Lecture 36 - Selfishness and Altruism

author: Stephen C. Stearns, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 21, 2010,   recorded: April 2009,   views: 2889
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Description

Originally, altruism and self-sacrifice were thought to be incompatible with natural selection, even by Darwin. Now we have several explanations for how altruism can increase an individual's fitness. One is kin selection, or the idea that helping relatives can help increase one's genes in the population. Another involves ecological constraints and punishments. Here, individuals contribute to the group and wait their turn to reproduce.

Reading assignment:

Krebs, John R. and Nicholas B. Davies. An Introduction to Behavioral Ecology, chapter 11

Resources:

Essay Themes [PDF] Writing Assignment [PDF] Practice Midterm Exam 2 [PDF] Practice Midterm Exam 2 Solutions [PDF]

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