“Every multicellular being is a collective that operates as a whole - the individual is an ‘invention’ of evolution”
Cooperation is at work up everywhere - from our ‘selfish’ genes working together in the genome, through to the democratic societies that regulate our collaboration.
Cooperation is what distinguishes us most strikingly from our evolutionary cousin, the Chimpanzee. It is what allowed us safely to descend from the tree canopy into the savannah. It is what defended us from tyrants, helped us build agrarian societies, and forms the basis of our sense of justice and morality.
But cooperation has a dark side: we collaborate to better compete. How we regulate that dark force is key to our survival.
“Collaboration is the essential ingredient of and largest threat to our success”
Listen to Nichola explain:
Works cited include:
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Nichola Raihani is a professor in Evolution and Behaviour at UCL, where she leads the Social Evolution and Behaviour Lab. She is the author of The Social Instinct: how cooperation shaped the world
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