Selfish traits not favoured by evolution, study shows (BBC)

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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research. This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first. Instead, it pays to be co-operative, shown in a model of "the prisoner's dilemma", a scenario of game theory - the study of strategic decision-making.


BBC Article

I'm glad that someone finally figured out how to express this in science, because previously the mainstream theory was "survival of the fittest individual" - in fact, this subject came up in my psychology courses a few times, and the flawed logic really got to me.

Every time it came up, it was like this, no scientist could understand why it would ever be in anyone's or any animal's best interest to work as a team. Our textbook would show us an example of animals working together, and then try to explain how it was really an example of individualism.


Published in Nature Communications, the team says their work shows that exhibiting only selfish traits would have made us become extinct.

Game theory involves devising "games" to simulate situations of conflict or co-operation. It allows researchers to unravel complex decision-making strategies and to establish why certain types of behaviour among individuals emerge.


That is pretty obvious, isn't it? There is an extremely big problem with flawed science - and that is those who believe in it, regardless of the actual empirical consequences.

It has been a main source of frustration to me for the past decade or so this "liberal" idea that it is not beneficial to help the weak - and at least from my experience, as a Democrat entering the higher liberal circles for a while, this seemed to be very prevalent there, where many are quite frankly off their rocker worshiping false science (science that is outdated or needs to be updated soon).

It is in certain issues - the liberal agenda has become somewhat militaristic and intolerant just in the past half-decade or a bit more.

I think this study is a gigantic step forward towards a more realistic understanding of the actions and consequences of relationships.

It does no one any good to have false science dictating policy, as that will result in an extremely annoying cycle where the policy-makers force policies on a populace, end up with bad results, and ignore them or blame them on someone else instead of realizing that their theories must be wrong.

The Original Study
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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:09 PM
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Thanks for sharing this. However, I believe it has already been posted before by another user. I'll have to look it up again.

Anyway what survival of the fittest. Where an animal must survive and reproduce by passing on its genes to future generations. Regardless if the animals would be consider selfish or not. I would like to see how accurate this news is about evolution. Because I only know so much I would like to see the clear picture.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix267
 


Is their anything in particular you would like me to check out for you?



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:13 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


I would like to know how traits like selfishness compare to sharing and cooperation relate to survival of the fittest. Does it matter how the animal acts if it pass down its genes to the next generation. Like if they were able to survive despite being selfish. Hopefully this makes sense.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix267
 


Well... let me see... does it matter more if an individual duck passes on his or her genes, or that the duck species survives? That would be a question that would shatter modern thought on the issue, I think :-)

I think this also touches a bit on culture, although not much, which is something that I don't think is understood by mainstream scientists, or blatantly ignored by them in some cases. Something like martyrdom, for example, would in the past have frustrated scientists greatly.
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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 

In effect, it is "survival of the fittest community" rather than "survival of the fittest individual".
So the message is that what helps the species to last longer does not necessarily help the individual to last longer, or vice-versa.
The males of the Black Widow spider species could have guessed this already



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Ha ha! Awesome, yeah that explains it :-)

It is actually a gigantic leap forward in evolutionary thought. That would have been hearsay when I was in college just a few years back, I know because I spent a lot of time frustrated about the issue.
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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


You would have to survive long enough to be able to reproduce. All kinds of animals have to be able to defend themselves and/or hunt for food. Whenever they reproduce they pass on their genes to ensure future generations will be able to continue where they left off. I wouldn't think selfishness or anything would play because it would be irrelevant. Man this is confusing.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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Actually the classic example of this is the role of the family in human evolution, with reference to the care of children and the growth of their intelligence.
This obviously required that "co-operation" should be a survival trait benefiting the species.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix267
 


I think the survival of the fittest society instead of the fittest individual was an apt realization. Here are some Wikipedia articles:

Wikipedia: Survival of the Fittest


Darwin first used Spencer's new phrase "survival of the fittest" as a synonym for natural selection in the fifth edition of On the Origin of Species, published in 1869.[2][3] Darwin meant it as a metaphor for "better adapted for immediate, local environment", not the common inference of "in the best physical shape".[4] Hence, it is not a scientific description.[5]


I think that there would be two things going on here, individuals with D.N.A. traits that happen to help them adapt to their environment better would have a higher reproductive rate.

However, as far as attitude goes, I guess that might be cultural evolution - learned behaviors passed on from generation to generation.
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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


That does make sense. Also the role of the community. Where various people can interact with one another and reproduce. Imagine if only a small group of people only reproduced. That would be inbreeding.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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For what it's worth, here is the other thread (has a different source.)

