New model for the evolution of cooperation and altruism
A new series of computer simulations, presented in the journal nature, attempts to answer the question of why and how living things cooperate even though they or their relatives have no advantage to gain from doing so.
Cooperation exists even at the level of the simplest organisms, bacteria. Sociobiology explains the transitions at which individuals give up all or part of their autonomy and new biological entities emerge through cooperation as a result of selection advantages. Hamilton’s 1964 theory of kin selection, the kin selection, has become a key concept in sociobiology – which is always a bit of a humiliation – and means that genes that cause an individual to help its relatives without reproducing itself can still spread successfully, namely if more identical copies of these genes are passed on to the next generation as a result of the help than as a result of the individual’s own reproduction. A popular example is the anthill: the workers and soldiers remain childless and work for their siblings, "because" them with their siblings 75 v. H. Of their genes in common, while with their own children they have only 50 per cent in common.H. Together they had.
For cases of self-denial that do not fit into this context, the theoretical backdoor of reciprocal altruism opens up: a living being can give up an aspect of its well-being for the benefit of a non-relative, but only if it expects to be repaid for that favor.