The Evolution of Altruism
Wired Top Stories Download time: May 5 2011 8:41 AM ET
Robots in a Swiss laboratory have evolved to help each other, just as predicted by a classic analysis of how self-sacrifice might emerge in the biological world.
"Over hundreds of generations … we show that Hamilton's rule always accurately predicts the minimum relatedness necessary for altruism to evolve," wrote researchers led by evolutionary biologist Laurent Keller of Switzerland's University of Lausanne in Public Library of Science Biology. The findings were published May 3.
Hamilton's rule is named after biologist W.D. Hamilton who in 1964 attempted to explain how ostensibly selfish organisms could evolve to share their time and resources, even sacrificing themselves for the good of others.…
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