善良是天性吗?

很难想象有人会把善良当作问题,但查尔斯·达尔文(Charles Darwin)就是这么认为的。那些牺牲自己保护蜂巢的小工蜂是动物世界中善良的终极范例¾它们却令达尔文夜不能寐。

如果达尔文自然选择进化的理论正确(当然,达尔文的理论过去正确,现在也同样正确),那么类似这样的利他主义应该在自然界里及其罕见。如果扩大繁殖是所有物种的最终目的,如果所有进化都遵循自然选择的规律,那么利他主义就应该彻底消失¾而且是迅速消失。但利他主义却仍然存在。这种现象令达尔文迷惑不解,以至于在他眼中,利他主义可能对整个进化论构成威胁。

接下来这个难题的答案令达尔文非常震动。工蜂并不是在帮助一群年老将死的蜜蜂,它们是在保护自己的蜂巢。蜂巢里住着极为特殊的个体:那就是血亲。

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