Re: [asa] Denyse O'Leary on family values and Darwinism

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Dec 30 2006 - 22:27:46 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "PvM" <>
To: "George Murphy" <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 8:35 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Denyse O'Leary on family values and Darwinism

> But that was not really Denyse's argument which was about family
> values. Trans-kin and trans-species may appear to be more of a
> challenge until one starts to understand how groups which extend
> beyond the direct family can also be relevant to the survival of the
> family genes and reciprocal altruism becomes an important factor.
> Trans species may involve the mutual beneficial situation of one
> providing for food, the other providing for security. Several birds
> feed on the parasites found on larger animals who benefit from being
> warned of approaching dangers by the birds.

My intention wasn't to defend Denyse's position but simply to point out the
limits of explanations of altruism in terms of natural selection - limits
which exist in spite of the arguments you present. If trans-kin altruism
were explainable as easily as the sociobiologists imagine, the world would
be a much kinder place.


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Received on Sat Dec 30 22:28:33 2006

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