A Short Natural History of Altruism and Healing
This chapter explores the deep evolutionary roots of altruism and healing. It discusses medical practices among apes, as well as their medical helping behaviours. It then moves to a focus on the role of the shaman as an altruistic healer and the salutary aspects of reduced stress in the agent of altruism. It shows that the roots of genetic altruism that affect health are ancient and heavily involved with our evolved human nature. Humans evolved to be altruistic in various ways and ‘our altruism impinges significantly on our own health and that of others’.
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