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Altruism Wins: “Good Wins Over Evil” Tenet

Updated: Nov 16

Predicting how “Good Wins Over Evil” tenet works has mathematical underpinnings The very nature of altruism itself has the same mathematical underpinnings.


William Donald Hamilton. Grabbed from Wikipedia. Credit to the original owner.

Note the following.


"Bernd Heinrich, PhD, was hiking through the woods in Maine when he happened upon a group of ravens feasting on a dead moose. They were making quite a ruckus, recalls Heinrich, a biology professor at the University of Vermont. In fact, the birds used a loud call that Heinrich had never heard before, a call that seemed to attract even more ravens to the area. Their behavior puzzled the researcher.


"Ecological theory would tell you that a food bonanza would be defended and not shared," he says.

"But the birds were sharing. Some of the ravens even returned to their roost to recruit more animals, Heinrich observed. The strange behavior inspired the biologist to conduct a series of field studies, which he eventually published in the book "Ravens in Winter" (Simon and Schuster, 1989)." (https://www.apa.org/monitor/dec06/altruism)


Take this other case.


"Until recently, the only scientifically documented case of interspecies adoption among wild mammals dated to 2006, when primatologist Patrícia Izar spotted a group of capuchin monkeys raising a baby marmoset as one of their own.


"Now, a new study published in the journal Ethology offers a second example of the rare phenomenon. As Erica Tennenhouse reports for National Geographic, scientists led by Pamela Carzon of the Groupe d’Étude des Mammifères Marins (GEMM) de Polynésie observed a bottlenose dolphin caring for a young melon-headed whale over a period of more than three years. This apparent adoption, unusual in and of itself, was made all the more striking by the fact that the bottlenose already had a biological baby; typically, dolphin mothers only care for one calf at a time." (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-document-first-known-instance-dolphin-mom-adopting-whale-calf-180972769/)


The most common response to these kinds of findings — and there are many more involving ground squirrels and macaque monkeys, for example — is that there has to be some hidden agenda not yet obvious to science. Bottomline is still about self-preservation and it cannot be otherwise.


This kind of response is understandable. To accept otherwise is to accept that Darwinian Theory is incoherent.

Sharing with others is indication of good behaviour. Caring for others is indication of good behaviour. When everyone behaves this way, preoccupied with sharing and caring, good wins over evil.

However, under this kind of condition, society becomes more open to exploitation. Recurrence of this kind of behaviour within a society opens up everyone to exploitation. It weakens chances of survival of the individuals involved. Thus, the incoherence indicated.

Charles Darwin has been thus puzzled until his own demise. Peter Kropotkin, seeing evidence of this kind of sharing and caring in the wild, has had to invent a response leading to the demarcation between the survival of the individual rule and the survival of the group rule. Unfortunately, no one has ever been able to lay down the mathematics involved with Kropotkin’s invention. On the other hand, Darwin’s natural selection theory has been laid down in mathematical form that has now become the standard view. The result has been less attention to Kropotkin’s concern and more attention on Darwin’s natural selection theory.


"In the theory of evolution and natural selection, the Price equation (also known as Price's equation or Price's theorem) describes how a trait or allele changes in frequency over time. The equation uses a covariance between a trait and fitness, to give a mathematical description of evolution and natural selection. It provides a way to understand the effects that gene transmission and natural selection have on the frequency of alleles within each new generation of a population. The Price equation was derived by George R. Price, working in London to re-derive W.D. Hamilton's work on kin selection. Examples of the Price equation have been constructed for various evolutionary cases. The Price equation also has applications in economics.


"It is important to note that the Price equation is not a physical or biological law. It is not a concise or general expression of experimentally validated results. It is rather a purely mathematical relationship between various statistical descriptors of population dynamics. It is mathematically valid, and therefore not subject to experimental verification. In simple terms, it is a mathematical restatement of the expression "survival of the fittest" which is actually self-evident, given the mathematical definitions of "survival" and “fittest”."(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_equation#Statement)


What everyone has not seen so far, given Kropotkin’s view, is the application of Shannon’s equation in the attempt to jump from focus on survival of the individual to focus on the survival of the group. As in the reason for disturbance of thermoclines leading to the disintegration of the the thermocline, critical point between survival of the individual and survival of the group can be easily identified with Shannon’s Law. When more information is presented by survival of the group over the information presented by survival of the individual, altruism comes to rule. This in the way that ice melts at some point. This in the way, Teilhard du Chardin explains, “critical point” is reached -- now with the application of Shannon’s Law.


Altruism rules at some point. “Good wins over evil” when this happens. Both resulting from the application of Shannon’s Law, both being themselves in the long run resulting from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

How philosophy explains. Awaiting now for the scientists to do the math.

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