Selfishness and selflessness are two sides of a man’s psychology which are rightly expressed depending upon the situation.
Thursday October 30th, in the first fall session at Science Cafe Wageningen, Prof. Dr. Duur Aanen from Wageningen University and Prof. Dr. Matthijs van Veleen from university of Amsterdam threw their clever perspective on the topic ‘The good, the bad and the ugly – Evolution of cooperation and cheating’.
Dr. Matthijs van Veleen initiated the topic with details on how different organisms utilise the weapons of cooperation and cheating to survive against the enemies and to protect themselves. The great coral reefs, mighty ants and human beings all practice major transitions while showing altruistic behaviour. Individual interest and collective interest are the major factors that brings about the specialized capacities for reproduction and survival. This was the key message delivered by him.
Dr. Duur Aanen, as the second speaker gave the biological perspective to the same topic while explaining about the difference between monocultures and mixed cultures in growing fungus and other micro-organisms. He delivered details on the major subtitle ‘tragedy of commons’, a phenomenon to explain the fight for common things. With his talk, he concluded that fights for survival can lead to new cooperation and community improvement but on the other hand could also result in detrimental effects at personal level leading to poor self-development. With the simple example of Darwinian Agriculture, he explained how social plants were created in order to avoid competition.
Overall, it was an interesting scientific discussion on the aspects of cooperation and cheating added with the scintillating music from Wim Tucour.