altruism LO28469

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 05/13/02

Replying to LO28436 --

Dear Organlearners,

Judy Tal <> writes:

>What a lovely subject !!!

Greetings dear Judy,

I want to add -- what a fascinating subject for me personally.

>I wonder how many know about the research
>conducted by Prof. Amotz Zahavi, and his team.
>The research took place in the Negev desert and
>it still goes on. They carefully observe and keep
>documentation on the behaviour of "herds", "flights",
>"teams", "groups" (you name it :-)) of certain animals.
>In his book "The Handicap Principle - A Missing
>Piece of Darwin's Puzzle", published in 1997 by
>Oxford University Press, Zahavi offers a paradigm
>shift that came to his mind from watching various
>forms of communication in nature.

Thank you very much for this information. As you might know, one of my
idiosyncrasies is to indentify ESCs (Elementary Sustainers of Creativity).
This is complex task since I have to make sure of three things
 (1) An ESC has to promote creativity, given the problem that this ESC can
be misused to suppress creativity.
 (2) An ESC has to be practiced by some humans of whatever labels (like
age, culture, gender)
 (3) An ESC has to occur definitely among animals too to indicate that it
goes wider than human existence.

Up to now, taking me twenty years, I have identified five of them:-
thoughts-exchanging (dialogue)
I have been hesistant for several years to articulate my identification
of a sixth one. The reason is that I am too much involved it it to get
sufficient distance between it and me. I need some "umlomo" (Zulu
for mouthpiece) between it and me to ensure sufficient wholeness by
its associative pattern
6th-ESC * umlomo * me
Zahavi is becoming that umlomo for me.

What you observed as

>He gives IMHO an evolutionary explanation to altruistic
>behaviour by demonstrating that when one animal
>assumes a risk or endures a sacrifice that serves the
>benefit of the group it increases it's own prestige and
>status within the group.

tells very much of my own observations, not only in the deserts of
Southern Africa, but also in its many lovely game parks. Furthermore,
other nature lovers captured remarkable events of a similar nature on
video, letting us all share in them. It does happen only within a species,
but even between diverse species. For example, a lioness will care for as
foster mother for a recently borned orynx calf which otherwise is an tasty

>... just the first thing that came to my mind,

Thank you ever so much. This makes six mising pieces of Darwin's puzzle.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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