Ethics Science

Evolution Punishes Selfishness

Using the Prisoner’s Dilemma game, a study produced by evolutionary biologists at Michigan State University indicates selfishness cannot survive evolution.

Christoph Adami, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics commented on the findings to the Daily Mail:

‘We found evolution will punish you if you’re selfish and mean.

‘For a short time, and against a specific set of opponents some selfish organisms may come out ahead. But selfishness isn’t evolutionarily sustainable.’

Zero determinant – selfish – ways of beating opponents only worked if the ‘player’ knew who their cooperative opponent was and beat them by exploiting their weaknesses.

But, once all the selfish players had eliminated all of the cooperative players they would have to change their selfish ways in order to beat their own kind.

So being able to cooperate by communicating is central to the winning strategy that will bring long-term success, according to Professor Adami.

Professor Adami said: ‘Communication is critical for cooperation – we think communication is the reason cooperation occurs.’

It is believed that the same set of principles apply to all organisms, from single cell organisms to humans, which is visible in the way people group together in families, tribes and nations.

So, greed and selfishness are an unnatural force in nature, which can only lead to the extinction of the human species.

As this study shows, communication is the key to cooperation and survival, which can only mean that the GOP is trying to kill us all. But the trick for them is to make people feel less guilty about being terrible people. Whether it’s taxes, the social safety net, the environment, or foreign affairs, the Republican party promotes greed and selfishness as their whole platform, but eventually the two selfish people left standing, after eliminating everyone else, will have to work together to survive.

I’d love to be there when the Koch brothers have to beat each other over the head with rocks to be the last one standing.