58711Re: [evol-psych] Re: Warfare as cooperative behavior?
- Oct 1, 2007The problem here is that your example is a binary all-or-nothing
example, resting entirely on genetic determinism. You are right that
captured females could introduce more selfish mutants, but this assumes
that (a) the victorious group was homogeneous to begin with; (b) that
the defeated group was that different genetically; (c) that cheaters
will get to survive in the new group--humans are a low reproducing
species and there is time to determine selfish individuals; (d) that
behaviour is simply a matter of gene-->behaviour. The human species has
been evolving over millions of years and any two groups in conflict are
unlikely to differ enormously on any particular trait. It is a question
of refinement over time. And often victorious groups just slaughter
everyone or rape the women without bringing them into their own
groups--an exporting of "altruistic" (pro-group warfare) genes.
In hunter-gatherer groups, where conflict arises, it is not on the scale
of wiping out groups but more attritional, with the odd individual being
picked off here and there, perhaps a few on some occasions. I'm not sure
how that impacts altruism at all, either way.
> For me, the issue with group-selection is the problem of cheating mutant. Ironically, it is the victory in a battle that will ultimately lead to the demise of a co-operative group. A victory in a battle would always involve capture of females. The geographical proximity of the groups would mean that they have the same physical features. In other words, the captured females would be indistinguishable from the females of the group. Now the females who are captured is from a selfish group, and will carry the selfishness gene. Since they are physically indistinguishable, the children of these captured females--who are selfish mutants--will have an advantage over the natives, and in a few generations, the group will be overrun by the selfish gene.--
> As I said, the higher the group cohesion, the easier the victory in battles, the faster is the influx of selfish mutants, and faster is the collapse group cohesion. So how do you deal with this?
> On Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 05:29:41PM +0100, Rick O'Gorman wrote:
>> How can you just assert this:
>> "The point being (Williams 1966) that because the pace of differential
>> reproduction is almost always much more rapid at the level of the
>> individual relative to the group or species, traits are most
>> appropriately viewed as adaptations at the individual level."
>> What matters is how much gene replication is driven by
>> between-individual selection and group-level selection (which you could
>> view as above-individual interactions). Thus the following is misleading:
>> rate of differential reproduction of the replicators that occurs as a
>> consequence of the differential rates of reproduction among vehicles at
>> different levels of organization
>> Groups don't need to replicate faster than individuals per se; effects
>> on gene replication due to individual sel have less of an impact than
>> higher-level sel.
>> Williams' characterising of GS is very misleading and flawed. He uses
>> strained analogies to make his point and his representation of the
>> process is 40 years old. Much has occurred since that refines things,
>> and it doesn't come down to whether individuals or groups reproduce fastest.
>> Rick O'Gorman
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Rick O'Gorman, PhD
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