The "research" on this page is obsolete. See the articles Brain, Self-organization, inheritance of acquired characteristics, Advice of ways to stop justifying and multiple stages of justification poisoning on http://purescience.wikia.com
Altruism in conflictless situations vs instrumental aggression
Most studies on altruism only focus on situations where the helping individual loses something by helping someone else. That approach has resulted in pessimistic reciprocality theories and 1984-esque theories about identifying so-called "cheaters" (the theory that intelligence should have made cheating more difficult because it can be used to expose the bluffs of others overlooks the fact that it can just as well be used for hiding ones own bluffs). But it ignores all situations where helping someone else is NEUTRAL for the helping individual. There is lots of empirical evidence of animals of all kinds warning unrelated individuals, even other species, for danger. They sometimes bluff, but only when there is something to win by bluffing. They do NOT simply refuse to warn others because they or their genes get no positive gain from warning. Our ape/monkey cousins use fruit calls to share fruit with others when there is an abundance of fruit that is more than enough for everyone, and then share without fighting. Egoism only shows up when the amount of fruit is so small that they gain fruit themselves by not allowing others to eat. The old theory about altruism because cooperation works best for everyone was debunked ONLY because of observations of conflicts, so that debunkal only applies in situations where there actually IS conflict. So altruism without coercion does not require positive gain for the helping individual, it merely requires situations where the helping individual loses nothing. There is also lots of observations proving that animal aggression is governed by the possibility of gain, and not any kind of "pressure boiler effect". Studies of baboons in troops with aggression frequencies far below "baboon standard" show that they have LOWER adrenaline levels than other baboons, debunking the theory of frustration and proving the theory of instrumentality. That humans should be biologically adapted to solving conflict without tools and that tools upset the balance by introducing weapons is debunked by abundant finds of stone tools more than 2 million years old. All of this combined shows that so-called "human evil" is a result of resource/real estate scarcity and not genetically deterministic.
Evidence that our ancestors lived without rivalry
Most currently living Humans are susceptible to indoctrination. There is a minority who are born sceptic and non-indoctrinable for hereditary reasons. Nonhuman animals, including our ape relatives, are virtually all born sceptic. That evolution obviously allowed instinctive scepticism to fade away in Human evolution proves that our ancestors lived without motifs for deception (learned scepticism depends on what those who teach want those who learn to be able to criticize, thus failing when needed most). And since all rivalry creates motifs for deception, that proves our ancestors lived without rivalry. Speech also can only have evolved without rivalry, because if spech was used for Machiavellian manipulation that would have bred the population into scepticism until there was no-one left to manipulate. That implies evolution should favour sceptics today. The secularization in recent centuries may have been driven by genetic sceptification, and since modern research shows that autistic children can be diagnosed by scepticism tests based on the difference model at a much earlier age than they can be diagnosed by cognitive tests based on the deficit model, increased frequency of autism in recent decades may in part be a continuation of the same Darwin-genetic sceptification rather than purely better diagnosing (non-indoctrinability creates difficulties understanding indoctrinable minds just because indoctrinable minds are globally different from non-indoctrinable minds, just look in a history book for evidence that normal human interaction is based on indoctrinability). The oldest evidence that proto-humans cared for their sick are from Dmanisi, Georgia, 1,8 million years ago, which is also the oldest site with humanlike beings outside Africa. Most likely the migration allowed them to live without resource competition. Those who stayed in Africa were freed from rivalry when sufficient numbers of proto-humans had left Africa to end resource competition within Africa as well (the habitability argument for recent african origin is debunked by Rick Potts evidence that innovative adaptation to environmental change in Africa predates proto-human migration from Africa, as well as the find of Dmanisi in supposedly uninhabitable mouintains). Foresight then allowed our ancestors to transcend Malthusian population laws, until the disaster described below.
Deleterious effects of overpopulation
Modern research shows that agriculture began when the climate became worse, not better, and that it was a gradual transition by eliminating undesired species and favoring desired ones, horsed by the climate, beginning about 11000 years ago. That meant more work, so Humans started having more children to do the work (that would not be a problem in space colonies due to modern technology requiring less work). That increase in population led to more conflict, and 7000 years ago stratification happened, probably because conflict had became so frequent that people started assuming that all attempts to avoid it by making everyone content were doomed to fail, creating the first demonstrative asshole behavior, and the fact that all such conflicts had their losers as well as winners created the inequality. The old theory that it happened because agriculture created leisure and economical surplus is ridiculous, part because animals with virtually no leisure or economical surplus fight for status and part because hunter-gatherers only need to work 3 hours or less per day to get their food, as well as the theoretical absurdity of the notion that Nonmalthusian evolution even could have generated any form of latent need for Malthusian behavior.
