[extropy-chat] re: embedded in open hearts (Meta/EP)

Jeremy Webb jedwebb at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 14 10:38:31 UTC 2005

I find this very interesting:

>We are social primates.  Our genes were selected by millions of years in 
>hunter gatherer tribes where the people around us usually carried more 
>copies of our genes than we did.  Thus (by Hamilton's inclusive fitness 
>criteria) evolution can be expected to have selected genes that give us 
>psychological traits to take horrible risks and face death to protect those 
>close to us.
>(Close companions were almost always relatives in tribal days.   Since our 
>ancestors didn't have DNA testing, they had to make do with treating those 
>they grew up with or were friends or bonded with as relatives.)

I think it's highly likely that we would have developed a genetic trait to 
keep non related companions nearby for reproductive puposes as sex with 
relatives produces interbred and very unfit children. We can all sense when 
someone's suitable for reproduction these days (for example) with our sense 
of smell - I think this would have been the DNA testing organ used in those 

A fascinating thought!

Jeremy Webb

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