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Hostilopithicus Ramificationus? (Ardi)

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Brian White
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Nope, you got it wrong.  You don't like the idea but tough.  Lots of cultures thought that eating the brains of the best and smartest of your enemies made you smarter.  (One thing for sure, it made the enemies deader and less competitive).   The celts were headhunters and my aunt did missionary work in New Guinea and there were headhunters there in the 1960's. And one of my friends said that a couple of generations back (he might have been joking) there was headhunting (relatives of his)  in northern BC.  I wonder if this culture of eating your enemies was also present in Africa?

No need to compare an agricultural population decline  in the medieval era (and only in europe) to a worldwide hunter gatherer population 70,000 years ago. The comparison is simply not relevent. The agricultural population was totally dependent on their crops.  The hunter gatherers had a lot more options and a lot more niches that they were filling. And there were at least 3 sub species. 70 000 years ago there were people from england to south africa and as far east as siberia and down into indochina. There is no way a volcano is going to adversly affect people everywhere to such an extent that it wipes them out. What other animals became extinct or almost extinct then?  The only reason you cannot see genocide as a possibility is because you don't want to.  Thats not very rational.  Especially when you had headhunting as a tradition from western europe as far as new guinea. (basically worldwide) in the very recent past.  What if headhunting is what made us successful and killed off the other human sub species?  We are here and they are gone, Why?

"Brian, 

You can't eat smarts, unless you are a zombie. 

Just look at the comparatively small effect a volcanic eruption had on world population in the medieval era - helping to cause famine and the black death which decimated world population, and Europe in particular. 

And we have had enough documented mass-extinctions in the past. Sorry, but the dinosaurs weren't exterminated by genocide, and that is not what happened with early humans either."

 


Fidel
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6079_Smith_W wrote:

Victory? 

 Fidel, the cannibalistic subtext aside, we are having a conversation, not eating each other alive.

Look at Brian over your shoulder. He's pouring a pail of water on the soup and adding salt and pepper.  

I'd be careful if I were you.

 


6079_Smith_W
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Brian White wrote:

 The only reason you cannot see genocide as a possibility is because you don't want to.  Thats not very rational. 

Strangely enough, I have heard that argument before - regarding belief in a god. Sorry, but one jawbone is not proof of anything. There are plenty of other more plausible factors. 

And no, humanity didn't die out in the Koba catastrophy, but it is believed that a smaller series of eruptions tens of thousands of years later led to a change in climate which left Neanderthal at a disadvantage.

But as for the notion that we can't be eradicated, Humans have been driven out or died out in places before - The southwest states, Greenland, Yucatan, on remote Pacific Islands, and all their smarts didn't help them much at all. 

 

 


Brian White
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"it is believed".  "But as for the notion that we can't be eradicated" "Humans have been driven out or died out in places before".   First of all, I have no notion that we cannot be eradicated. You are making that one up because "it is believed".   Nomadic hunter gatherers moved away from inhospitable climates and followed the game. You continue to compare agricultural humans (which have boom and bust very very quickly)  to hunter gatherers, who have a much more stable population dynamic.  Harsh conditions just mean more bushmen, and fewer of the big game hunters.  One niche declines as another expands.  It is an absolute joke that people don't see the obvious.  If 70,000 years ago, a warlike culture or religion developed which saw themselves as better and  other humans (outside the tribe) with different hair or facial shapes or hairier as sub human or as another species it totally explains the genetic narrowing.   Even though they were the same species they refused to mate with the others. They killed them instead.

  No species with a range as huge as ours and a diet as divese as ours shrinks to almost nothing over its entire range due to climate change. Hunter gatherers might thin out a bit in bad times but as soon as the climate gets better, they expand again across the entire range. With no loss of genetic diversity. But that is not what happened.  And that makes a warlike hateful culture the most likely reason for the "genetic narrowing".


Fidel
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Apparently Brian is a genius. A FUCKING genius. Steven Pinker's graph at 3:15 into this TED Talk  reveals that if tribal warfare prevailed into the 20th century, there would have been 2 billion deaths instead of 100 million.


