Martin Nowak: Five Rules for Cooperation

Time: 5. 12. 2007, 6:15 p.m.
Place: Autidorium of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Martin Nowak, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Cooperation means that one individual pays a cost for another to receive a benefit. Cost and benefit are measured in terms of fitness. Reproduction can be genetic or cultural. Cooperation is essential for constructing new levels of organization in biology. The emergence of genomes, cells, multi-cellular organisms and human society are all based on cooperation. Cooperation enables evolution to be constructive. I will discuss five mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation: kin selection, group selection, graph selection, direct reciprocity and indirect reciprocity. Each mechanism leads to a simple rule that specifies whether cooperation can be favored by natural selection. I will argue that indirect reciprocity is the key mechanism for the evolution of social intelligence and human language.

Moderator: Karl Sigmund (Uni Wien, ÖAW)

Host: Austrian Academy of Sciences and Industriellenvereinigung Wien Source:

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