"In a dog-eat-dog world, people still cooperate, collaborate, and help each other out. Our species’ urge to work together has remained an evolutionary paradox, seemingly at odds with Darwinian theory—until now.....
NOTE: "At the
multicellular level of cooperation that defines an organism, there is
genetic mechanisms in place that allow cells and organs to cooperate.
Between individual organisms there exist various levels of internal
biological mechanisms and external social mechanisms that foster
cooperation that builds social connections and societies."
"There are five crucial mechanisms that drive supercooperation in highly social species like ours:
first mechanism is Tit for Tat, or direct reciprocity—“I will if you
will”—which represented the first outbreak of cooperation in the
prisoner’s dilemma simulation."
"Next comes the much more
advanced mechanism of indirect reciprocity, or reputation, when one
individual is willing to help another not because of personal experience
but because others have described having good prior encounters with
"Nowak identifies the third mechanism as “spatial
selection”—interaction born of living in proximity. Within a small area,
social networks aid survival and cooperation flowers."
fourth is multilevel selection, involving larger groups like towns,
tribes, or companies. These structures encourage cooperation among their
"The fifth mechanism is a version of the familiar kin
selection, the tendency to cooperate with blood relations. Nowak
believes blood ties might play a role—but one defined more by social
cooperation than by the propagation of family genes."
emerged because it gave some
individuals an edge in the struggle to survive. The survivors passed
the beneficial, altruistic genes to their descendants and so on and so
forth until, over time, groups of survivors banded together to form a
defensible nest. The motive of any one creature may have been selfish,
but extreme cooperation was the happy result. When individuals were
forced into the same space (because of the proximity of a food source,
for instance), working together in large numbers of cooperative
individuals gave everyone a better shot at survival. Kinship and
inclusive fitness are much less important than previously thought.