What Makes Us Altruistic?

Genetics isn’t as important as once thought for the evolution of altruistic social behavior in some organisms, a new insight into a decade-long debate.

This is the first empirical evidence that suggests social behavior in eusocial species—organisms that are highly organized, with divisions of infertile workers—is only mildly attributed to how related these organisms are to each other.

In evolutionary biology, fitness refers to an organism’s reproductive success and propagation of its genes. When researchers at Hokkaido University studied the foraging and nesting behaviors of the eusocial species Lasioglossum baleicum, commonly known as the sweat bee, they found that the fitness was more a result of the bees’ cooperative behavior than it was a result of their genetic similarity.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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