Evolution, Games, and God: The Principle of Cooperation

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9780674047976: Evolution, Games, and God: The Principle of Cooperation

According to the reigning competition-driven model of evolution, selfish behaviors that maximize an organism’s reproductive potential offer a fitness advantage over self-sacrificing behaviors―rendering unselfish behavior for the sake of others a mystery that requires extra explanation. Evolution, Games, and God addresses this conundrum by exploring how cooperation, working alongside mutation and natural selection, plays a critical role in populations from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate, argue the contributors to this book, may be as beneficial as the self-preserving instincts usually thought to be decisive in evolutionary dynamics.

Assembling experts in mathematical biology, history of science, psychology, philosophy, and theology, Martin Nowak and Sarah Coakley take an interdisciplinary approach to the terms “cooperation” and “altruism.” Using game theory, the authors elucidate mechanisms by which cooperation―a form of working together in which one individual benefits at the cost of another―arises through natural selection. They then examine altruism―cooperation which includes the sometimes conscious choice to act sacrificially for the collective good―as a key concept in scientific attempts to explain the origins of morality. Discoveries in cooperation go beyond the spread of genes in a population to include the spread of cultural transformations such as languages, ethics, and religious systems of meaning.

The authors resist the presumption that theology and evolutionary theory are inevitably at odds. Rather, in rationally presenting a number of theological interpretations of the phenomena of cooperation and altruism, they find evolutionary explanation and theology to be strongly compatible.

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About the Author:

Martin A. Nowak is Director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics and Professor of Mathematics and Biology at Harvard University.

Sarah Coakley is Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity and Deputy Chair of Arts and Humanities at the University of Cambridge.

Heather D. Curtis is Associate Professor of Religion at Tufts University.

Dominic Johnson is Alistair Buchan Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.

Stephen M. Kosslyn is John Lindsley Professor of Psychology in Memory of William James, Emeritus, Harvard University, and Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Review:

The book is almost heroically interdisciplinary, touching on everything from brain science, meerkats and slime molds to experimental economics and the theological concept of kenosis (or divine 'self-emptying').
(Matthew Reisz Times Higher Education 2013-08-08)

Martin Nowak is undeniably a great artist, working in the medium of mathematical biology. (Sean Nee Nature 2006-11-01)

A good entry point into the controversial subject of the adequacy of biological explanations of human behavior. (A. C. Love Choice 2013-11-01)

Evolution, Games, and God is perhaps science and religion at its best: going further than the somewhat stale debate about whether such a discussion is possible by plunging into a specific topic that is in itself changing rapidly and at the cutting edge of scientific analysis. It also brings in, rather more extensively than some volumes, a philosophical perspective that chastens scientific and theological reflection, without compromising the insights that are possible in both fields of study. (Celia Deane-Drummond, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame)

I have been anticipating this book for years and it has exceeded my high expectations. Nowak and Coakley combine the courage of applying a specific evolutionary theory to altruism with the prudence of recruiting sharp minds to explore and challenge their own thesis. The result is essential reading for anyone interested in carefully bringing science into conversation with moral and theological phenomena while avoiding the pitfalls of reductionism. (Ariel Glucklich, Professor of Theology, Georgetown University)

What makes Evolution, Games, and God so interesting and valuable is that the essays collected here, in addition to providing readable introductions to and discussions of the role of game theory in evolutionary explanation, also provide information and/or considerations relevant to the larger question of whether science is now at the point of providing an exclusively naturalist, and even physicalist, explanation of human tendencies that formerly seemed to require the realities of God and soul. The essays deal in an informed and sophisticated way with this and other related questions, and they do so without the venom that characterizes so many other popular treatments of the question of science, faith and morality. (John F. Haught, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Science and Religion, Georgetown University)

This is an important volume because it completely subverts the idea that the evolutionary narrative is in some profound sense antithetical to theology. Not so. The ‘selfish gene’ as a metaphor makes no sense of biological realities. Co-operation is here to stay, as important at the level of interacting genes in genomic as it is at the level of interaction between organisms. (Denis Alexander Times Literary Supplement 2014-04-04)

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Editore: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2013)
ISBN 10: 0674047974 ISBN 13: 9780674047976
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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. According to the reigning competition-driven model of evolution, selfish behaviors that maximize an organism s reproductive potential offer a fitness advantage over self-sacrificing behaviors--rendering unselfish behavior for the sake of others a mystery that requires extra explanation. Evolution, Games, and God addresses this conundrum by exploring how cooperation, working alongside mutation and natural selection, plays a critical role in populations from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate, argue the contributors to this book, may be as beneficial as the self-preserving instincts usually thought to be decisive in evolutionary dynamics. Assembling experts in mathematical biology, history of science, psychology, philosophy, and theology, Martin Nowak and Sarah Coakley take an interdisciplinary approach to the terms cooperation and altruism. Using game theory, the authors elucidate mechanisms by which cooperation--a form of working together in which one individual benefits at the cost of another--arises through natural selection. They then examine altruism--cooperation which includes the sometimes conscious choice to act sacrificially for the collective good--as a key concept in scientific attempts to explain the origins of morality. Discoveries in cooperation go beyond the spread of genes in a population to include the spread of cultural transformations such as languages, ethics, and religious systems of meaning. The authors resist the presumption that theology and evolutionary theory are inevitably at odds. Rather, in rationally presenting a number of theological interpretations of the phenomena of cooperation and altruism, they find evolutionary explanation and theology to be strongly compatible. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674047976

