Darwinia: A Novel of a Very Different Twentieth Century by Robert Charles Wilson

By Robert Charles Wilson

In 1912, heritage was once replaced through the Miracle, while the previous international of Europe used to be changed by means of Darwinia, a wierd land of nightmarish jungle and antediluvian monsters. to a few, the Miracle is an act of divine retribution; to others, it truly is a chance to carve out a brand new empire.

Leaving American now governed through non secular fundamentalism, younger Guilford legislation travels to Darwinia on a challenge of discovery that might take him extra than he can most likely imagine...to a shattering revelation approximately mankind's future within the universe.

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The comparison with other animals, however, highlights aspects of punishment that are unique to humans. For one thing, punishment among humans is relatively rare, whereas for many animals it is constant. Punishment is also manifested among humans in a far more elaborate way—consider our complex institutions of laws, police, courts, fines, jails, and so on. ). The elaborateness of human punishment may reflect the difficulty of achieving effective cooperation without it. “Punish or perish,” as mathematical biologist Karl Sigmund put it.

The logic of evolutionary theory is very much like the logic of game theory. Different strategies have different payoffs, and those gaining the highest payoffs tend to do best. However, in regular 31 g o d i s wa t c h i n g y o u game theory, payoffs represent money or resources, whereas in evolution, payoffs correspond to survival and reproduction. A winning strategy leads to more offspring, and thus spreads in the population at the expense of less effective strategies. 25 Indeed, empirical evidence reveals that many animals punish.

2 Behavior can be categorized by its effect on the actor (rows) and its effect on others (columns). Given positive or negative effects on each participant, this gives four broad types of behavior: mutualism, altruism, selfishness, or punishment. Punishment is defined as behavior that imposes a cost on both participants (lower right cell). Effect on Others Effect on Actor + – + – Mutualism Altruism Selfishness Punishment 33 g o d i s wa t c h i n g y o u of reasons. Key among these are: (1) time (it takes time to seek out and punish a target); (2) energy (it takes resources to carry out punishment); (3) opportunity costs (one could be doing something else with the time and energy it takes to punish); and (4) retaliation (punishing someone may make enemies or rivals, and risks injury if the victim reacts aggressively).

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