Group Competition, Reproductive Leveling, and the Evolution of Human Altruism

  title={Group Competition, Reproductive Leveling, and the Evolution of Human Altruism},
  author={Samuel Bowles},
  pages={1569 - 1572}
  • S. Bowles
  • Published 8 December 2006
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Science
Humans behave altruistically in natural settings and experiments. A possible explanation—that groups with more altruists survive when groups compete—has long been judged untenable on empirical grounds for most species. But there have been no empirical tests of this explanation for humans. My empirical estimates show that genetic differences between early human groups are likely to have been great enough so that lethal intergroup competition could account for the evolution of altruism. Crucial… 
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