Sunday School

Sunday School September 23rd 2018

This topic contains 25 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #24208

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @clearsky, it makes sense that people would share as much as they need to, and no more.  However, sharing is really a form of reciprocity, because within a group, the getting of food is a shared activity, and so no one person can really feed themselves or survive on their own.  So, it’s give and take all round to ensure the survival of all in the joint enterprise (the group working together).  As you say, there is always some kind of division of labour.

    I don’t believe that group selection can operate under these circumstances, because in a highly mobile population, people are going from group to group, so they are all mixed up together and the differences between them might possibly be down to local environmental conditions, such as they types and density / availability of food, harshness of environment, etc.  Nomads are renowned for sharing with strangers.

    #24210

    Clearsky
    Participant

    Simon,

    Its not group selection, it can’t be I should have put camp selection!

    The individuals in the paper are highly mobile and move between camps. But each camp has a variation in the amount of sharing.

    When the individual moved to a new camp. They adopt the new level of sharing.

    You can see in the original paper, the geographical  locations of these camps.

    What gets selected is the behaviour of cooperation at the camps. Which is the culture of the camp/group. That’s why it can’t be kin selection.

    As stated in the article below.

     

    Hunter-gatherers such as the Hadza represent the lifestyles of ancient people better than anyone else today does, says Harvard University anthropologist Joseph Henrich. Apicella’s findings raise the possibility that cooperation increasingly flourished as hunter-gatherer camps with more cooperative norms survived longer than camps with less cooperative norms.

    One way to visualize the situation is like countries.

    People can immigrate to a country or emigrate. But the nations politics, culture, laws remain relatively stable.

    For example the meme or culture of democracy market economy has proved more viable than Stalin’s Communism.

    Which is why we see mass immigration from unstable area to more peaceful economically successful ones.

    Once they changed from hunter- gatherer to stable life putting down roots.

    Then those selection pressures will become even more powerful.

    #24211

    You may like to get this book – The 10,00 Year Explosion, which covers what you are talking about above (and much more). It is good on ideas and very interesting in parts but sometimes it is tedious to read. Overall worthwhile though.

    #24212

    Davis
    Participant

    Simon, Its not group selection, it can’t be I should have put camp selection! The individuals in the paper are highly mobile and move between camps. But each camp has a variation in the amount of sharing. When the individual moved to a new camp. They adopt the new level of sharing. You can see in the original paper, the geographical locations of these camps. What gets selected is the behaviour of cooperation at the camps. Which is the culture of the camp/group. That’s why it can’t be kin selection. As stated in the article below. Hunter-gatherers such as the Hadza represent the lifestyles of ancient people better than anyone else today does, says Harvard University anthropologist Joseph Henrich. Apicella’s findings raise the possibility that cooperation increasingly flourished as hunter-gatherer camps with more cooperative norms survived longer than camps with less cooperative norms. One way to visualize the situation is like countries. People can immigrate to a country or emigrate. But the nations politics, culture, laws remain relatively stable. For example the meme or culture of democracy market economy has proved more viable than Stalin’s Communism. Which is why we see mass immigration from unstable area to more peaceful economically successful ones. Once they changed from hunter- gatherer to stable life putting down roots. Then those selection pressures will become even more powerful.

    While I understand where you are going with the analogy I think you have to be careful with a comparison to mass society/politics. Hunter gatherers lived in tiny communities with tons of space around them. they met other humans infrequently and generally had amicable relationships with them (so long as they had the resources they needed which in lush Africa at the time was there). At the same time, while they may have been relatively isolated, they still could not have been so culturally different. I don’t think it can be stressed enough just how small their groups where and the enormous territory they had and the infrequency of contact. We spent thousands of years developing in this enviroment and the moment we started settling down…was when the human condition as we know it began. I believe this is where you draw the line between:

    1. Beneficial cooperation (without fighting over scarce resources and maintaining extremely costly cultural rituals) and very small scale social interaction

    2. The suppression of many of these traits as society grew, the intense pressure mass cohabitation created, the fake scarcity of resources (haulled by a few). in this enviroment sometimes people are cooperating….frequently not. interestingly to a large extent, it depends on how well we  fulfil the conditions in number 1 : Amicable relations with people, a small group of very close cooperating friends/family, abundant resources, minimal costly cultural rituals.

    So while i like your explanation to Simon, I think the analogy of migrating to different countries is a little outside the scope of hunter-gatherer society we evolved out of.

    #24213

    Clearsky
    Participant

    Agree, its not a great Simile,

    I was thinking about this stuff and about the role of culture (both good & bad). I mean the good stuff is not a big problem.

    But when its bad its really bad..

    Like religious wars, genocide, war between cultures.

    There an old book I read a long time ago called The clash of Civilizations.

    Saying that after the fall of Communism.

    Humans will revert back to Religious/Cultural clashes or wars.

    In 1997 some people were laughing at this. But I am thinking is it a real possibility?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Civilizations

    Do we need more future wars purely based on Human concepts and construct like Religion?

    What will it take to break the spell?

    I looked up how many atheist are in the world its only 7%

    The six countries in the world with the most ‘convinced atheists’ |The Independent

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/atheists-countries-list-six-world-most-convinced-a6946291.html

     

    Why it so low?

    #24214

    Clearsky
    Participant

    Thanks I’ll check that book out

    #24215

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The paper about sharing is very interesting, and I’m going to print it out and have a closer look.  I’m also going to purchase the other one about Philipino hunter-gatherers helping in response to need.

    #24216

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    There are a number of notable features of the paper, I think.

    Mainly, they contend that it challenges the “partner choice” model where people are assumed to have variable dispositions (willingness and ability) towards cooperation, and are chosen accordingly.  They say, people’s dispositions don’t matter in the context they are studying.

    That’s not surprising, because the partner choice model applies to the evolution of cooperation, and evolutionary selection for cooperative people (willingness and ability – where there’s a will, there’s a way).  Sharing is part of cooperation because it is cooperative to share the spoils of the work.

    It’s striking to look at the composition of the camps.  They’re either firmly high-sharing or firmly low-sharing with not much in between.

    The authors admit that they don’t know how a camp becomes high- or low-sharing.  Possibly it’s their locations.  The low-sharing camps are usually the most populous, and there are not many of them.  Perhaps it’s not feasible to share well in a bigger camp.

    I don’t know that this study says anything about the evolution of cooperation, because evolutionary conditions have been and gone over a million years ago.

    #24218

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    partner choice

    – I’d say that this is a form of “partner control” – controlling how a partner interacts with us, in the form of sharing wisely (with those who also share) – rather than partner choice.

    #24219

    Clearsky
    Participant

     

    YouTube Vid on choosing partner , so that it last longer than your car! ( did you know its possible to have an expensive house but a horrible marriage?)

    #24220

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    “Buyer beware”.  It seems like most of us on AZ are pretty dysfunctional when it comes to this stuff.

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