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Re: [evol-psych] Re: News: We're in this together: A pathbreaking investigation into the evolution of cooperative behavior

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  • Julienne
    Sonny, I was just commenting on the principal of reciprocity, which is built into many religions and philosophies. It s certainly not about a selfish gene,
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 20, 2012
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      Sonny,

      I was just commenting on the principal of reciprocity, which is built into
      many religions and philosophies. It's certainly not about a "selfish" gene, though -
      but is an attempt to make sure we are not selfish.


      Julienne


      At 12:36 PM 11/20/2012, clarence_sonny_williams wrote:
      Julienne,

      I don't understand your comment as it relates to the evolution of human
      cooperation.  Would you please elaborate.

      --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Julienne <julienne@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > "As above, so below". What works on one level of life works on others.
      >
      > Karma - this theory is encapsulated in the theory of Karma.
      >
      > Do unto others...
      >
      > There is at least an unconscious awareness of the need to cooperate.In
      > some it is conscious...


      To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. -Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)

    • Maarten
      It s certainly not about a selfish gene, though - but is an attempt to make sure we are not selfish If an attempt is needed, this implies that there is
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 21, 2012
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        " It's certainly not about a "selfish" gene, though - but is an attempt to make sure we are not selfish  "


        If an "attempt is needed, this implies that there is "something that needs to be overcome".
        And that "something" would not have a genetic base, too???

        Maarten


        --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Julienne <julienne@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Sonny,
        >
        > I was just commenting on the principal of reciprocity, which is built into
        > many religions and philosophies. It's certainly not about a "selfish"
        > gene, though -
        > but is an attempt to make sure we are not selfish.
        >
        >
        > Julienne
        >
        >
        > At 12:36 PM 11/20/2012, clarence_sonny_williams wrote:
        > >Julienne,
        > >
        > >I don't understand your comment as it relates to the evolution of human
        > >cooperation. Would you please elaborate.
        > >
        > >--- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Julienne julienne@
        > >wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > "As above, so below". What works on one level of life works on others.
        > > >
        > > > Karma - this theory is encapsulated in the theory of Karma.
        > > >
        > > > Do unto others...
        > > >
        > > > There is at least an unconscious awareness of the need to cooperate.In
        > > > some it is conscious...
        >
        >
        >
        > To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we
        > are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how
        > productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely
        > that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the
        > economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.
        > -Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)
        >
      • clarence_sonny_williams
        Maarten, The selfish gene metaphor is terribly misleading, even for a metaphor (which, by definition, are fanciful representations). The gene is NOT the
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 21, 2012
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          Maarten,

          The "selfish gene" metaphor is terribly misleading, even for a metaphor
          (which, by definition, are fanciful representations). The gene is NOT
          the unit of selection in natural selection, which is where Dawkins'
          metaphor is most misleading. The focus of natural selection is the
          phenotype, or what those genes do, that is, their function. Yes, the
          DNA sequence is what is passed to future generations, but its function
          is what is selected.

          I think this is an important distinction to always keep in mind,
          especially when considering any from of altruism. This is, of course,
          behavior that results in lowering your chances of having offspring while
          increasing another organisms's chances of having offspring. A "selfish
          gene" would never, ever do this. If you think at the phenotype level,
          though, you begin to understand how conscious thoughts and actions, say
          moral codes you've learned from your culture, are the real determinants
          in what genes get passed to future generations. Humans have inherited,
          hard-wired conscious and unconscious behavior...but almost all of these
          can be "overridden" by higher levels in the brain.

          There's lots more to say about the evolution of complex altruism (my
          term for human-level cooperation), but I'll leave it at this for now.

          --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "Maarten"
          <m.aalberse@...> wrote:
          >
          > " It's certainly not about a "selfish" gene, though - but is an
          attempt
          > to make sure we are not selfish "
          >
          > If an "attempt is needed, this implies that there is "something that
          > needs to be overcome".And that "something" would not have a genetic
          > base, too???
          > Maarten
          >
          <Snip>
        • Maarten
          Sonny, I agree with you about the selfish gene being a bad metaphor (my comment was unfortunate in the context of this notion) I m puzzled, though about what
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 21, 2012
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            Sonny,

            I agree with you about the "selfish gene" being a bad metaphor (my comment was unfortunate in the context of this notion)

            I'm puzzled, though about what you write here:

            "If you think at the phenotype level, though, you begin to understand how conscious thoughts and actions, say moral codes you've learned from your culture, are the real determinants in what genes get passed to future generations. Humans have inherited, hard-wired conscious and unconscious behavior...but almost all of these can be "overridden" by higher levels in the brain."

