[extropy-chat] Deception theory, lies and natural selection

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Tue Dec 26 17:57:01 UTC 2006

bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Robert Bradbury

1. Devious Butterflies, Full-Throated Frogs and Other Liars, C. Zimmer, 26
Dec 2006

So Robert's cited article is a case-study for genes vs genotype,
intraspecies competition vs interspecies competition.  From the article:  

"There was just one hole in this happy arrangement: it presented a great
opportunity for liars. Shrikes, for example, regularly use alarm calls to
warn one another of predators. But sometimes the birds will use false alarm
calls to scare other shrikes away from food." 

The deceptive shrikes give themselves a competitive advantage, however the
existence of deceptive shrikes harms the group, for it weakens the group's
response to an alarm signaling real danger.  This can explain how defect
strategies can be held in equilibrium within a population, or how
cooperation strategies maintain what would appear to be disadvantageous


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