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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 16 February 2012

Humans 'an ultra-social' species


It is wrong to think that the findings of evolutionary science support the idea that humans are by nature selfish, according to evolutionary biologist David Sloane Wilson.

Richard Dawkins' famous work The Selfish Gene has, rightly or wrongly, been seen as giving currency to that world view and it pervades other areas of life, like business or politics.

"It's not about selfishness and it's not about genes. I'd like to dispense with those two words all together," he told the Today programme.

"We tend not to think of ourselves as ants and bees... we are an ultra-social species.

"Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups."

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