And although most extant hunter-gatherer tribes are xenophobic, that does not mean that early humans were. Archaeological analysis of the geographical distribution of different types of stone tools and especially cave paintings and statues prove that early Humans exchanged ideas unhindered by clan borders. Some stone tools found in France even prove exchange of ideas between (modern) Humans and Neanderthals! So the best explanation of xenophobia in most surviving hunter-gatherers is the fact that hunter-gatherers are under exterior threat today! After all, most remaining hunter-gatherer tribes are in great danger of having their hunting and gathering grounds taken over by farmers, mining companies and so on, which gives them a, well, not strictly nurture, but certainly more like nurture (rather than nature) cause to be xenophobic. Technically the term "metacultural scarcity" would be more appropriate.
The same scarcity that causes hunter-gatherers to be xenophobic is of course what causes "industrialized" people to be greedy and loophole-exploiting. That greed and loophole-exploitation then horses rigid unreasonable rules and laws into existence which then unjustly stops also the few good attempts to do anything significant, leaving the destruction of the environment (as well as war) unstopped. So "being violent and not taking care of the environment" is not a result of "human nature" but a result of global overpopulation! Indeed, people who actively try to stop them are mostly impulsive individuals, certainly because todays society is anti-intellectual.
It is probably the confrontations in present-day life that horses people to make up after-constructs, so confronting people with why they did something just damages their brains and makes them become more animalistic! Traditional San people (also known as bushmen) avoided that problem excellently with their taboo against confronting people so that they are horsed to defend themselves and their actions. They are very similar to the first Homo sapiens, so that non-confrontation (and thus not having to after-rationalize irrational decisions) may be the key to how human consciousness could evolve beyond the simian suspiciousness toward arguments that prevent apes from asking questions.
Conspiracy theories are a cultural convergence towards animalistic suspicion toward arguments, as is of course also the mainstream psychological theory that rational explanations should be after-constructs, see the section above.
It is possible to be related to the flow of greater complexity evident in all of Gods creation; from the Initial building blocks of the verse to why the blades of grass are green, jumping from basic atomic molecules to complex chemical reactions, all the way through plants, human electrical fields to conscious thought, & the quest for greater observable truths & justice.
Sociobiology in the broadest sense is correct, but mainstream sociobiology is still based on a Malthusian path that human evolution did not take. So there is absolutely no reason to fear aggression, megalomania or anything like that from the self-sufficient space colonies.Fear of such things are a mere result of a congestion-ridden metacontext! The colonists must of course be able to create new space colonies as opposed to being irrevocably packed together in one closed habitat, and also rendezvous with other habitats when they want. It is possible to build those possibilities into the space colonies and spacecrafts. The argument that "children born in generation ships would have no choice" is based on sheer ignorance of this fact. Reliance on supplies from Earth would cause scarcity and thus competition, so the space colonies must be self-sufficient.
What is decent?
Pessimists often claim that there is enough resources on Earth to create a "decent" life for everyone and draw the completely false conclusion that some putative biological greed should be creating poverty. The truth is that "decent" is just an arbitrary "my own poo smells best" standard. Competition is because today's population levels are so high that the amount of resources that can be consumed is not insignificant compared to the amount of resources available. As shown above, Humans are not biologically adapted to such a situation. In space, everyone will have a life far better than any present-day standard for "decent life", and yet further inventions will give people in the far future an even better life than that, so they would consider even space colonist life of the near future "not decent". Space colonists will work to improve things instead of quibbling about arbitrary standards about what is "decent". There will be no ideological quibble because there will be no distribution issues due to the abundance.
Discriminating between the situations
Since overpopulation is the "root of all evil", it will be important to be aware of where the Malthusian context ends and the Nonmalthusian context starts. Ignorance of this leads to the making up of justifications for evils that are inevitable in the Malthusian context and, worst of all, generalization of those justifications into the Nonmalthusian context. Because how vast space is, it would of course correct itself in the long run, but awareness of the difference avoids unnecessary obstruction. It will be important for Nonmalthusian space colonists to understand that evil actions committed on Earth is a result of global overpopulation and NOT something that their new, Nonmalthusian self should under any circumstances be held responsible for. The popularity of satanism and philosophical egoism on Earth is a perfectly normal result of overpopulation. In Nonmalthusian space, however, such rivalry shall be abandoned, and people who were ruthless oppressors or killers on Earth will be kind in space. The space colonists must look back at their former Malthusian self as outright insane, a insanity that the Nonmalthusian life in space cured them from.
During the cold war, many astronauts and cosmonauts who were fanatic jingoists prior to their space journey became pacifists during or soon after their journey. That effect may at least in part be due to the experience of the space journey as a sort of "preludium" to the Nonmalthusian condition in the vastness of space.