RE: New Scientist this week

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 23:34:57 BST

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    Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 23:34:57 +0100
    Subject: RE: New Scientist this week
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    > Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 11:45:37 +0100
    > From: Vincent Campbell <v.p.campbell@STIR.AC.UK>
    > Subject: RE: New Scientist this week
    > <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.

    Yes I have come across these explanations before, but am still very wary of
    them. Although I am not aware of one , a lone female with no siblings or
    cousins etc would tend to disprove it. Anyone hear of one? IMHO this is a
    case of memes over genes. That of a tribal identity that is not based on
    > 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.

    And cash!
    > 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).

    Is the Adams book the one finished by his wife? Read all the rest,
    obviously! Were the Kricket Wars too UK? :-)
    > Vincent



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