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Author Topic:   morality, charity according to evolution
scoff
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Posts: 37
Joined: 01-20-2006


Message 104 of 243 (312034)
05-15-2006 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by EZscience
05-15-2006 1:05 PM


Re: altruism and homosexuallity
I would predict the same to apply to exclusive homosexuality. The Christians worried about the 'spread of homosexuallity' have nothing to worry about. This is not a trait that can ever go to fixation in the population as there will be naturally imposed frequency dependent selection against it whenever it becomes too common - without any legal intervention on the part of society.
Just out of curiosity, I wonder if it could be that the 'spread of homosexuality' is linked to population pressures on the human species and becomes more prevalent within high-density populations? I was thinking it could be a strategy for dealing with overpopulation, but I have never heard of any studies that dealt with the subject in terms of urban as opposed to rural incidence.
If it is the case, it might be linked to altruism as a sort of corollary. By resisting the drive to reproduce, it would serve to improve the species chances for survival.
Edited by scoff, : Edited to clarify post's relation to thread subject.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by EZscience, posted 05-15-2006 1:05 PM EZscience has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by EZscience, posted 05-15-2006 3:44 PM scoff has replied

  
scoff
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: 01-20-2006


Message 113 of 243 (312070)
05-15-2006 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by EZscience
05-15-2006 3:44 PM


Re: altruism and homosexuallity
Careful now. "For-the-good-of-species" arguments are of no value. The species is not a unit of selection. The species doesn't care what's good for it or not. Strive to derive adaptationist explanations that operate at the level of the individual, or at least small, closely related groups.
OK, then. Engaging in the behavior might reduce competition for breeding partners among adult members of a tribe or group. That in itself might qualify as altruism in a sense. The actions of one adult who would otherwise have contended for a mate would allow other adults to conserve their energy as well. A double plus.
How's that?
I'm trying to put this in a way that makes sense to me and others, but I don't have an extensive science background, so I'm trying to draw on the basics I have learned and on common sense. Admittedly, that leaves a lot of (sometimes rather large) gaps, but this is definitely the place to come get an education.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by EZscience, posted 05-15-2006 3:44 PM EZscience has replied

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scoff
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: 01-20-2006


Message 235 of 243 (328938)
07-05-2006 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Chiroptera
05-08-2006 1:29 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
Nemesis Juggernaut writes:
Darwinian evolution is ALL about competition.
Chiroptera writes:
Actually, Darwinian evolution is all about reproductive success. If you have 10 individuals who are cooperating and helping each other, then they will presumably be more likely to survive and produce surviving progeny than 10 individuals who are hyper-competing with one another. In that case, the next generation will have more individuals with genes that produce altruistic behavior.
An article recently published at physorg.com supports the contention that competition isn't always the best survival strategy. A study which compared yeast cultures with different survival strategies (competition vs. cooperation) showed there is a long-term cost paid by the group which employed the competitive strategy.
"This evidence that a cooperative group can resist invasion by exploitative cheats is unexpected and gives us greater insight into how cooperation evolves. This is important because we live in a world in which cooperations exists at every level, from genes working together to build functioning individuals to individuals forming societies." wrote lead researcher Dr. Craig MacLean.
Linked below.
Survival of the selfless - scientists find cheats don't always prosper

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Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by Chiroptera, posted 07-05-2006 12:03 PM scoff has replied
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scoff
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: 01-20-2006


Message 237 of 243 (328985)
07-05-2006 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 236 by Chiroptera
07-05-2006 12:03 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
Chiroptera writes:
Again, interesting experiment, but not, in my opinion, directly relevant to the question of "altruistic" behavior.
I noticed the article made it sound more momentous a discovery than it actually was, but I figured I'd post it in support of the idea that competition was not the only available option among survival strategies. Not that it proves altruism but opens the door for its consideration as a viable alternative.
I guess a more accurate statement in my previous post would have been to write "competitive vs. non-competitve strategies".
Edited by scoff, : to add last sentence

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 Message 236 by Chiroptera, posted 07-05-2006 12:03 PM Chiroptera has not replied

  
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