Altruism as Related to Evol. Biology

The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Anthropology or Altruism as Related to Evol. Biology, you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
"Altruism and It's Relationship to Evolutionary Biology" There are two separate ways of thinking concerning altruism and it's relationship to evolutionary biology. One is the belief that altruism is a big part of society as a whole and it is the best way to promote survive of a population as a whole. Darwin, in The Descent of Man, says that sometimes a member of a group may act selflessly as long as it works out in the long term for the group as a whole (Darwin). This is the theory that I believe to be more acceptable, but I will outline those reasons once I talk about the opposing point of view. This theory was reputed by many, including George C. Williams of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He believed that "selection at the level of the group was insignificant when compared with individual selection (Lewin 1996). Many conservatives and libertarians believe that individuals are 100 percent self-interested. If they do anything for the common good, or participate in any type of group behavior, it is only because they ultimately have their own interest at heart. The only reason that individuals serve the customers while they are at work is because a paycheck eventually rewards this altruism. Even volunteer work and gifts to charity are for selfish reasons. People do this volunteer work to win the praise, admiration and gratitude of others. Conservatives and libertarians base their economic theories on the assumption that humans are really pure individualists (Leahy, 1993). Even with what I mentioned above, I believe that people really can be altruistic. Families are an example of a group that is deeply altruistic. There are many sacrifices that parents make for the good of their children. A few of the sacrifices that I thought of are as follows: · The sometimes debilitating or fatal complications from pregnancy and sex. · The extra hours that parents work in order to support a child. · Parents are always willing to consume less in order for their child to have as much of something as they want. · The "sacrifice of life and limb" to protect their family, especially their children. · The surrender of the independence and freedom that the parents had before they had to take on these parental responsibilities. Although some people may argue that what I am about to outline are acts that individuals perform in order to gain personal rewards down the line, I believe that these acts are done in an altruistic spirit. Here are the examples of altruism that I see taking place in society in general: · Giving one's life for their nation, church, community, or ethnic group. · Donations to charitable groups. · Volunteer work done in the community. · The fact that if someone is struggling around us than we will instinctively help them. · Doing a favor for a friend or lending money or an item to a friend. I believe that altruism is actually a practice that can help to promote group survival. Reciprocal altruism is different from altruism within a family (Lewin). Reciprocal altruism means helping someone out who needs it, with the understanding that the favor may be returned at some distant, unspecified date in the future, whenever the altruist happens to need it (Lewin). The return favor may not even come from the original recipient, but someone else entirely. This general practice seems to promote the survival of a group as a whole. This trait was probably crucial in hunting and gathering societies. Not even the best hunter could count on bringing home a large amount of prey every day. Changing conditions and sheer luck in the fields would have resulted in considerable variation in the amount of food that the early hunters would bring home each day. An excellent hunter and gatherer might be able to bring home a large amount of food on average, but maybe not every day. Reciprocal altruism would have smoothed over the uncertainty of finding food. A hunter that had a particularly good day might share it with his friends, knowing that the favor would be returned whenever he had a bad day. Others would take care of a sick friend, know that they favor would be returned anytime they grew sick. The survival of such a group would be enhanced, and its individual members would enjoy greater reproductive success. Critics might argue that such group behavior is impossible, or that it could never get

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on Anthropology

History Of Anthropology

In the history of anthropology I have learned many new theories I have never known before, there are a great many objectives and thoughts that I had never even knew existed before. Learning...

read more
Anthropology Science

Q2- I. What is Anthropology? Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic study of the human species; it attempts to answer questions to try and solve them; questions of where humans cam...

read more

Although anthropology dates back to Aristotle (384-322 BC), it became an established science during the era of colonial exploration and expansion, because of increased contact with different peoples...

read more
Cross Cultural Psychology

Psychology is a science with abounding applications. It pertains to nearly all aspects of human life and behavior. It reveals mysteries about people, and culture as well. Psychology plays a large...

read more
Culture Vs. Race

Anthropologists have always had their discrepancies with the word culture and its background significance. There have been numerous definitions that have filtered through the field, yet not...

read more
Domestication Of The Dog

Today’s dogs serve as a number of different tools. We train dogs to see for the blind, we train them to sniff for drugs, we train them to save people’s lives, and we train them to be ou...

read more