Survival of the Kindest

Thomas Hobbs once described human beings as “nasty, brutish and short” (circa 1651), but this week we join Mary Hines, of Tapestry, as she challenges that notion with a different idea.  Mary interviews Dr. Dacher Keltner, of the University of Berkley, about his new book Born to Be Good:  The Science of a Meaningful Life.

Dr. Keltner uses his research and work with the Dali Lama to resurrect some of the little known ideas about Charles Darwin, who Keltner feels has been misrepresented over the years.   Most people know about Darwin’s popular notions of survival, but he theories about competition do not apply to human beings the way most of us believe.  Darwin recognized that we are not the fastest or strongest, nor do we have any great teeth or claws, and yet we are on top of the evolutionary ladder.  Darwin suggested that our greatest traits are sympathy and cooperation.  It is in our ability to cooperate for the common good that we find our strength.

This interview if filled with mind-blowing ideas and data, so join in and see humanity in a totally different light.


Credits:  Hines, Mary.  “Survival of the Kindest” Tapestry.  Interview.  Toronto:  CBC  February 28, 2010.


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