Genetic Similarity Theory is a theory, first though of by JP Rushton, that states that altruism is heritable. In Rushton’s beginning years in psychology, he began his research on altruism, having authored 2 books on the subject.
The theory itself holds that people will be more altruistic to genetically similar people than to people more genetically distant from themselves. European peoples are the most altruistic, having weathered the Ice Age for tens of thousands of years, leading to more group cooperation and more trust in the societies, that we still see today.
I have seen some people. like Jayman state that “Ethnic Genetic Interests Don’t Exist and Neither Does Group Selection”. That is so ridiculous, where do I start?
Well first off, we are genetically close to our friends, research shows that our close friends are as similar to us as 4th cousins. We also have altruistic behavior towards our friends, I would assume, because of genetic similarity. That same altruism for people with your genetics had our ancestors weather the Ice Age and led to the development of altruistic behavior and high trust societies.
We know that Europeans are the most altruistic peoples, so with that innate altruism, it obviously helped group selection in the Ice Age to select for more altruism, which led to high trust between them.
There are neurological reasons for having more altruistic behavior for your own people. To quote from the paper Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism:
Human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one’s group as centrally important and superior to other groups—creates intergroup bias that fuels prejudice, xenophobia, and intergroup violence. Grounded in the idea that ethnocentrism also facilitates within-group trust, cooperation, and coordination, we conjecture that ethnocentrism may be modulated by brain oxytocin, a peptide shown to promote cooperation among in-group members.
Results show that oxytocin creates intergroup bias because oxytocin motivates in-group favoritism and, to a lesser extent, out-group derogation. These findings call into question the view of oxytocin as an indiscriminate “love drug” or “cuddle chemical” and suggest that oxytocin has a role in the emergence of intergroup conflict and violence.
There is a genetic basis for ‘racism’, it’s actually called human ethnocentrism, but that doesn’t stop people from creating new buzzwords in order to make a person appear like they’re unintelligent and barbaric for going against the hivemind of political correctness.
Now that we know the reasons for human ethnocentrism, let’s talk about the ‘selfish gene’.
George R Price, a physical chemist later turned science journalist, developed his theory with a math equation. He later had a conversion to Christianity and set out to disprove his theory. No matter what he did, people would take advantage of him. He later killed himself because he couldn’t disprove his theory.
Now, you may say that that disproves ethnic genetic interests as well as group selection, but, the Price Equation is still the widely held to be the best mathematical, biological and evolutionary representation of altruism.
In a paper in which Price was the co-author, he applied Game Theory to evolutionary biology. Game theory is a model that looks at relationships between people in a particular model and attempts to predict their optimal decisions. To quote from the paper he co-authored, The Logic of Animal Conflict:
Conflicts between animals of the same species usually are of “limited war” type, not causing serious injury. This is often explained as due to group or species selection for behaviour benefiting the species rather than individuals. Game theory and computer simulation analyses show, however, that a “limited war” strategy benefits individual animals as well as the species.
So we can see here, that conflicts between those of the same species are of ‘limited war’ and not causing serious injury. That is because of genetic similarity.
Price also stated that in the same way an organism might sacrifice itself to spread its genes, that same organism will sacrifice itself to eliminate those of the same species if it enabled closely related organisms to better spread their genes.
So, what Price stated right there, as well as his 2 papers, directly refute what Jayman says on this.
Altruism, ethnic genetic differences, and group selection all do exist within humanity, though at different rates in different populations.
Ethnic altruism can’t evolve through genetic similarity because the coefficient of relationship between co-ethnics (who aren’t close family) is pretty small. Even kin selection itself is pretty weak in general. How much time do you spend with your second and third cousins?
In-group favoritism likely evolved through individual selection for reciprocal altruism. Overall similarity simply allowed individuals to recognize likely partners for trading favors (shared language and customs may help). This may have even co-opted systems designed to act towards close kin – misfiring kin altruism, if you will.
I have shown the citation that shows that our friends are as genetically related to us as our 4th cousins are.
Not too much. Only immediate family. I get what you’re saying, but my second and third cousins are still more closely related to me than my friends are, as I have shown.
I like this thought, do you think that that’s also how oxytocin developed, which lead to human ethnocentrism? As I have shown with the Price Equation, the Equation is still held to be the best biological, evolutionary and mathematical representation of altruism. Would you say that altruism and ethnic genetic interests are one in the same? They’re similar, you can have altruism without genetic interests, but not genetic interests without altruism.
Right. That same similarity, which is mediated by oxytocin, has peoples want to be around those of their own, ethnic genetic interests if you will.
If there were no in group mating bias then we wouldn’t be more attracted to similar faces. Citation here:
One study showed that people tend to find their own face when morphed into the opposite sex most attractive, even when he/she doesn’t know it’s his own face, strongly suggesting that people typically prefer those who look like themselves, in other words their own racial/ethnic group. The more genes that people share in common, the more likely they are to look for similar characteristics in their partners.
Click to access pentonvoak1999.pdf
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