Re: Hamilton(?)/Price theory

pete (VINCENT@reg.Triumf.CA)
16 Nov 1996 02:03:02 GMT

Phillip Bigelow ( sez:
`pete wrote:

`> The example given in the article
`> was that if groups lived along a strip of land such as a river bank
`> or seashore, it would develop a diffeerent degree of altruism from
`> groups which clustered in open savannah.

`As far as littoral societies are concerned (gulls, seals, sea lions, sea
`there really isn't much evidence of a high degree of altruism in these
`(In fact, in gulls, the opposite seems to be the case; ever see a flock
`gulls fighting over a piece of bread thrown on the beach? :-)
`Surprisingly, though, arboreal birds show a high degree of altruism.

`As far as savannah societies are concerned, elephants come to mind as
`obvious examples of highly-developed altruistic behavior. There have
`multi-volumes written on the social structure, altruism, and group
`in elephants by a variety of authors.

`And, when you wrote "develop", develop in which way?

`Evolution-wise (genetically inherited)?, or, through plastic social
`adaption (non-
`genetically inherited)? Which one?

My impression from the sense in the article was that the theory predicted
levels of altruism that would appear in the genome. As I said, it
all sounded a bit optimistic in its assumptions about determinism
in evolutionary variables.

Note it said a different level of altruism between different geographical
distributions, but didn't say which way, ie do groups living along strips
of land have greater or lesser altruism.

`Do you have a complete citation for this research?

Not so much as a trace. The article was centred on the life of Mr Price,
and made only passing reference to the theory. That's why I posted,
to see if anyone here could say more about it. I don't know even
what field it would be under - evolutionary biology/math/?.

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