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reciprocal altruism

Chris Anderson — Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading

Shermer and Anderson discuss: what makes TED successful • power laws and giving • charging vs. giving away • altruism • being good without God • billionaires • how the average person can participate • public vs. private solutions to social problems • donor fatigue.

12-07-18

Evolutionary “selfish gene” theory well accounts for why we would be nice to our kin and kind but why would strangers would be nice to one another? In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer reviews The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity by Paul J. Zak (Dutton, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-525-95281-7) and Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame by Christopher Boehm (Basic Books, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-465-02048-5). This review was originally published in both the print and online…

Unmasking Darwin’s Cathedral: It’s Not Just About Religion

What is the origin of religion? Is it purely a cultural product or does it have deeper roots in our evolutionary past? Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson argues in his book Darwin’s Cathedral that religion served as a social tool to unite groups into cohesive wholes by which they could out compete groups without religion, and thus the religious impulse was born. Biologist Peter Corning considers the pluses and minuses of this theory of religion in this review.

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