Darwin's evolutionary theory about the survival of the fittest has one major chink. If life is about survival of the fittest, then why would we risk our own life to save a stranger? Some argue that issues such as charity, fairness, forgiveness and cooperation are evolutionary side issues of little consequence.
But as celebrated evolutionary biologist Martin Nowak explains in this ground-breaking book, cooperation is central to the puzzle of life. Cooperation is fundamental to how molecules in the primordial soup crossed the watershed separating dead chemistry from biochemistry. It's key to understanding why language evolved. And cooperation is the reason that people live in towns, villages and cities. It can even help to explain the spread of cancer cells and the role of punishment in society.In Supercooperators Martin Nowak examines the five basic laws of cooperation - Kin Selection, Direct Reciprocity, Indirect Reciprocity, Network Reciprocity and Group Selection - to explain some of the most fundamental mechanics beneath everyday life.
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