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Rats are nicer than we think, at least to each other

Gadagkar, R (2007) Rats are nicer than we think, at least to each other. In: Journal of Biosciences, 32 (7). pp. 1223-1225.

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It comes as a shock to my non-biologist friends when I tell them that a major puzzle that preoccupies evolutionary biologists is the existence of niceness, good behaviour, cooperation and altruism in animals and humans. Should you rather not be concerned about the widespread selfi shness, competition and backstabbing, they ask. The problem is that we are much concerned with what we cannot explain and fi nd little interest in what is easily explained. In his theory of natural selection, which indeed has competitive selfi shness as its cornerstone, Charles Darwin provided in one stroke, a logical thread that binds together an unprecedented number of biological facts. Cooperation and altruism were however the few exceptions that appeared to slip out of the thread of Darwinian logic. The challenge that evolutionary biologists have set for themselves is to see if cooperation and altruism too can be accomodated within Darwinian logic.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Biosciences
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: copyright to this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: Altruism, cooperation, generalized reciprocity, rat behaviour Reciprocal altruism, Cooperation, Generalized reciprocity, Rat behaviour
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2021 10:28
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2021 10:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68276

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