychology. I am very sorry to say that after careful consideration of all the proposals, we were not able to include yours amongst the list of those invited for full submission.
We received a large number of submissions. The main criterion for inclusion was a strong emphasis on application of theory and findings from evolutionarily-informed psychological research. Other considerations included the overall range of papers across the field and the strength of current knowledge in the relevant area.
All three of us were interested in your proposal and felt it had potential, and we would certainly like to encourage you to pursue this line of enquiry. However, we felt that there was not sufficient focus on a particular application or social issue, and evidence on which to make recommendations or conclusions were at too early a stage for inclusion in this special issue (in comparison with other submissions). I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring you better news on this occasion. 
Best wishes

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