6079_Smith_W
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Oh come on Brian. I am making it up? What are you basing your claims on 

Actually the volcanic eruptions happened. "It is believed" it contributed to their demise because there were other factors, including that neanderthals had a much higher metabolism than Homo sapiens, and therefore required more food to sustain themselves.

And sorry, hunting and gathering is not as stable as agriculture. Not sure if you are down east or here in the west, but I know of one winter in the last 20 years in which 1/3 of the deer population died off, and another year in the mid-90s in which there were no berries at all. And that is in a fairly normal cycle. Compare that to the conditions described in the wikipedia listing in which whole whole ecosystems were replaced. 

And sorry to disappoint you, but our species has shrunk to nothing in parts of the world due to climate change and other factors; I named them in my last post. 

I think we already established that neanderthals did not die out entirely, but rather that their remnants were absorbed into the dominant human population. And not as an entree with a side of veggies either.

Again Brian, it's not that I am resistant to your claims; it's just that the only thing they are based on is one scratched up jawbone. The rest is just speculation, which is all the more dodgy because you are making assumptions about creatures that are completely different than we are. It is hard enough making sense of things people did 500 years ago; how can anyone presume to imagine how early humans thought and acted?

 

 

 

 

 


Brian White
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First of all, you named instances in agriculture.  It isn't relevant.   The hunter gatherer is the top predator.  (wolves with knives is how the bbc documentary described homo erectus). So just like wolves, there will never be many of them, but they are much more resiliant than a specalized agricultural population. Think about it for a second, the gatherers use maybe 50 or 60 different plants and roots, and the farmers use about 5 and the rest are weeds. The farmer has 3 wives and 18 kids and priests and a king to feed. It aint so easy as it looks. The whole structure collapses if you get a dry month.

  What are you talking about with the one jawbone?  They have extracted genetic material from neanterthals. They have extracted genetic material from the other human from Asia. The person from Asia is different. Very few of their genes remain in modern populations. But where they find the genes shows how ancient migrations happened.  It seems like one or 2 bunch of our ancestors didn't kill their denisovans. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2041067/Mysterious-Deniso...

And it is not just newspapers writing about this stuff. They have the complete genome of one denisovan.

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/02/complete-denisovan-genome-offers-gl... This was unthinkable a few years ago.  Forget Moores law! Gene sequencing technology is getting faster  (and cheaper)  by the month. One of my neighbours at the last place is a top archiologist. It is amazing how much they know that the papers do not bother to tell the public. 

Anyway, whatever. You don't consider this a possibility because you don't want to.

Boom! Volcano, kills everyone across 3 continents, hundreds of ecosystems and all the way to 10,000 ft up the mountains.  Nice and simple. And ancient man gets off the hook. Aquitted by his offspring.  How convenient.

 

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Oh come on Brian. I am making it up? What are you basing your claims on 

Actually the volcanic eruptions happened. "It is believed" it contributed to their demise because there were other factors, including that neanderthals had a much higher metabolism than Homo sapiens, and therefore required more food to sustain themselves.

And sorry, hunting and gathering is not as stable as agriculture. Not sure if you are down east or here in the west, but I know of one winter in the last 20 years in which 1/3 of the deer population died off, and another year in the mid-90s in which there were no berries at all. And that is in a fairly normal cycle. Compare that to the conditions described in the wikipedia listing in which whole whole ecosystems were replaced. 

And sorry to disappoint you, but our species has shrunk to nothing in parts of the world due to climate change and other factors; I named them in my last post. 

I think we already established that neanderthals did not die out entirely, but rather that their remnants were absorbed into the dominant human population. And not as an entree with a side of veggies either.

Again Brian, it's not that I am resistant to your claims; it's just that the only thing they are based on is one scratched up jawbone. The rest is just speculation, which is all the more dodgy because you are making assumptions about creatures that are completely different than we are. It is hard enough making sense of things people did 500 years ago; how can anyone presume to imagine how early humans thought and acted?

 

 

 

 

 


Brian White
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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/science/gains-in-dna-are-speeding-rese... Not a bad piece.

There were conflicting numbers even within the article. I wonder what an average of 2.5% means?    "today’s humans outside Africa carry an average of 2.5 percent Neanderthal DNA, and that people from parts of Oceania also carry about 5 percent Denisovan DNA" The dust will settle fairly quickly.


