Sibling rivalry and intergenerational conflict are not limited to human beings. Among seals and piglets, storks and burying beetles, in bird nests and beehives, from apples to humans, family conflicts can be deadly serious, determining who will survive and who will perish. When offspring compete for scarce resources, sibling rivalry kicks in automatically. Parents sometime play favorites or even kill their young. In More than Kin and Less than Kind, Douglas Mock tells us what scientists have discovered about this disturbing side of family dynamics in the natural world.
Natural selection operates primarily for the benefit of individuals (and their genes). Thus a family member may profit directly, by producing its own offspring, or indirectly, by helping close kin to reproduce. Much of the biology of family behavior rests on a simple mathematical relationship called Hamilton’s rule, which links the benefits and costs of seemingly altruistic or selfish behavior to the degree of relatedness between individuals.
Blending natural history and theoretical biology, Mock shows how Hamilton’s rule illuminates the study of family strife by throwing a spotlight on the two powerful forcescooperation and competitionthat shape all interaction in the family arena. In More than Kin and Less than Kind, he offers a rare perspective on the family as testing ground for the evolutionary limits of selfishness. When budgets are tight, close kin are often deadly rivals.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.62(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.81(d)|
About the Author
Douglas W. Mock is Professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma and coauthor of The Evolution of Sibling Rivalry.
Table of Contents
|1||In a Family Way||4|
|2||The Problem with Sex||14|
|3||Nursery Life with Attitude||24|
|4||The Trouble with Parents||34|
|6||Killing Me Softly||67|
|7||Parenting in an Uncertain World||77|
|8||The Ultimate Food-Fight||84|
|9||Gambling with Children||105|
|10||Beggars, Cheats, and Bad Fruit||121|
|11||Silly Squabbles and Serious Sabotage||138|
|12||Parent-Offspring Conflict Revisited||156|
|13||Till Death Do Us Part||174|
|14||Upgrading the Kids||192|
What People are Saying About This
Those fond of intoning piously that a biological universal is support and loyalty to one's family members may want to rethink their position. Doug Mock has many grim tales to tell about family dynamics in species that make the Simpsons look like the Brady Bunch. But the book is much more than the natural history of family dysfunction; it is a model of how behavioral ecology can and should be done. This is a gripping read. Just don't take the book to family reunions.