Evolutionary Roots of Compassion

The Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old, an estimate is that a terrestrial biosphere emerged as early as 4.1 billion years ago. Ref The earliest evidences for life on Earth is 3.7 billion years old from Greenland and 3.48 billion years old from Australia. Ref The earliest evidences for sexual reproduction first appears 1200 million years ago and may have increased the rate of evolution and kick started or probably contributed to the evolution of sexual dimorphism (two sexes), where organisms within a species adopted different strategies of parental investment and what would later involve a reliance on caregiver compassion. Most plants unlike most animals are hermaphroditic (both male and female sexes) but approximately 6% of plants have separate males and females or have what amounts to serial sexual dimorphism. Most animals unlike plants are not hermaphroditic but approximately 5% are as well as some are sequential hermaphrodites in which the individual is born as one sex, but can later change into the opposite sex. Ref Ref Ref Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts Moreover, we may never completely know when and why caregiver compassion in general or familial compassion specifically. However, the fossil record can, in principle, provide a glimpse and what we see is altruism and even levels of compassion are seen in a variety of species and Kin Selection (genetic), Familial (upbringing) or Familiars (chance) Compassion are the primary evolutionary mechanism. Ref The fossil record shows the arthropod “Kunmingella douvillei” 515 million years ago, arthropod “Waptia fieldensis” 508 million years ago, and arthropod “Ostracods” 450 million years ago to exhibit changes...