Survival of the selfless


The current issue of New Scientist Magazine has an interesting article that compares selfish behaviors with altruistic behaviors and produces a theory of how group-oriented collaboration has a track record of survival.

“ALTHOUGH a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe… an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another.”In this famous passage from The Descent of Man, published in 1871, Charles Darwin perceived a fundamental problem of social life, and a possible solution. The problem is that for a society to function, its members must perform services for each other. Yet members who behave “for the good of the group” often put themselves at a disadvantage compared with more selfish members of the same group. If so, then how can altruism and other prosocial behaviours evolve?The solution, according to Darwin, is that groups containing mostly altruists have a decisive advantage over groups containing mostly selfish individuals, even if selfish individuals have …”

The link below links to a page that contains the same text as above. To read more a subscription is necessary. The print version of this issue is worth it’s price as it has a few other articles of interest.

Evolution: Survival of the selfless – being-human – 03 November 2007 – New Scientist

New Scientist Magazine: Current Issue contents >

Related in this blog:
Beyond Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of (Individual) Needs >
Daniel Montano
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect


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