Re: Judaism and extra-terrestrial life

Jonathan Katz (frisch1@MIT.EDU)
Sun, 02 Mar 1997 11:49:08 EST

Shlomo Godick wrote:
>Natural selection would more likely favor the law of the jungle than the
>appearance of a kindly person teaching the value of chessed and sacrifice....
>the appearance of prophets and spiritual leaders who protect the weak
>against the tyrannically strong is very un-evolutionary...

Actually, we must be careful here. Many recent studies have shown an
evolutionary basis for altruism. Mathematical studies indicate that altruistic
groups are more likely to survive, and altruistic members of a group will
do better than the rest. Also, there are cases of "altruism" among animals.

If you think about it, this makes sense. On a group level, it is logical
that a group in which everyone helps eachother out will do better than
a group in which everyone is fighting only for themselves. On an
individual level, an altruistic individual is more likely to have his
actions returned by kindness, whereas a belligerent individual is more
likely to be attacked at the first opportunity.

Jonathan Katz
410 Memorial Drive
Room 233F
Cambridge, MA 02139