2 August 2013
Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research.
This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first.
Instead, it pays to be co-operative, shown in a model of “the prisoner's dilemma”, a scenario of game theory – the study of strategic decision-making.
Published in Nature Communications, the team says their work shows that exhibiting only selfish traits would have made us become extinct.
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Crucially, in an evolutionary environment, knowing your opponent's decision would not be advantageous for long because your opponent would evolve the same recognition mechanism to also know you, Dr Adami explained.
This is exactly what his team found, that any advantage from defecting was short-lived. They used a powerful computer model to run hundreds of thousands of games, simulating a simple exchange of actions that took previous communication into account.
Phi Beta Iota: A very important aspect of survival and resilience is communication. The greater the communication, the greater the adaptiveness as a group. This is one reason why the politics of segmentation and using wedge issues is so criminally insane. The two-party tyranny is destroying its own country for the sake of short-term advantage at precisely the moment when clarity, diversity, integrity would assure sustainability.
Free Online PDF: COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace (EIN, 2008)