The phrase “survival of the fittest” is often used to paint dominance as the path to success. But aggression, while effective for some, tends to be a costly evolutionary strategy. In their Survival of the Friendliest, evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare and journalist Vanessa Woods explain the scientific case that it is, in fact, humans’ capacity for friendliness and cooperation that has helped us thrive—a concept known as self-domestication. But they warn that kindness, like aggression, is a double-edged sword.
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