|Speaker||Prof. Martin Nowak|
|Affiliation||Director of Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University|
|Date and Time||Oct. 20, 2010, 9 p.m.|
|Location||Singleton Auditorium, MIT 46-3002|
Cooperation means that one individual pays a cost for another to receive a benefit. Cost and benefit are measured in terms of reproductive success. Cooperation is required for construction in evolution: genomes, cells, multi-cellular organisms, animal and human societies are consequences of cooperation. Cooperative behavior is at variance with natural selection. Why should we help competitors? I present five mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation: kin selection, direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, spatial selection and group selection. Direct reciprocity means there are repeated interactions between the same two individuals and my behavior towards you depends on what you have done to me. Indirect reciprocity means there are repeated interactions within a group and my behavior towards you also depends on what you have done to others. Indirect reciprocity is the key mechanism for understanding pro-social behavior among humans and has provided the right selection pressure for the evolution of social intelligence and human language.
Nowak MA (2006) Evolutionary Dynamics, Harvard University Press
Nowak MA (2006). Five rules for the evolution of cooperation. Science 314: 1560-1563
Nowak MA, Tarnita CE, Wilson EO (2010) The evolution of eusociality, Nature 466: 1057-1062
Speaker bio: Martin A. Nowak is Professor of Biology and of Mathematics at Harvard University and Director of Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. Dr Nowak works on the mathematical description of evolutionary processes including the evolution of cooperation and human language, the dynamics of virus infections and human cancer. At the moment Dr Nowak is working on 'prelife', which is a formal approach to study the origin of evolution.
This talk was presented by the I² Social Intelligence Working Group.
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