(Enrique’s comment is about 1 million times more on-point than Dawkins’.)

]]>My problem with Nowak, et al., however, is that they argue that natural selection can explain cooperation just as well (but more parsimoniously) than kin selection theory can and that the “r” term in Hamilton’s rule superfluous. The problem with this is that they do not define “natural selection” in their paper (they can’t because natural selection is, in fact, not a single method but rather a collection of related mechanisms, such as direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, etc.). Also, if you read Nowak closely, you will see he always confuses the term “cooperation” with “altruism,” when in fact those are two different things. Although I admire Nowak and appreciate his mathematical or hyper-reductionist approach to evolution, at the end of the day, he is too sloppy in his use of terms for my taste, and his excessive reliance on mathematics is more a liability than an asset, because any mathematical model is always sensitive to its necessary (non-mathematical) assumptions, etc., etc.

]]>So, is Dawkins flailing away with erudite prose and flawed logic as is his habit, or has he addressed his argument in mathematics?

Btw, Dawkins’ book “the greatest show…” is a sorry example of intellectual rigor and honesty indeed. People in glass houses…

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