Ran across an interesting video today that discusses a new study from Michigan State University which found that being selfish is not advantageous from an evolutionary perspective. Sometimes evolution-deniers claim that if evolution were true, then compassion is a weakness. We would be better off if we were completely selfish — if we swindled others at every opportunity, cheated to get ahead, etc. And since most of us don’t live that way, this is supposed to indicate that there must be a God. But according to this study, such selfishness would be a poor evolutionary strategy (heads up: the commentator’s style is very casual):
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t find this surprising. Humans are social creatures — we fare better (in all sorts of things) when we work together. If we consistently take advantage of others, we’ll eventually be abandoned. It only makes sense that we’d evolve to work toward the common good.
26 thoughts on “Winning Isn’t Everything: Evolution Rewards Altruism”
The user who has uploaded that video has been banned by GooTube.
But I had a gaze at the Nature link and insofar I could understand it found it very interesting. As it is about strategies, it’s compatible with both group selection and reciprocal altruism.