Thursday, December 21, 2006

Science explains Christmas goodwill

Have you ever wondered what makes us selfish human beings to be so generous and helpful during the time of Christmas? What is it that brings out the best amongst the most of us during festive season?

At first glance, the universal idea of survival of the fittest should have put paid to giving presents and acts of charity since the last thing any competitive creature will do is to waste its valuable resources on another.

But in the animal kingdom, gifts are made for good reason: in many insect and some bird species, females accept males as mates only if they are offered a morsel of food to boost the chance of reproduction; and there are many other behaviours seen in insect societies where individuals help each other, so long as they are related and carry each other's genes.

In human societies, however, we are often charitable and give to people who are unrelated to us, or whom we do not even know, particularly at Christmas. Experiments also show that we often express our gratitude by being more charitable to others. The reason for all this Christmas goodwill is spelt out in a mathematical analysis carried out by Prof Martin Nowak of Harvard University, working with Sebastien Roch of the University of California, Berkeley.

Read this interesting story to know more

Courtesy : The telegraph


Revealed said...

Yeah, its an interesting theory. Apparently, a couple of tribes studied in Africa I think it was, would use gift giving as a show of power.

Publia said...

I don't think its only the birds who find that a morsel of food boosts reproductive chances!