Social Scientists Build Case for 'Survival of the Kindest'
Added: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to rod-the-farmer for the link.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.
In contrast to "every man for himself" interpretations of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, Dacher Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychologist and author of "Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life," and his fellow social scientists are building the case that humans are successful as a species precisely because of our nurturing, altruistic and compassionate traits.
They call it "survival of the kindest."
"Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others," said Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. "Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate. As Darwin long ago surmised, sympathy is our strongest instinct."
Christopher Badcock, Ph.D -... 3 Comments
Neurons Mirror the Diametric Mind
Schizophrenics amplify neuronal mirroring, autistics reduce it
- - MedicalXpress 11 Comments
How thinking about death can lead to a good life
Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. Even non-conscious thinking about death – say walking by a cemetery – could prompt positive changes and promote helping others.
Thomas Rogers - Salon 19 Comments
“The Hidden Brain”: Behind your secret racism
Annie Murphy Paul - New York Times 26 Comments
New support for the value of fiction is arriving from an unexpected quarter: neuroscience.
Rhitu Chatterjee - BBC News Magazine 18 Comments
Earworms: Why songs get stuck in our heads