Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Prisoners Dilemma on Steroids

A NYT article on Martin Nowak, who uses mathematical models to study a whole host of things. The general theme of his work is cooperation, and the prisoner's dilemma is one of the main tools.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma may be abstract, but that’s why Dr. Nowak likes it. It helps him understand fundamental rules of evolution, just as Isaac Newton discovered that objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

And what does he say about evolution?

In recent papers, Dr. Nowak has argued that cooperation is one of the three basic principles of evolution. The other two are mutation and selection.


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