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Editore: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2013)
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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. According to the reigning competition-driven model of evolution, selfish behaviors that maximize an organism s reproductive potential offer a fitness advantage over self-sacrificing behaviors--rendering unselfish behavior for the sake of others a mystery that requires extra explanation. Evolution, Games, and God addresses this conundrum by exploring how cooperation, working alongside mutation and natural selection, plays a critical role in populations from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate, argue the contributors to this book, may be as beneficial as the self-preserving instincts usually thought to be decisive in evolutionary dynamics. Assembling experts in mathematical biology, history of science, psychology, philosophy, and theology, Martin Nowak and Sarah Coakley take an interdisciplinary approach to the terms cooperation and altruism. Using game theory, the authors elucidate mechanisms by which cooperation--a form of working together in which one individual benefits at the cost of another--arises through natural selection.They then examine altruism--cooperation which includes the sometimes conscious choice to act sacrificially for the collective good--as a key concept in scientific attempts to explain the origins of morality. Discoveries in cooperation go beyond the spread of genes in a population to include the spread of cultural transformations such as languages, ethics, and religious systems of meaning. The authors resist the presumption that theology and evolutionary theory are inevitably at odds. Rather, in rationally presenting a number of theological interpretations of the phenomena of cooperation and altruism, they find evolutionary explanation and theology to be strongly compatible. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674047976

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Martin A. Nowak, Sarah Coakley, Johan Almenberg, John Hedley Brooke, Philip Clayton
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2013. Condizione libro: New. 2013. Hardcover. Evolution, Games, and God explores how cooperation and altruism, alongside mutation and natural selection, play a critical role in evolution, from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate and self-sacrifice on behalf of others may be as beneficial to a population's survival as the self-preserving instincts of individuals. Editor(s): Nowak, Martin A.; Coakley, Sarah. Num Pages: 360 pages, 14 halftones, 1 line illustration, 2 tables. BIC Classification: HRAM3; HRLB; PDA; PDX; PSAJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 237 x 165 x 31. Weight in Grams: 750. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780674047976

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Martin A. Nowak (editor), Sarah Coakley (editor), Johan Almenberg (contributions), John Hedley Brooke (contributions), Philip Clayton (contributions), Heather D. Curtis (contributions), Thomas Dixon (contributions), Anna Dreber (contributions), Justin C. Fisher (contributions), Ned Hall (contributions), Christoph Hauert (contributions), Marc D. Hauser (contributions), Timothy P. Jackson (contributions), Dominic D. P. Johnson (contributions), Professor Stephen M. Kosslyn (contributions), Maurice Lee (contributions), Friedrich Lohmann (contributions), Jean Porter (contributions), Alexander Pruss (contributions), Michael Rota (contributions), Jeffrey P. Schloss (contributions)
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Condizione libro: New. 2013. Hardcover. Evolution, Games, and God explores how cooperation and altruism, alongside mutation and natural selection, play a critical role in evolution, from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate and self-sacrifice on behalf of others may be as beneficial to a population's survival as the self-preserving instincts of individuals. Editor(s): Nowak, Martin A.; Coakley, Sarah. Num Pages: 360 pages, 14 halftones, 1 line illustration, 2 tables. BIC Classification: HRAM3; HRLB; PDA; PDX; PSAJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 237 x 165 x 31. Weight in Grams: 750. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780674047976

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Evolution, Games, and God: The Principle of Cooperation, Martin A. Nowak, Sarah Coakley, Johan Almenberg, John Hedley Brooke, Philip Clayton, According to the reigning competition-driven model of evolution, selfish behaviors that maximize an organism's reproductive potential offer a fitness advantage over self-sacrificing behaviors--rendering unselfish behavior for the sake of others a mystery that requires extra explanation. Evolution, Games, and God addresses this conundrum by exploring how cooperation, working alongside mutation and natural selection, plays a critical role in populations from microbes to human societies. Inheriting a tendency to cooperate, argue the contributors to this book, may be as beneficial as the self-preserving instincts usually thought to be decisive in evolutionary dynamics. Assembling experts in mathematical biology, history of science, psychology, philosophy, and theology, Martin Nowak and Sarah Coakley take an interdisciplinary approach to the terms "cooperation" and "altruism." Using game theory, the authors elucidate mechanisms by which cooperation--a form of working together in which one individual benefits at the cost of another--arises through natural selection. They then examine altruism--cooperation which includes the sometimes conscious choice to act sacrificially for the collective good--as a key concept in scientific attempts to explain the origins of morality. Discoveries in cooperation go beyond the spread of genes in a population to include the spread of cultural transformations such as languages, ethics, and religious systems of meaning. The authors resist the presumption that theology and evolutionary theory are inevitably at odds. Rather, in rationally presenting a number of theological interpretations of the phenomena of cooperation and altruism, they find evolutionary explanation and theology to be strongly compatible. Codice libro della libreria B9780674047976

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