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From "survival of the fittest" to "the selfish gene," familiar evolutionary themes advocate an amoral viewpoint that favors the individual. And yet, evolutionary biologists have uncovered countless examples of altruism in the traits of animals and humans - which has given rise to the idea that there is an evolutionary component to these selfless behaviors that can be quantified This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with Professor Oren Harman, author of The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness. Both a history of the study of social evolution and a biography of George R. Price, this book explores a life which would become an illuminating experiment in altruism and lead to the development of the Price Equation (a mathematical equation used to study genetic evolution).
Show Notes

Date – June 29th, 2010 read by Derek

Today's show is sponsored by Audible.
The Amazing Meeting 8 is just about a week away.
We have two winners of the Scott Sigler Ancestor book give away.
Check out the Ancestor book tour at Scott's website.
Today's guest is author Oren Harman.
Professor Harman's latest book is:
The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

This Week in Skeptic History with Tim Farley.
Scientologist Tom Cruise was born July 3rd, 1962.
Cruise criticized Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants on the Today Show.
Mee-Shee The Water Giant was released June 28, 2005.
The Sandra Mansi photo of Champ was taken July 5, 1977.
Ben Radford reported on he and Joe Nickell's attempts to replicate
the Mansi photo of Champ in the August 2003 issue of Skeptical Inquirer.
Radford and Nickell also investigated Champ in their book Lake Monster Mysteries.
P.T. Barnum was born 200 years ago on July 5, 1810.
His hoaxes included the original Fiji mermaid and an attempt to
purchase the Cardiff Giant.
You can read Skeptic History facts daily on Twitter, Facebook or FriendFeed.
In 1999, Professor Harman stumbled upon the story of George R. Price.
Altruism has different meanings in regards to evolutionary biology.
George R. Price derived a covariance equation which is a mathematical description
of evolution and natural selection known as The Price Equation.
He also co-formulatedESS (Evolutionary Social Strategy) :
E(S,S) = E(T,S) and E(S,T) > E(T,T)
Peter Kropotkin, an anarchist in 1902 published the book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution
The Price of Altruism highlights the life and work of:
Peter Kropotkin, Thomas Henry Huxley, Ronald A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane,
W. D. Hamilton, John von Neumann, Warder Clyde Allee, and John Maynard Smith
All contributed to the study of evolutionary biology especially as they relate to:
kin selection, group selection, game theory and altruism.
Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene was published in 1976.
Price debunked the claims of ESP by Joseph Rhine in an article in Science entitled:
Science and the Supernatural.
The Price of Altruism is available here .
Professor Oren Harman's other books are: The Man Who Invented the Chromosome  and
Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology .

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