Fidel
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Brian White wrote:
Anyway, whatever. You don't consider this a possibility because you don't want to.

Boom! Volcano, kills everyone across 3 continents, hundreds of ecosystems and all the way to 10,000 ft up the mountains.  Nice and simple. And ancient man gets off the hook. Aquitted by his offspring.  How convenient.

But there is geologic and climatic evidence for Toba representing a Late Pleistocene population bottleneck. The last ice age was preceded by 1000 years of the coldest temperatures of the Later Pleistocene apparently caused by Toba. It would have wiped out most modern populations outside tropical zones. That's a long time to live on frozen TV dinners sans veggies and citrus.

The largest populations surviving glaciation and Toba would have been found in equatorial regions and ideally in tropical Africa where genetic diversity is highest today.


6079_Smith_W
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The jawbone?

Why  it is the entire foundation of your theory. Brian.

Or more correctly, Fernando Rozzi's theory. He found one site with one neanderthal jawbone that had cut marks on it in an otherwise human encampment. But the fact is, not even all the members of his team agree that it means Humans ate Neanderthals:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/may/17/neanderthals-cannibalism-a...

Now if you do a search of Neanderthals and cannibalism there is some evidence that they resorted to it against each other - not surprising since they died out, and presumably it got fairly grim before the end. Humans have done the same thing to each other throughout history. But to expand any of this into the idea that neanderthals died because they became fast food for our ancestors - sorry, but there is no concrete evidence.

 

 

 


Fidel
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He refuses to consider it because he doesn't want to. That and the dearth of evidence for cannibalism.


Brian White
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What a daft lot. My aunt did missionary or nurse to cannibals in New Guinea. In the 1960's.  And you somehow think this canabalism is an abbaration or   a recent development? Have you heard of Kuru? http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/kuru/overview.html

And that is just a health advisory. Cook your food a bit longer. (and that applies to meat whether you are cannibal or not).

Now, we have Smith supposing that humans ate each other throughout history but would never never do it to the neanderthals. Why the hell not? They ate everything else! But somehow, the 250 pound big men and women were not on the menu???????   "Yeah, guys, we caught and killed 4 neanderthals when we were hunting the same mammoth and in the confusion the mammoth got away". "Shitty bad luck, mr leader, if they were humans we would have something in the pot"  Rules are rules!   "guess we will starve to death tonight". "Or we could just kill and eat  Will who made up the stupid no flathead rule?"  Thanks for the ted talk, Fidel. Interesting that the guy quoted savage verses from the bible. Bloodthirsty tribes like that would have survived in bloodthirsty times. That culture, (after a victory, kill all the men, all the children, and all the women except the virgins) is pure savagery. But it would explain a genetic narrowing , wouldn't it?   Not sure what your melodramatic language was about.


Brian White
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They have just found evidence for another human species, (this time in Africa) http://www.livescience.com/15911-humans-interbred-extinct-relatives.html

These tropical people were clearly badly affected by that nasty volcano too.


Fidel
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Brian White wrote:

What a daft lot. My aunt did missionary or nurse to cannibals in New Guinea. In the 1960's.  And you somehow think this canabalism is an abbaration or   a recent development? Have you heard of Kuru? http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/kuru/overview.html

And that is just a health advisory. Cook your food a bit longer. (and that applies to meat whether you are cannibal or not).

Brian, wouldn't Kuru or brain wasting from prions be a negative for evolution and survival of the fittest? They couldn't be very fit if they were dying from or suffering any state of ill health as a result of Kuru. I would think Kuru would have to be a kind of population bottleneck more than a plus for genetic diversity. 

Quote:
Now, we have Smith supposing that humans ate each other throughout history but would never never do it to the neanderthals. Why the hell not? They ate everything else! But somehow, the 250 pound big men and women were not on the menu???????   "Yeah, guys, we caught and killed 4 neanderthals when we were hunting the same mammoth and in the confusion the mammoth got away".

