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cosmo

if chimps show the same trait as the humans in smiling, then how can that be a defining human trait?

DJM

Why does it really matter if your relatives survive? Don't you want to pass along your genes, not necessarily theirs?

MCPhilo

First to Cosmo - Good name, I hope your last name is Kramer. You're right, its not really a "human" trait, in the way that its special to humans, like some may say "reason" is. But it is a trait that is exemplified across the human spectrum, in all known cultures and peoples, so in that respect, it's a "human" trait.

DJM - Good question. Yes it does matter, evolutionarily, if your relatives survive. Their genes are close enough to yours to be considered passing along your "seed" if you will. That is why some species like honeybees and ants have whole castes who are sterile - they sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the colony to pass along genes very close to their own.

MCPhilo

First to Cosmo - Good name, I hope your last name is Kramer. You're right, its not really a "human" trait, in the way that its special to humans, like some may say "reason" is. But it is a trait that is exemplified across the human spectrum, in all known cultures and peoples, so in that respect, it's a "human" trait.

DJM - Good question. Yes it does matter, evolutionarily, if your relatives survive. Their genes are close enough to yours to be considered passing along your "seed" if you will. That is why some species like honeybees and ants have whole castes who are sterile - they sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the colony to pass along genes very close to their own.

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