Re: Religion Explained -- Almost

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 13:56:13 MDT

Robin Hanson wrote:
> Oops - typo. I meant that while people look for signals
> within groups, they don't look for signals between groups.

Oh, OK. Yes, intergroup cooperation is a more recent innovation in
evolutionary psychology, postdating Axelrod and Hamilton. Unfortunately
my copy of "The Origins of Virtue" is currently on loan, but I can say
that intergroup cooperation is not entirely unknown to evolutionary
psychology. Although, AFAWK, no other primate species exhibits intergroup
cooperation, humans are not entirely alone; bottlenose dolphins form
coalitions of coalitions as well. (Humans, however, are unique AFAWK in
exploiting Ricardo's Law of Comparative Advantage for group specialization
and intergroup trading.) Anyway, I think there'd be a significant
faction, or even a majority, of evolutionary psychologists who would be
alert to intergroup cooperation signals.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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