I think some predatory fish and especially sharks sometimes feed in frenzied manner. People I am not so sure of. I think they say there is no real evidence that neandertals or homo sapiens were dependent on cannibalism long time. For one thing humans don't reproduce very often. Conditions have to be somewhat ideal for women to even become pregnant. And growth to adulthood takes years. Is there evidence that people were raised for food? I don't think so. I just don't know about this theory for cannibalism being key to human evolution. They certainly may have resorted to it in times of famine, and yes it was prevalent in places like New Guinea. But I don't know about eating each other as a way of life when there were surely big game on the hoof to hunt down and barbeque. Herbivores are good sources of meat as they extract more energy from plant matter than we do from meat. I'm thinking caribou, deer, moose, mammoths, cows etc. Those animals would be worth hunting whereas a 250 pound neandertal as meaty as he is would not be as worthwhile. Not unless you could raise them in confined areas like beef cows and veal. Glaring human rights violations right there. And then there's your monthly feed bill whereas your larger game graze on the land for free.

Cooperation among tribal members, for example, might be a more efficient way of shopping for high cal groceries. My neighbor or brother could be put to more useful tasks than just being the main ingredient in a pot of stew, like helping to hunt and spear a large animal, or spearing fish in the big water teeming with trout, cod, shrimp, canned herring, oysters, halibut, fried chips and mushy peas. Drool-drool. Okay but seriously. With cooperation in the hunting and gathering the whole community shares the spoils. Everyone is employed according to ability. And there we are belching and farting and sharing our tale of the hunt with the rest of the tribe. Maybe we decide to paint how-to tutorials on cave walls for others to google and refer to later on. And scraps might be tossed to the dogs as rewards for alerting us to big cats and other predators in the night. Good times.


Brian White
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Fidel wrote:

 

Brian, wouldn't Kuru or brain wasting from prions be a negative for evolution and survival of the fittest? They couldn't be very fit if they were dying from or suffering any state of ill health as a result of Kuru. I would think Kuru would have to be a kind of population bottleneck more than a plus for genetic diversity. 

Kuru is not great but not every brain eating  gets it. (and not every cannibal eats brains). I never said cannibalism increased genetic diversity, I said that it would cause a genetic bottleneck.   Now, if you wouldn't mind, compare the genetic outcome for the kuru sufferer with the genetic outcome for the men and women and children he has eaten. Whose children make it to the next generation?   Like it or not, that what life and death in the hunter gatherer society is all about. The kuru sufferer has made it, he is fit enough, but the guy he ate didn't.

   I would much prefer if my and your ancestors were less warlike and more  into sleeping with neanterthals and the 3 other human sub species that they now know about. (Rather than exterminating them). Whether or not they ate them is moot, they definitely killed the vast majority of them off (I am sure they ate them because they were practical people with a cronic  shortage of food). The reason they killed them off was because they were competing for the same ecological niche. Maybe the homo sapiens tribal groups were slightly larger or more vicious? or more hateful? Or maybe they invented religion and used it as an excuse to kill the other tribes?

Anyway, thanks for the link to the ted talk earlier. It is much more in line with what I suggest than with your happy hunter gatherer ideal. And it was really neat that he quoted from the bible. Thank you.


Fidel
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Brian White wrote:
   I would much prefer if my and your ancestors were less warlike and more  into sleeping with neanterthals and the 3 other human sub species that they now know about. (Rather than exterminating them). Whether or not they ate them is moot, they definitely killed the vast majority of them off (I am sure they ate them because they were practical people with a cronic  shortage of food). The reason they killed them off was because they were competing for the same ecological niche.

I think that you are suggesting that homo sapiens and neanderthals necessarily went to war over increasingly scarce game, and that neanderthals were either out-hunted or eaten by homo sapiens. 

But what if homo sapiens already had an advantage over the stockier and more muscled neanderthals? What if it was true that neanderthals naturally required 300-350 more calories per day just to survive compared to their scrawny competitors? What if forested regions compatible with neanderthals stealth and stalking of prey suddenly became wide open grasslands and barren lands within their life times? All of a sudden neanderthals are starving to death because game is already scarce due to colder temps, and now game which were once easily stalked and clubbed to death by cover of forested areas are now able to escape the heavier and slower neanderthals more easily. 

