On Sun, Aug 11, 2013  Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I have heard this survival of the community dynamics being used to
> suggest why for example we still have behaviors such as altruism still
> quite common amongst members of our species
>

It's not just our species that displays altruistic behavior, a ground
squirrel will call a warning alarm to the group if it spots a predator even
though by calling attention to itself and behaving heroically it most
certainly increases the likelihood that it will get eaten by the predator.


> > when from a simple game theory perspective altruistic behavior is a
> handicap
>

It's not a handicap it you look at it from the gene's point of view in a
closely related population. If I have the altruistic gene and I save the
life of 2 other individuals who also have that very same gene then even if
my heroism costs me my life the altruism gene will tend to spread through
the population.  Evolutionary biologists call this "The Green Beard
Effect"; a gene that causes you to have a green beard and behave
altruistically toward others who also have a green beard can potentially
spread threw a population (and if the group is very closely related then
the same thing can happen even without the green beard). And yes, a mutated
gene that gives you the green beard but no altruistic desires might spread
even faster.

  John K Clark

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