Re: Lamarckian?

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 14:34:11 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Lamarckian?
    Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 06:34:11 -0800
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    ... No
    >examples of altruism exist in biology.

    Chris, have you read The Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley? He gives a good
    discussion of the subject. I'm wondering, though, how you define altruism.
    I saw a story in the paper yesterday about a lion in Africa that adopted and
    nurtured a (I think) gazell, protecting it from other preditors. They had a
    nice relationship until anoter lion came along while the protector was
    absent and ate it. I, myself, have seen a dog adopt a cat and nurse it when
    its mother died. If you define altruism as giving without receiving
    anything in return, that's hard to prove. The giver must get some
    satisfaction or the behavior wouldn't exist. But the world is full of
    examples of giving with no obvious reward. Just look at all the totally
    useless animals humans adopt and devote time and money to caring for.
    What's their motivtion?


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