genes for altruism

what if there aren’t any genes for altruism.

what if the default setting is just: be un-altruistic to “not self” (i.e. what if there are just genes to be un-altruistic).

we already have inbuilt systems to repel what’s foreign — immune system, physical barriers like the walls of cells, etc.

what if altruism is just behaving towards individuals that register as “like self” (’cause they share genes with “self”) kinda as if they were “self,” as opposed to treating them as foreign, the default setting for behaving towards others (here in my scenario).

so, there wouldn’t have to have been any evolution for altruism genes; altruism would just be normal behavior towards self/”like self” — the flip-side of un-altruism (or whatever you want to call it).

it’s kind-of an easier scenario, don’t you think? no need to evolve special altruism genes.

hamilton’s rule would still apply, tho, ’cause we’d all still be interested in how related we were to other individuals.

(yes, there is also reciprocal altruism, too.)

(note: comments do not require an email. and maybe not even any special “genes for commenting.” [you know you have them!])