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Game Theory denies Darwinism


Dilbert discusses game theoryIt’s all over the news. Evolution promotes altruism, evolution rejects selfishness. I suppose other than this being a slow-news summer, this falls into the category of “man bites dog.” Weren’t we all taught that Darwinism was all about my survival, my selfishness? So what is this paper talking about?

About game theory. Variations on the “prisoner’s dilemma” game where two or more players are facing a hostile interviewer. If they rat on the other they get $10 (and the other guy none), but if they keep mum, both of them split $30.  One can do this with people, or with computers, and many games are played to find the “cost” of keeping mum, etc. Various strategies are tried against each other, and the “all-around” winner turns out to be “tit for tat“. (And you give these guys research $ to discover this?) So our Darwin geniuses are trying this out with “genes” = “money”, and lo-and-behold, discover Evolution leads to “altruism”.

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Plugging numbers into a computer is not science. Doing some game theory simulations and saying "look evolution favors altruism" is not science. What hypothesis are you testing? Does your hypothesis have any relation to the real world? Jeff M
p.s. Only genes are selfish, not people.
Whereas only people have selves, not genes. Paradoxical, huh? Jon Garvey
It seems pretty absurd to introduce a hint of teleology into a system that is entirely devoted ; strike that, DEPENDENT upon the absence of purpose; a hint of purpose = the death of Darwinism. ""In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”" Richard Dawkins DinoV
Of course evolution leads to altruism, else we'd all be selfish. And it cannot be the case that we're selfish because hat would reflect badly on us. Therefore, evolution must lead to altruism. p.s. Only genes are selfish, not people. Mung

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