Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Times on John Maynard Smith Atoning, perhaps, for this embarrassing puff piece about a creationist theme park (see my entry for May 2), the New York Times has now published this nice obituary about John Maynard Smith. Here's an excerpt:

Dr. John Maynard Smith, an evolutionary biologist who revolutionized the study of animal behavior by applying the principles of game theory, died on April 19 at his home in Sussex, England. He was 84.

His work helped to answer a wide variety of perplexing questions, explaining, for example, why animals seeking dominance rarely actually fight for it and why parents sometimes stay around to raise their offspring yet other times leave the burden to a mate.

Influential in a wide range of areas within evolutionary biology, Dr. Maynard Smith is best known for his work involving game theory, which was originally inspired by the study of poker and which attempts to explain why strategies are more or less successful in different game situations.


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