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The Hidden Logic Of Deception

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 19:22:50 -0500
Archived: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 19:22:50 -0500
Subject: The Hidden Logic Of Deception

Source: ScientificAmerican.Com


December 27, 2011

The Hidden Logic Of Deception

Prominent biologist Robert Trivers probes the deep origins of
deceit, and offers a solution to the Darwinian paradox of self-

By Gareth Cook

We lie to ourselves all the time. We tell ourselves that we are
better than average -- that we are more moral, more capable,
less likely to become sick or suffer an accident. Itís an odd
phenomenon, and an especially puzzling one to those who think
about our evolutionary origins. Self-deception is so pervasive
that it must confer some advantage. But how could we be well
served by a brain that deceives us? This is one of the topics
tackled by Robert Trivers in his new book, "The Folly of Fools",
a colorful survey of deception that includes plane crashes,
neuroscience and the transvestites of the animal world. He
answered questions from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.

Cook: Do you have any favorite examples of deception in the
natural world?

Trivers: Tough call. They are so numerous, intricate and
bizarre. But you can hardly beat female mimics for general
interest. These are males that mimic females in order to achieve
closeness to a territory-holding male, who then attracts a real
female ready to lay eggs. The territory-holding male imagines
that he is in bed (so to speak) with two females, when really he
is in bed with one female and another male, who, in turn, steals
part of the paternity of the eggs being laid by the female. The
internal dynamics of such transvestite threesomes is only just
being analyzed. But for pure reproductive artistry one can not
beat the tiny blister beetles that assemble in arrays of 100ís
to 1000ís, linking together to produce the larger illusion of a
female solitary bee, which attracts a male bee who flies into
the mirage in order to copulate and thereby carries the beetles
to their next host.

Cook: At what age do we see the first signs of deception in


[More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead]

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