Mathematical models of natural selection have evolved in the decades I've been reading science, especially models of altruistic behavior as will be required if we are to leave a habitable planet to our grandchildren. What would have to be true of wiki if it were to be important in this cause?
I'm inspired by the BBC Life Scientific interview with E. O. Wilson where he recounts his own career developing much of the science, living through the scientific battles, embracing mathematics over rhetoric, and then dedicating his later years to species diversity as a direct consequence of his deep understanding of life's processes.
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p02xyl5v.mp3 BBC Life Scientific - E.O. Wilson :bbc
He says, many species of social insects have followed the same evolutionary path including the transformative loss of a single gene.
He says, group selection, which he once displaced with what we now call selfish genes, provides the only sound mathematical model for evolution of social behavior.
He says, rhetorical arguments have mislead scientific understanding for decades. I am appropriately cautioned as I resort to rhetoric myself.
He says, the unstable balance between individual and group selective processes is both hugely creative and likely dangerous. We exist within this tug of war between our paleolithic and scientific heritages.
Federated wiki aspires to be the communication medium that connects earth's populations with a pheromone so powerful that we somehow save ourselves.
Can a collection of wild guesses as to how that pheromone will work possibly hit upon the necessary combination? Unlikely.
Can a collection of mathematical abstractions drawn from sociobiology apply to emergent behavior here? Probably.