Category: group selection

Cultural Group Selection

Interesting paper. 

Human cooperation is highly unusual. We live in large groups composed mostly of non-relatives. Evolutionists have proposed a number of explanations for this pattern, including cultural group selection and extensions of more general processes such as reciprocity, kin selection, and multi-level selection acting on genes. Evolutionary processes are consilient; they affect several different empirical domains, such as patterns of behavior and the proximal drivers of that behavior. In this target article, we sketch the evidence from five domains that bear on the explanatory adequacy of cultural group selection and competing hypotheses to explain human cooperation. Does cultural transmission constitute an inheritance system that can evolve in a Darwinian fashion? Are the norms that underpin institutions among the cultural traits so transmitted? Do we observe sufficient variation at the level of groups of considerable size for group selection to be a plausible process? Do human groups compete, and do success and failure in competition depend upon cultural variation? Do we observe adaptations for cooperation in humans that most plausibly arose by cultural group selection? If the answer to one of these questions is “no,” then we must look to other hypotheses. We present evidence, including quantitative evidence, that the answer to all of the questions is “yes” and argue that we must take the cultural group selection hypothesis seriously. If culturally transmitted systems of rules (institutions) that limit individual deviance organize cooperation in human societies, then it is not clear that any extant alternative to cultural group selection can be a complete explanation.

Of course, “non-relatives” is relative (no pun intended).  In an ethnoracially homogeneous society, and focused on that society to the exclusion of the outside world. One can view cooperative social structures as being among “non-relatives” since, in that monoethnic background, non-family = non-relatives.  However, in a demographically diverse state, or when considering the interactions of a monoethnic states with the rest of the world, genetic gradients become salient, and one can view the ethny among which group cooperation may work as a group of relatives.  If “kin selection” is invoked as one explanation for large cooperative societies, then the genetic gradients that exist between groups at levels greater than that of between families must be considered.  Further, as genes and culture exhibit bidirectional feedback, cultural group selection will, by its very nature if practiced by competing genetically distinct groups, will lead to genetic group selection (a form of kin selection) as a matter of course.

Also importantly, the concept of cultural group selection, particularly: “…culturally transmitted systems of rules (institutions) that limit individual deviance…” is a tool of social control to repress free-riding (the knee-jerk response of the mendacious who wish to poke holes in group selectionist theories, or even the EGI concept of Salter, which at its most fundamental is not dependent on group selection theory) – never mind my previous argument (made here at this blog) that inter-ethnic free-riding is always ignored by those who foam at the mouth about intra-ethnic free-riding, despite the fact that the inter-ethnic form is more damaging (due to the greater genetic distance between those riding and those being ridden) and also harder to control my social norms (it is easier to control the behavior of culturally similar people of your own group than bizarre aliens who are exploiting you).

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Personality Variation and Group Selection

Food for thought.

The power of personality, by Elizabeth Pennisi, in Science 06 May 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6286, pp. 644-647, DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6286.644


Excerpts, emphasis added:

As the existence of animal personalities becomes undeniable, researchers face a puzzle: how disparate personalities can coexist in a single species. Europe’s great tits are helping explain how. At long-term field sites in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, Niels Dingemanse, a behavioral ecologist at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, and others have manipulated the number of offspring in nests and the density of nest sites. They’ve found that different conditions favor opposite personalities, thereby enabling behavioral variation to persist. 

When bird populations are dense, competition for territories, mates, and food sharpens, and one might expect aggressive individuals to win out. But when Dingemanse’s postdoc, Marion Nicolaus, tracked 541 adults for 4 years, recording which survived and how many young they produced, she found the opposite was true. It seems that when birds have to compete for scarce resources, the aggressive ones often get into fights, which take a physical toll. Aggressive birds also strain to keep all their young fed, further taxing their health. Thus, compared with more docile individuals, these birds are more likely to wear themselves out and fail to survive to the next breeding year. Only when densities are low do type A birds outcompete gentler ones and thrive, Dingemanse says. 

