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Altruism from an Evolutionary Perspective

            Altruism is an interesting field that many academic areas such as psychology, biology, and economics, debate about. One may define altruism as a selfless regard for the well being of other individuals. A behavior is believed to be evolutionary altruistic if it has any effects on fitness. Fitness is the ability to reproduce successfully; survival is also relatable with fitness but only if it supports reproductive success. .
             The stinger of the honeybee is considered an altruistic trait for it eviscerates itself when it stings an intruder to the colony and it keeps producing venom even after the bee has died, which is a benefit to the rest of the bees. Other examples of altruism would be the food sharing in bats, insects helping their own kind to reproduce, and warning calls in various birds and mammals. But if organisms really were to execute altruistic roles, they would fail to win the evolutionary race against the ones that do not perform selfless behaviors. The recipients would advance without expenditure and altruists would encounter expenditure without gaining anything.
             There are many theories that propose that there is an intrinsic advantage for the altruist, or in other words, it is only apparent. In many cases, altruism is directed towards kin or it can also be mutual in both the recipient and the giver. This essay will discuss the different explanations of altruism that are presented by the evolutionary theory.
             Hamilton (1964) proposed the "Kin Selection Theory," which concerns the conditions under which genes for social actions spread through populations, and suggests that the traits which direct an individual's selfless behavior towards relatives, but not to others, would evolve. Only those who share the same genes will receive more benefits, thus promoting the survival of related individuals, who are most likely to be altruistic. This means that the altruist achieves via 'inclusive fitness" because fitness is defined it terms of the number of genes passed on to the following generations and not just by the number of progeny produced.

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