[ExI] The Selfish Gene? Maybe not----
anders at aleph.se
Wed Mar 18 08:32:48 UTC 2015
BillK <pharos at gmail.com> , 16/3/2015 7:56 PM:
Articles are appearing claiming that The Selfish Gene got it wrong.
Basically because *they* got everything wrong:
The selfish gene theory does not speak about organism-level selfishness, but how genes behave. Biologists have been studying the evolution of organism-level cooperation since Hamilton, and have a pretty good idea of different ways it can evolve and stabilize even if all actors are selfish. The Dyson paper has *not* made a big splash in the evolutionary game theory community. Mostly because the conclusion is not too surprising: it has been known for a long time that there are no truly stable strategies in the evolutionary iterated prisoners dilemma.
Cooperation is important, interesting and complex. Well worth studying. But people tend to be seduced by simplistic stories, both about what it is and what everybody else believes. In particular, people tend to see a moral dimension to it, and hence get truly confused about what it means.
Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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