Suicide & Evolution

Stephanie Wilson (swilson@BIGCAT.MISSOURI.EDU)
Wed, 9 Nov 1994 15:11:41 -0600

I deleted the post, but someone requested the citation I
mentioned/recalled/ imagined regarding the evolution of suicide. Going
back through the mind log didn't work, so I had to resort to looking it
up in the Expanded Academic Index. All that came up with was an article
in the New York Times Science Section:

"Questing for Evolutionary Meaning in the Persistence of Suicide: Some
Suggest a Darwinian Rationale for an Act That Too Often Appears
Irrational." (Science Times Pages), New York Times, April 5, 1994, p. C1.

This article, of course, mentions the actual people working on this
research, but I couldn't get a hold of the article (the actual paper has
been recycled and the microfilm hasn't arrived yet in the library)
it goes.

As the title says though, the scientists are looking for rationale for
the persistence of a potential "suicide gene". This is not exactly an
answer to why anyone should commit suicide, but an answer to how such a
gene could persist evolutionarily. Sorry if my previous post made it
sound too much like group selection.

Stephanie Wilson