15 Jan '12, 11pm

Is deception no longer an adaptive human strategy?: Filed under: Energy News

"A lie is as good as the truth if you can get somebody to believe it." So goes the cynical maxim. Naturally, it contradicts the accepted public morality embodied in the saying: "Honesty is the best policy." That saying is attributed to Miguel de Cervantes though it has been repeated by many others. I rather think that the ancient Roman satirist Juvenal had it right when he wrote: "Honesty is praised and starves." The way to understand these contradictory statements is in the context of evolutionary success. Animals bear deceptive markings and patterns to camouflage themselves from predators. And, animals have been known to act out lies to deceive their fellow animals. William Catton Jr. relates such a story in his book Bottleneck: Humanity's Impending Impasse : One of the chimpanzees at the Gombe Field station provided a modern demonstration of this. He had acquired an abi...

Full article: http://energybulletin.net/stories/2012-01-15/deception-no...

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