How We Got Here

 
burt
 
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burt
Total Posts:  14554
Joined  17-12-2006
 
 
 
26 February 2013 14:39
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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Joined  15-02-2007
 
 
 
26 February 2013 14:57
 

The roles of both individual and group selection are indelibly stamped (to borrow a phrase from Charles Darwin) upon our social behavior. As expected, we are intensely interested in the minutiae of behavior of those around us. Gossip is a prevailing subject of conversation, everywhere from hunter-gatherer campsites to royal courts. The mind is a kaleidoscopically shifting map of others, each of whom is drawn emotionally in shades of trust, love, hatred, suspicion, admiration, envy and sociability. We are compulsively driven to create and belong to groups, variously nested, overlapping or separate, and large or small. Almost all groups compete with those of similar kind in some manner or other. We tend to think of our own as superior, and we find our identity within them.

I particularly like this bit.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
Total Posts:  9031
Joined  05-04-2008
 
 
 
26 February 2013 15:07
 

EO Wilson and group selection again eh?

The Neo-Darwinists faction disagree. From Wiki-

The evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne noted:

  Group selection isn’t widely accepted by evolutionists for several reasons. First, it’s not an efficient way to select for traits, like altruistic behavior, that are supposed to be detrimental to the individual but good for the group. Groups divide to form other groups much less often than organisms reproduce to form other organisms, so group selection for altruism would be unlikely to override the tendency of each group to quickly lose its altruists through natural selection favoring cheaters. Further, we simply have little evidence that selection on groups has promoted the evolution of any trait. Finally, other, more plausible evolutionary forces, like direct selection on individuals for reciprocal support, could have made us prosocial. These reasons explain why only a few biologists, like [David Sloan] Wilson and E. O. Wilson (no relation), advocate group selection as the evolutionary source of cooperation.

Richard Dawkins and fellow advocates of the gene-centered view of evolution remain unconvinced about group selection. In particular, Dawkins suggests that group selection fails to make an appropriate distinction between replicators and vehicles. Steven Pinker concluded that “Group Selection has no useful role to play in psychology or social science.”

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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Joined  20-07-2007
 
 
 
26 February 2013 15:19