Does Kin Selection Explain Altruism?

There's a curious puzzle unanswered by the theory of evolution: why do some animals give up their chance to reproduce to help others reproduce instead? For decades biologists have suggested family was the reason, but that has recently been challenged.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Chuck and Josh read tons of articles. Here are the best of the bunch. Enjoy them with our compliments.

A recent story in the Metro UK about a Polish goose named Buttons who has become a caretaker to a blind dog named Baks reminded me of all of those other similar stories of animals adopting other animals. Buttons has decided that Baks will live, live!, and leads Baks around their shared yard, either by using her long neck to guide the dog or by honking in the direction Baks should walk.

Is there such a thing as a truly unselfish act? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn more about the nature of altruism.