Don't get me wrong I like your everybody was a cannibal theory. I just think there are other equally reasonable explanations for the demise of neanderthals. Ta, Brian.


Brian White
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Fidel, neandertals lived right across Europe and into Asia in a host of different ecosystems, as did the other people. And I think they lived alongside our ancestors for a couple of hundred generations, (maybe a couple of thousand). Ample time for successful hanky panky.   I bet our ancestors got religion and decided to wipe out anyone that looked different. So far there is no evidence of mitocondrial dna from neandertals surviving.  That means that homo sapiens  women sneaking off and sleeping with the big hunks is the only successful sex that occured. If they were lucky the offspring looked fairly "human" and the tribe let it live.  If it happened the other way round, (male sapiens  doing the pokey with female neandertal,  it would seem that the homo sapiens killed the mother and the  offspring.  That is shitty behaviour.

The world is a big place and there are lots of ecosystems out there. All I am saying is that our ancestors must have been really nasty brutes. Maybe they developed the philosophy  that is used in the bible quote in your earlier post? That philosophy would help exterminate other dna. http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html


Fidel
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Yes but the world was a big place even back then when total population was quite small. I don't think they were living on top of one another and mating like rabbits. A couple of thousand years living in some proximity with one another might not have been enough time to overcome physical differences. Maybe they just didn't mix a lot. Obviously they did at some point, but I don't think mixed marriages were all the rage. And there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence for race wars. Again, it's possible neanderthals simply ran out of easy game to hunt and eat and died off slowly. Our sapiens relatives should have set up soup kitchens and thought about establishing some basic rights, damnit! Smile


Brian White
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There is most certainly evidence for race wars. There is no mitocondrial neandertal dna left.   That is not the normal turn of events in hunter gatherer warfare. Sure they kill the men and children but the young women are generally brought home as slaves and for other duties.

Any red blooded man with no higher code  would do this.

There were about 30,000 years when this should have happened.  At least a thousand generations.

Fidel wrote:

 And there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence for race wars. Again, it's possible neanderthals simply ran out of easy game to hunt and eat and died off slowly. Our sapiens relatives should have set up soup kitchens and thought about establishing some basic rights, damnit! Smile


6079_Smith_W
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Brian White wrote:

 That is shitty behaviour.

Or shitty pulp fiction. Please Brian, a little less purple prose, a little more scientific opinion.

According to this study released last week neanderthals were probably close to extinct before sapiens even showed up. The may have been done in by.. surprise... the fact that even if their superior intellect allowed them to survive radical climate change, the game their hunter-gatherer lifestyle depended on did not.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120225110942.htm

 


Fidel
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Brian White wrote:

There is most certainly evidence for race wars. There is no mitocondrial neandertal dna left.   That is not the normal turn of events in hunter gatherer warfare. Sure they kill the men and children but the young women are generally brought home as slaves and for other duties.

Any red blooded man with no higher code  would do this.

There were about 30,000 years when this should have happened.  At least a thousand generations.

I'm not saying that Cro Magnons did not war with neanderthals. I'm just asking why would they make it their reason for being to perpetrate a holocaust against neanderthals? That requires central planning, mobile death squads, a wing of the war department dedicated to exterminations, and maybe a propaganda minister to immunize the tribal psyche against having empathy for inferior races. I'm not sure we were all that organized. 

I believe you are parroting Jarred Diamond's point of view, or Marcellin Boule who wrote the first research paper on neanderthals. For them everything was down to war and conflict as far as early man was concerned. There are other points of view, though.

Canadian Ronald Wright proposes that we simply did what came natural, which was to hunt, eat and sleep and make babies. More babies meant more hunting. More hunting eventually meant food scarcity. Food scarcity meant social breakdown and die offs. We basically hunted, ate everything available, closed camp and moved on repeating over and over.

 It was probably the same lifestyle for Neanderthals who were less able to adapt to rapid changes in climate and surroundings. As Wright says, it's happened in more recent human history with Sumerians, Mayans, Romans etc. Once the environment no longer sustains us through deforestations, droughts or whatever, our leaders relationship with the heavens is exposed as a fraud and barbarians are made welcome. And the last that is seen of the emperor and his men are their bare asses sliding out the window.


