Friday, May 25, 2012

The Social Conquest of the Earth

From E. O. Wilson's latest: "In colonies of authentically cooperating individuals, as in human societies, and not just robotic extensions of the mother's genome, as in eusocial insects, selection among genetically diverse individual members promotes selfish behavior. On the other hand, selection between groups of humans typically promotes altruism among members of the colony. Cheaters may win within the colony, variously acquiring a larger share of resources, avoiding dangerous tasks, or breaking rules; but colonies of cheaters lose to colonies of cooperators." (p 162-163)