Each week Razib Khan, Dave Munger and I tackle a paper that was recently blogged about on ResearchBlogging.org. This week, Razib picked out a paper published in Science about demonstrating how cooperation may have become beneficial in early human societies.
Boyd, R., Gintis, H., & Bowles, S. (2010). Coordinated Punishment of Defectors Sustains Cooperation and Can Proliferate When Rare Science, 328 (5978), 617-620 DOI: 10.1126/science.1183665
Eric Michael Johnson wrote blogged on this paper at The Primate Diaries: Punishing Cheaters Promotes the Evolution of Cooperation.