Now we are told that “generosity leads to evolutionary success”
|September 22, 2013||Posted by News under Human evolution, News|
Yeah, last time it was, Human brains, we are told, are “hardwired for empathy, friendship”, whether you noticed or not, depending on where you live and what is happening there. Okay, in our Sermonettes from Darwin’s followers, this time it’s this: And if this stuff were remotely true in real life, not so many sermons and rallies and pitches would be needed in order to get people to actually swipe their card for charity:
The discovery, while abstract, helps explain the presence of generosity in nature, an inclination that can sometimes seem counter to the Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest.
“When people act generously they feel it is almost instinctual, and indeed a large literature in evolutionary psychology shows that people derive happiness from being generous,” Plotkin said. “It’s not just in humans. Of course social insects behave this way, but even bacteria and viruses share gene products and behave in ways that can’t be described as anything but generous.”
“We find that in evolution, a population that encourages cooperation does well,” Stewart said. “To maintain cooperation over the long term, it is best to be generous.”
Of course populations that encourage co-operation do well by combining strengths, but so? Generosity means, by definition, benefitting others, not oneself. Often, it means harming one’s own or one’s family’s interests, and examples are legion.
Incidentally, the only reliable way to encourage the trait is to allow people to know that
There is another country, I’ve heard of long ago
Most dear to those who love her and most great to those who know.
Or something along those lines. Just what you won’t hear from these types.