Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Dec 24, 2012

Cooperation more than competition in the fight for survival

Filed under: Reading — admin @ 12:17 am

On 12/16, my daughter and I went to Barnes & Noble’s as usual to prepare for her finals. There I read something on Scientific American magazine, special collector’s edition with the theme on the question “What Makes Us Human.”

One human behavior, Martin Nowark question, “why we help each other.” Cooperation, he notices, instead of being “a nagging exception to the rule of evolution,” has been one of its primary architects.

When people often think of evolution as a severe cutthroat, dog-eat-dog struggle for survival, cooperation is found to be a driving force in evolution.

The author talks about the five mechanisms by which cooperation may arise in organisms ranging from bacteria to human beings. Humans are especially helpful because of the mechanism of indirect reciprocity, which is based on reputation and leads us to help those who help others.

It is heartening to learn that “life is not just a struggle for survival –it is also a smuggle for survival.” A┬ánice thought on the eve of Christmas.

People cooperate either for their common interest or for their own interest, which makes sense since we are all interdependent.

Is it really something new? I am not sure, but I am sure there are many implications for any fields that involve human dealings.

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