Stephen's Reviews > Evolution and the Theory of Games

Evolution and the Theory of Games by John Maynard Smith
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it was amazing
bookshelves: readthisyear

This is a founding work of evolutionary game theory. It
introduces the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) --
namely, the game-theoretic strategy which, if played,
cannot be invaded by any rival strategy. Maynard Smith
used this to answer lots of questions in a very
mathematically tidy way -- among the most interesting
questions being, "Why are there approximately as many men
as women?" If the game-theoretic payoff is defined as the
expected number of grandchildren, then half-and-half is
uninvadable by any other ratio. The book is filled with
little discoveries like this, and it's explained
throughout by a master scientific writer; JMS learned from
J.B.S. Haldane, whose "The Causes of Evolution" brought us
the Mendelian-Darwinian synthesis.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2007 – Finished Reading
June 27, 2007 – Shelved
June 27, 2007 – Shelved as: readthisyear

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