36 - Selfishness and Altruism
Listen now
Originally, altruism and self-sacrifice were thought to be incompatible with natural selection, even by Darwin. Now we have several explanations for how altruism can increase an individual's fitness. One is kin selection, or the idea that helping relatives can help increase one's genes in the population. Another involves ecological constraints and punishments. Here, individuals contribute to the group and wait their turn to reproduce.
More Episodes
Every species on earth has an environmental range in which it can live. Usually it flourishes in the central portion of this range. Organisms contain a host of adaptations that allow them to manipulate their environments to remain within their preferred range. Plants and animals differ in the...
Published 10/14/09
There is a distinct possibility that humans are currently part way through an evolutionary transition between individuals and groups. The conflict between these two units of selection and levels of organization, between biology and culture, may explain some of the tensions in modern human life....
Published 10/12/09
Breeding strategies differ both among males and females of the same species as well as among different species. The difference in breeding strategies among members of the same species can usually be linked to frequency dependence. If the species is at evolutionary equilibrium, the relative...
Published 10/06/09