From: Dick.Gray@bull.com <Dick.Gray@bull.com> To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 12 January 1999 16:45
Subject: Re: Objective standards of conduct [was Re: Dyson (Was: Paths to Uploading)]
>>You might want to check out some recent work in the field of ethology (the
>>science of animal behavior). All social animals tend to avoid "antisocial"
>>behavior, as those who don't, tend to find their lineages weeded out of
>>You know, I could have sworn that I read an article in New Scientist over
>>the last few months that found that infidelity was extremely high in
>>animals, who try as hard as possible not to get caught.
>Depends on what you call "infidelity". Some species are promiscuous, others
>mate for life. In those species where promiscuity is the norm, it's
>perfectly "acceptable" behavior. Promiscuity is not infidelity, since no
>long-term bond of trust is expected. Individuals of species with a
>tradition of "marriage" OTOH are seldom observed to violate the bond--and
>those who practice infidelity often face sanctions.
The article included geese (long thought to mate for life) and found that they in fact didn't. They just hid it very well (it used genetics to track parentage and found it wasn't what it should have been). It also looked at primate (I think chimpanzees) and found that some of them were expert at arranging assignations. One particularly amusing example was of two chimpanzees pretending to forage with their top halves while having sex with their bottom halves, both of them surpressing the normal chimpanzee mating noises (which are rather loud).