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by darkbake
 


Thanks for sharing. I would have to continue to look into this. I think we're onto something here and I'll have to look up information evolution. I know evolution happens to populations rather than individuals. So we can see that it favors cooperation.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Thanks, yeah! I think this discovery really does have huge metaphysical implications like the other thread says. Having been engrossed in psychology at a fairly high level, it really does directly attack some current philosophies that honestly need to be dealt with.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by darkbake
it really does directly attack some current philosophies that honestly need to be dealt with.


Like what? What current philosophy? I'm not sure what you mean. If you're talking "survival of the fittest," I'd say that was an antiquated mode of thinking already (social Darwinism and all that muck.) Like we can guess what is the "fittest" for survival. Only time will tell! (The meek shall inherit the earth, eh?)

If you're engrossed in high-level psychology, what are you considering metaphysically? I'm sorry, I'm just a tad confused here.

It does appear quite practical to me. If a population is made up of only selfish jerks, the theory is that they're kill each other off in various ways; competing for resources etc. They will not likely cooperate for the greater good.

Why is there any philosophy involved? It just sounds like nature is doing its thang.

I'm just asking for some clarification on your interpretation here, that's all



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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Well I like your point of view, I think you have it down.

The philosophies are probably remnants of ones made in the early 1900's (probably 1930's) that just haven't made their way out yet. I use philosophy, but it's more like psychological... well there are different psychological "belief" systems, I think they might be called systems?

I will *try* (as in be timely) to find some articles or something that show examples of what I ran into in college and got frustrated with, that s a great request, for now, here is a quote from the BBC Article:


Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research. This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first.
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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by darkbake


Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research. This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first.
edit on 3-8-2013 by darkbake because: (no reason given)


Ahh, okay thanks! This sounds a little like social Darwinism to me. Yes, it's silly


I just can't imagine a rule of nature that says, "You must be a completely unreliable a****** to stay alive."

That sounds more like mankind justifying its cutthroat habits (you'll see that science was used to support a lot of those attitudes back in the day
)

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posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 01:50 AM
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Most likely, co-operation happens because it is forced (prisoner experiment). Some animals and insects are selfish so they become rulers and force all others to obey their command and this is most likely the so-called "co-operation" you are seeing.

The ideal world would be freedom, not being forced into a "co-operation" that you don't want to be a part of.

(Note: I am not saying there is no true co-operation. I'm saying most of it, especially in nature, is forced).



posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 06:51 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI

In effect, it is "survival of the fittest community" rather than "survival of the fittest individual".


As far as i understand that is right, yes. We evolved in small tribal groups were most were related pretty closely enough so that the cooperation that would help you on a daily basis would over time, in certain groups, extend to literally risking your life for the communal good. Since tribes that were willing to go 'all in' ( one for all and all for one) were more cohesive they may have gained a definite advantage in both gaining or keeping better caves/trees/feeding areas.

Even Dawkins says as much in that the gene may very well be 'selfish' ( never the point of the book) but the average individual would not be well served by it.



So the message is that what helps the species to last longer does not necessarily help the individual to last longer, or vice-versa.
The males of the Black Widow spider species could have guessed this already


And Black window females killing males are in fact unusual. There are other species in this specific family where the rate of females killing males goes up to 60% but the males actually try to get 'eaten' which increase their paternity benefit. The whole issue of female spiders killing males is however hopelessly overstated and 50/50 odds is not bad given the exploits human males can be induced to attempt to 'prove' themselves.

Anyways!



posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha

Ahh, okay thanks! This sounds a little like social Darwinism to me. Yes, it's silly


Yes, Darwin's work was used and abused to fit the existing agenda's of the imperial monarchy's of the day and carried forward into the 20th century to justify nationalist agenda's... Darwin is about as responsible for what his work has been used to achieve as Adam Smith is... Those with the power can and will twist learning and knowledge towards their selfish, and often destructive, ends.


I just can't imagine a rule of nature that says, "You must be a completely unreliable a****** to stay alive."


Hey that might be true but i hope we do not meet such a species when we eventually start exploring the galaxy.


That sounds more like mankind justifying its cutthroat habits (you'll see that science was used to support a lot of those attitudes back in the day
)


Not mankind please! The ruling classes do not maintain their rule by being the most cooperative people around and if they can convince the rest of us that we are all in fact terrible S***S then we will have much less reason to point fingers at them. In a court of law painting your victim as at least partly responsible for being such is to a greater or lesser extent part of any defense and quite logically so!

Thank for your post's so far.





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