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Evolution and the Theory of Games [Paperback]

by John Maynard Smith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 21, 1982 0521288843 978-0521288842 1St Edition
In this 1982 book, the theory of games, first developed to analyse economic behaviour, is modified so that it can be applied to evolving populations. John Maynard Smith's concept of an evolutionarily stable strategy is relevant whenever the best thing for an animal or plant to do depends on what others are doing. The theory leads to testable predictions about the evolution of behaviour, of sex and genetic systems, and of growth and life history patterns. This book contains a full account of the theory, and of the data relevant to it. The account is aimed at senior undergraduate and graduate students, teachers and research workers in animal behaviour, population genetics and evolutionary biology. The book will also be of interest to mathematicians and game theorists; the mathematics has been largely confined to appendixes so that the main text may be easily followed by biologists.

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Evolution and the Theory of Games + Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life
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Editorial Reviews


"Of those two near-contradictory things publishers say about a book, that it is 'seminal' and that it is 'long-awaited', Evolution and the Theory of Games somehow manages to make me think of both at once....This is a book that must be read by every serious ethologist/sociobiologist....It is unmistakably a brilliant book by one of the most important contributors to ethology in its history, still at the height of his powers. The only reason we don't call him an ethologist is that he is so much else besides....the gems of wisdom and biological insight are still there on every page, and ethologists can spend many happy field sessions testing the ideas here." Richard Dawkins, Animal Behaviour

Book Description

By applying game theory to the problems of population biology, the author has succeeded in inventing new and interesting ways of looking at populations and has developed a theory leading to testable predictions.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1St Edition edition (October 21, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521288843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521288842
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic and Still Great and Readable Book July 13, 2000
With this book, John Maynard Smith initiated a major strand of modern theoretical biology! The book does not require sophisticated mathematical preparation, but it operates on a consistently high level of analytical rigor. It is also very nicely written, with lots of biological examples.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book! August 21, 2013
By Juliano
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is indeed a ingenious idea applied to evolutionary Biology. John Maynard Smith in his book explained in detail how Game Theory and Evolution walk side by side
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3 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Games April 1, 2000
By A Customer
All you want to know about theory of games
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