The findings parallel predictions made a decade ago about humans: that “in growing populations, competitive environments should favor shy, non-explorative, non-aggressive individuals,” Nicolaus, Dingemanse, and colleagues write in an upcoming paper in Ecology Letters.

One can correlate that to Frost’s “genetic pacification” theory and hypothesize that in high-density, populated, areas of higher civilization, more passive, gentle, and shy organisms are selected. Thus, the sissified pansy Whites, particularly those of the urbanized “Western” areas of the race – Western Europe and as well as the overseas Anglosphere. The negative effects of Christianity in selecting for passive faggotry would exacerbate this problem. 

By looking for marked fish, they found that shy individuals hadn’t simply moved out of the groups; they had vanished, most likely because they were not aggressive enough to compete for food in the group and had starved, or were too slow in reacting to predators that homed in on the school. On their own, however, the shy fish thrived, because remaining still is an effective antipredator defense. Bold fish, in contrast, became targets when isolated.

The finding suggests that personality types could play a role in evolution by helping divide a species into separate populations. Such segregation can lead to further differentiation and, eventually, to reproductive isolation. “That is often the first step in models of speciation,” Duckworth says.

Again, the same principles can apply to humans. Will more aggressive and ethnocentric Whites become ever more differentiated from sissified cucks, forming a new ethny with radical different behavioral and other phenotypes and the variant genetic architecture to match? Will the pansies be selected out, leaving the more ethnocentric to survive as the more fit? Or are these different types too integrated, with a too shallow behavioral gradient between them, so that both types will become extinct because of the mistakes of the numerous and influential cuck fraction?

Anelosimus studiosus, a small, brownish U.S. spider, lives in groups of from two to two dozen individuals and can build car-sized webs capable of snaring a small bird or mammal. Over the past decade, behavioral ecologist Jonathan Pruitt of UC Santa Barbara has determined that not only do individual spiders have personalities—bold and active or docile and inactive—but also that the mix of the two types gives each colony a distinctive “group personality.” The group personality needs to fit the demands of the local environment if the colony is to survive, he and his colleagues reported in Nature in 2014.


Thus, group selection based on different mixes of personality variants in the population. Does the same hold for humans? Continuing the speculation from above, do the cuck and ethnocentric fractions of the White population form an integrated whole, with the problem being we have too high a cuck fraction? Will a change toward more ethnocentrics (if possible) solve the problem without complete elimination of the cucks, or a “speciation” between the groups?

Two Science Items, 10/29/14

Science in the news.

Humans domesticating themselves.  Ideas similar to Frost’s genetic pacification.

Competition for niche space can promote evolution.

In recent years, biologists have increasingly recognized that evolutionary change can occur rapidly when natural selection is strong; thus, real-time studies of evolution can be used to test classic evolutionary hypotheses directly. One such hypothesis is that negative interactions between closely related species can drive phenotypic divergence. Such divergence is thought to be ubiquitous, though well-documented cases are surprisingly rare. On small islands in Florida, we found that the lizard Anolis carolinensis moved to higher perches following invasion by Anolis sagrei and, in response, adaptively evolved larger toepads after only 20 generations. These results illustrate that interspecific interactions between closely related species can drive evolutionary change on observable time scales.


One can speculate that this may apply to humans: negative interactions between different hominid subspecies (i.e., races) can promote evolution of particularly a native subspecies whose territory is invaded by a related subspecies.  The Third World invasion of the West may be stimulating rapid evolution of European human organisms.  The question is: in what direction? If the evolution has a “group selection” aspect, evolution may be in the direction of greater ethnocentrism.  However, a purely individualist selective pressure may actually select for even less ethnocentrism than even the feeble degree exhibited by extant Europeans.  Thus, on an individual level, short-term fitness may accrue by “throwing your race under the bus” so to speak, due to the massive incentivization of White dispossession described by KMacD at TOO. Whatever the case, Europeans are likely exposed to novel selective pressures due to the occupation of their territory by alien hominid forms.