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#6887 - 05/09/06 09:23 PM Evolution of Altruism
soilguy Offline
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Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
An interesting article on how altruistic behavior is explained in side-blotched lizards:

http://currents.ucsc.edu/05-06/05-08/lizards.asp
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#6888 - 05/09/06 09:38 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
DA Morgan Offline
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Nice find.
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#6889 - 05/09/06 10:56 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
Anonymous
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A very interesting article. Now if we could just find the genes that code for human altruism. That would be an interesting proposition.

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#6890 - 05/10/06 01:11 AM Re: Evolution of Altruism
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
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And then develop drugs that will enhance their expression?

This is very much like fire.

I can see the US Marine Corp. looking for one therapy while society in general looks for another.
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#6891 - 05/10/06 01:39 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
soilguy Offline
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Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
And then develop drugs that will enhance their expression?

This is very much like fire.

I can see the US Marine Corp. looking for one therapy while society in general looks for another.
Maybe learn how to turn the gene on and off?

In all fairness to the Marines and the thrust of this article, the altruism trait would be a benefit to a fighting unit. It's not a pacifist gene, after all: Discern friends from enemies and collaborate to defeat the enemies.
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When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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#6892 - 05/10/06 04:12 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
You are correct.

Reminds me of a great joke about the Marine Corp. I'll share by way of penitance.

Q: What is long and hard on a Marine?
A: Third grade!
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#6893 - 06/14/06 07:32 AM Re: Evolution of Altruism
peace Offline
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Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 15
Loc: India
it will make an ineresting study if we find one (gene fr altruism)in humans and then compare its level of expression in say politicians n mothers!


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#6894 - 06/14/06 03:51 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
If we do ... you can safely assume that the expression level is controlled by hormones and that in mothers it goes up ... and in politicians it plunges into the depths of Hades.
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#6895 - 06/15/06 08:41 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
So do we think that if we turned the gene off then we would be incapable of altruistic behaviour?

Or would we just not be as altruistic, but still capable of altruistic acts?

If that's the case and people could act altruistically without 'altruism genes' then why do we need to posit an altruism gene in the first place?

Blacknad.

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#6896 - 06/15/06 11:41 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Few human traits are so simple as to be attributable to a single protein.

Likely this one is no different.
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#6897 - 06/16/06 08:44 PM Re: Evolution of Altruism
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Few human traits are so simple as to be attributable to a single protein.

Likely this one is no different.
It seems that one of the best links we have between genes and complex behaviour is serotonergic dysfunction.

--------------------------------------------------

Quote from Psychiatric Times - "It is likely that several genes of small effect size contribute to the genetic vulnerability of such a complex phenomenon as SB [Suicidal Behaviour linked to serotonergic dysfunction]. The recently published human genome map should enable us to search for functional polymorphisms in candidate genes of various neurotransmitters and neuropeptides systems."

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- According to the American Psychological Association we are still some decades away from finding any real 'personality genes'.

It is not by any means clear that behaviours like altruism are driven by genes/proteins.

Could it not be that once sentient minds become self aware and aware that others have feelings and an inner life then altruistic behaviour may then follow - an emergent property if you will? This is a different order of behaviour than some of the seemingly altruistic behaviour seen in the animal kingdom that may well just be an instinct driven by evolution.

It seems to me that because we have encountered these kind of actions in the animal kingdom then we assume that all altruistic behaviour has its root there and is just a more subtle and evolved form of the same thing.

Blacknad.

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