Monday, February 8, 2010
Save your fork. There's pie.
An idea called multi-level selection posits that behaviors are as influential as genes in determining the survival of a species. There’s this guy David Sloan Wilson, a major proponent of the theory, who says, “Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.” Here’s a pinhead’s view of how that works: if you eat all the food, including what’s on your kids’ plates, you will be fat and happy and live a long life. But your tribe will die out. Whether or not this has already occurred within the human species is an open question.