Brian White
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Fidel, I am capable of having my own views,  I don't know who the guys are that you mention.  For a guy who has never been much into evidence based science or views, it is an interesting turnaround for you. The Sumerians were agricultural as were the rest and in case you didn't notice, none of them died out. I worked with a Mayan, and a Roman in Canada.

Smith,  it does not make sense that the entire female line went extinct. Unless the sapiens were pretty racist.  Hunter gatherers do take slaves and if they have babies a year or 2 after, they let the babies live.  There should be lots of dna from neandertal and other human species today but there is very little.  Explain it in the context of slave taking in normal hunter gatherer society please.

Brian


Brian White
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double post due to slow refresh, sorry

I am on shaw


6079_Smith_W
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Brian White wrote:

 Explain it in the context of slave taking in normal hunter gatherer society please.

You mean explain it as a work of fiction based on no archaeological evidence whatsoever? 

Sorry, not my job.

 


Brian White
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No, actually, that is the basis for a lot of study of old tribes.  You cannot get the context due to lack of experience.  Customs survive if they help the tribe.

It is very important, and scientists study them  and it helps scientists put the bones into context. 

Not prepared to think for yourself, are you?


Fidel
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Brian White wrote:

Fidel, I am capable of having my own views,  I don't know who the guys are that you mention.  For a guy who has never been much into evidence based science or views, it is an interesting turnaround for you. The Sumerians were agricultural as were the rest and in case you didn't notice, none of them died out. I worked with a Mayan, and a Roman in Canada.

Why is there neanderthal DNA in all non-Africans today if it was, as you suggest, that we wiped them out by race wars and fascist final solutions as if we had nothing else to worry about at the time?

Brian White wrote:
There should be lots of dna from neandertal and other human species today but there is very little.

But we did not co-exist with neanderthals for millions of years just tens of thousands. There was oodles of time before encountering them and after extinction/holocausting them that we did not have to socialize with neanderthals.


contrarianna
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As an aside,  Kuru has little or nothing to do with inter-tribal conflict or hunger, the brain-eating was endocannibalism and part of funeral rites. 

===


Racism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia are  manifestations of pre-human and human evolutionary developments--which will likely bring the destruction of the planet.
Along with the "greater intelligence" kludge, which brought evolutionary advantage for the "selfish gene" when groups carried improved sharpened sticks, these human features do not work to survival advantage with the accumulation of knowledge resulting in weapons of world destruction.

One need only look at the old religious books to see how the "values" of racism and ethnocentrism and genocide were codified long before the usual targets around Babble: global capitalism, and imperialism--the latest carriers of these pernicious human features.

 


6079_Smith_W
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Actually the selfish gene theory is probably driven more by altruistic and cooperative than competitive behaviour. The "selfish" term is a bit of a misnomer since it doesn't refer to the attitude of the host, just the drive toward genetic survival.

I agree completely that xenophobia is strongly ingrained in people, and always has been. On the other hand, there are plenty of studies which imply that over the long term, cooperation gives one a far better chance of survival than competition:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/02/cooperation/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/07/selfish-cooperation-...


contrarianna
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Quote:
The "selfish" term is a bit of a misnomer since it doesn't refer to the attitude of the host, just the drive toward genetic survival....
That is evident to anyone who has looked at the book.

Robert Trivers, who was one of the inspirations for Dawkin's Selfish Gene book (and writer of the original preface) wrote the groundbreaking work on selection for "reciprocal altruism".  But I haven't seen  any quantification of  it being "more" important than less complicated manifestation of the "selfish gene".


contrarianna
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Quote:
I agree completely that xenophobia is strongly ingrained in people, and always has been. On the other hand, there are plenty of studies which imply that over the long term, cooperation gives one a far better chance of survival than competition


Unfortunately for our future survival, xenophobia and and co-operation are not antithetical when it comes to genetic preferment.

It is somewhat intuitive that for the co-operation  of  humans, the more concentrically closely related, the more one likely on the beneficial end of the altruism.
In short: the "in" group receives the altruism, the "other" group the xenophobia.


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