            To me this sounds like an underestimation of the power of implict memory (the experiences and the "predictions" derived from those that haven't (yet) become part of declarative memory.

            To oversimplify (I know...) I would propose that unless meories have been integrated in declarative memory, the kind of top-down processes that you seem to hint at don't have the "overriding" power you attribute to these. It can "shape", but not "oveeride", I'd day.

            Maarten

             


            --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "clarence_sonny_williams" <clarencew@...> wrote:
            >
            > Maarten,
            >
            > The "selfish gene" metaphor is terribly misleading, even for a metaphor
            > (which, by definition, are fanciful representations). The gene is NOT
            > the unit of selection in natural selection, which is where Dawkins'
            > metaphor is most misleading. The focus of natural selection is the
            > phenotype, or what those genes do, that is, their function. Yes, the
            > DNA sequence is what is passed to future generations, but its function
            > is what is selected.
            >
            > I think this is an important distinction to always keep in mind,
            > especially when considering any from of altruism. This is, of course,
            > behavior that results in lowering your chances of having offspring while
            > increasing another organisms's chances of having offspring. A "selfish
            > gene" would never, ever do this. If you think at the phenotype level,
            > though, you begin to understand how conscious thoughts and actions, say
            > moral codes you've learned from your culture, are the real determinants
            > in what genes get passed to future generations. Humans have inherited,
            > hard-wired conscious and unconscious behavior...but almost all of these
            > can be "overridden" by higher levels in the brain.
            >
            > There's lots more to say about the evolution of complex altruism (my
            > term for human-level cooperation), but I'll leave it at this for now.
            >
            > --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "Maarten"
            > m.aalberse@ wrote:
            > >
            > > " It's certainly not about a "selfish" gene, though - but is an
            > attempt
            > > to make sure we are not selfish "
            > >
            > > If an "attempt is needed, this implies that there is "something that
            > > needs to be overcome".And that "something" would not have a genetic
            > > base, too???
            > > Maarten
            > >
            > <Snip>
            >
          • clarence_sonny_williams
            Good points, Maarten Override is not the term I should have used, but rather shape is better. Moreover, I did not restrict all those cortical level
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 22, 2012
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              Good points, Maarten

              "Override" is not the term I should have used, but rather "shape" is
              better. Moreover, I did not restrict all those cortical level learned
              signals that might "shape" the otherwise "instinctive" behavior. There
              are a host of things, such as your example of various types of memory,
              which, in turn, is usually influenced by current mood, etc.

              My "uber" point was that learned behavior (and remembered in various
              ways) which modifies "instinctive" behavior does, in essence, become an
              environmental factor that can then influence future population genetics.
              This is the essence of Boehm's hypothesis regarding human "Moral
              Origins" (his recent book). If subordinates in a group learn to form
              coalitions that then gang up on the dominant who has "gone overboard" in
              his displays (e.g., won't share enough of the kill), then that becomes a
              powerful environmental factor influencing the behavior of dominant
              individuals. Those dominants who have a mutation of some sort that
              permits them better control over their dominance behavior would be
              favored by natural selection. Violoa! Learned behavior has resulted in
              genetic change, in this case the "birth" of conscience (or so proposes
              Boehm).

              I think it's an interesting concept and much like the Baldwin effect.
              It is essentially what "group selectionists" really intend (IMHO).

              --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, "Maarten"
              <m.aalberse@...> wrote:
              >
              > Sonny,
              > I agree with you about the "selfish gene" being a bad metaphor (my
              > comment was unfortunate in the context of this notion)
              > I'm puzzled, though about what you write here:
              > "If you think at the phenotype level, though, you begin to understand
              > how conscious thoughts and actions, say moral codes you've learned
              from
              > your culture, are the real determinants in what genes get passed to
              > future generations. Humans have inherited, hard-wired conscious and
              > unconscious behavior...but almost all of these can be "overridden" by
              > higher levels in the brain."
              > To me this sounds like an underestimation of the power of implict
              memory
              > (the experiences and the "predictions" derived from those that haven't
              > (yet) become part of declarative memory.
              > To oversimplify (I know...) I would propose that unless meories have
              > been integrated in declarative memory, the kind of top-down processes
              > that you seem to hint at don't have the "overriding" power you
              attribute
              > to these. It can "shape", but not "oveeride", I'd day.
              > Maarten
              >
              <snip>
            • R A Fonda
              ... To say the least! RAF
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 22, 2012
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                On 11/22/2012 2:27 AM, Maarten wrote:
                the kind of top-down processes that you seem to hint at don't have the "overriding" power you attribute to these

                To say the least!

                RAF
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