RE: New Scientist this week

From: Vincent Campbell (v.p.campbell@STIR.AC.UK)
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 11:45:37 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <v.p.campbell@STIR.AC.UK>
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    Subject: RE: New Scientist this week
    Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 11:45:37 +0100
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            <I don't buy the altruistic tack in Evo Psych. I can accept the
    argument that
    > males will do very silly and or dangerous things to mate, that1s no
    > problem..
    > Where I have trouble with this argument is that people can knowingly plan
    > their own deaths. You don't produce many kids if your dead. Secondly, the
    > argument only concerns itself with males, despite the increasing incidence
    > of female suicide bombers. Unless of course you stretch the argument to
    > suggest they are reacting in some way to a threat to their future
    > children!
    > :-) It's hard science when the theory fits the facts.>
            There's another way of thinking about altruistic sacrifice- social
    status for offspring and relatives. A martyr (or a celibate monk, say), may
    die, but family members may gain in social status as a result and
    subsequently will do better in terms of survival and mate choice etc. Such
    an argument works better in social insects where they share more genes with
    each other, but when you add in cultural capital, if you like, that might be
    a strong factor in humans also. This could work as well for women as for
    men. The sisters of a female suicide bomber might have their mate chances
    improved by association.

            Apparently some 150,000 people applied to be on the 3rd series of
    Big Brother in the UK (due to start at the end of this week)- why? The
    presumed route to fame, celebrity etc. etc.

            Recommended current reads (yes I managed to actually read- all the
    way through- some books I bought recently), the Douglas Adams' collection
    'The Salmon of Doubt' (It's Douglas Adams, nuff said), and Michael Moore's
    'Stupid White Men' (if you're after some liberal American polemic- yes,
    there is still some out there, despite the likes of John Malkovich
    threatening to have some British journalists killed for condemning US
    foreign policy in a student union debate).


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