I am sure that most of my readers have heard that George Williams has passed away. Williams, for those of you who are unfamiliar with him, was one of the giants of evolutionary biology. His book Adaptation and Natural Selection is one of the must read classics in the field – and certainly one anthropologists of all stripes should be read. His paper Pleiotropy, Natural Selection, and the Evolution of Senescence, for example, contains the the first outline of the grandmother hypothesis – something paleoanthropologists have been arguing about for years. Williams was also concerned with the evolution of sex and a pioneer in the field of evolutionary medicine.
Update 1: Carl Zimmer has a piece that explains how all these different strands come together in Williams work.
Filed under: In Memoriam |