News Sentinel: Science and bullying: Why we are programmed to help others

Sergey Gavrilets, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel for finding that we are genetically inclined to help weaker victims fight back against dominating bullies. Using a mathematical model, Gavrilets—the associate director for scientific activities at UT’s National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)—showed that differences in fighting abilities cause hierarchies to emerge where stronger individuals take away resources from weaker individuals. “It’s something our ancestors did and they achieved an egalitarian state and moral values that emerged later and society became very collaborative, and the species now dominates earth because of this collaborative behavior,” Gavrilets said.

Be Sociable, Share!