Survival of the Nicest
Baboons monitored for personality did best if they fell in the “Nice” category.
Science Now put up a headline that would have surprised Darwin: “For Some Primates, Survival of the Nicest.” Three evolutionists watched 45 baboons for 7 years and classified their behaviors based on their grunts, and their hormones from droppings.
We identified three relatively stable personality dimensions, each characterized by a distinct suite of behaviors that were not redundant with dominance rank or the availability of kin. Females scoring high on the “Nice” dimension were friendly to all females and often grunted to lower-ranking females to signal benign intent. “Aloof” females were aggressive, less friendly, and grunted primarily to higher-ranking females. “Loner” females were often alone, relatively unfriendly, and also grunted most often to higher-ranking females. Aloof and Loner females were rarely approached by others. Personality dimensions were correlated in different ways with three measures previously shown to be associated with fitness: stress levels and two behavioral indices reflecting the closeness of dyadic bonds formed by individuals. Females who scored high on Nice had high composite sociality indices (CSI) and stable partner preferences, whereas females who scored high on Aloof had lower CSI scores but significantly more stable partner preferences. Loner females had significantly lower CSI scores, less stable partner preferences, and significantly higher glucocorticoid levels. (Seyfarth, Silk, and Cheney, “Variation in personality and fitness in wild female baboons,” PNAS, 73/pnas.1210780109 PNAS October 1, 2012.)
This finding seems to contradict over a century and a half of Darwinian thinking. “By being a nice baboon, you increase the likelihood of having strong social bonds, which in turn translates to a better chance of passing on your genes,” Live Science wrote in “It pays to be a nice baboon.” Actually, the experiment found both Nice and Aloof females doing about the same in terms of reproductive fitness. The only losers were the loners. Whatever the findings say about evolution appears ambivalent: “It remains to be determined which of the Nice or Aloof personality dimensions is more adaptive, or whether variation is maintained by contrasting effects on fitness.”
Survival of the nicest. Good grief. All those genocides for nothing.
This is silly. Did the researchers watch the baboons 24 x 7 for seven years? Maybe the baboons did all their selfish Darwinian antics when the researchers were asleep and on vacation. Why didn’t they watch the males? Are they sexist? We can’t let these so-called scientists get away with rewriting history by using bogus categories. Even Science Now, supposedly a functionary of that bastion of Darwinism, the AAAS, said, “Females who scored high on the ‘nice’ meter were friendly to all females.” How do you calibrate a nice meter? How do you measure friendliness? What is that, in Darwin terms?
No, we can’t let evolutionists get away with this. Too much is at stake. Darwin’s reputation must be preserved intact. The triumph of German militarism and Russian conquest must maintain its scientific justification on true Darwinism. Eugenics must not be undermined by those ID people. No more Mr. Nice Baboon. Give me survival of the fittest, and give me death!