Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Have We Evolved To Be Nasty Or Nice?

Most evolutionists now accept that kindness might be just as ancient and innate as selfishness. But it's also clearly conditional: People tend to cooperate with relatives and frequently encountered acquaintances, not indiscriminately. It is futile to ask whether people are naturally cooperative or selfish. They can be either, depending on the circumstances. Dr. Helbing cites "tragedies of the commons" where open access to a common-pool resource such as a fishery tends to result in overfishing that harms everybody—a sort of extended real-world version of the prisoner's dilemma. more

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