Comment: I disagree

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I disagree

Your point is well taken, though I have never seen such research. From my experience, it is undeniable that I have an instinctive inclination towards helping other humans in most cases. While I do not take Rand to be the authoritative voice on all things, nor do I wish to change your mind, I nevertheless think that your assessment is not entirely accurate.
First, is the pathway truly "altruism"? That is, does the pathway really cause behavior directed blindly to the benefit of another without regard to one's own well-being? Even if the answer is affirmative, in interviews and writings, Rand discussed rational self-interest (as opposed to altruism) as man's PRIMARY moral obligation. The recent biological evidence you reference helps to explain why I have instincts that direct me to help others; however, I don't believe that life works if those pathways are primary, trumping even my desire for self-preservation AS A HUMAN. I emphasize that qualifier because there is an element of the golden rule in the objectivist tenet that man aim at a moral life "qua man." That is, even if a certain action benefits my immediate survival, if such action taken by others were detrimental to any individual's life (pursuit of rational self-interest) then I don't think it could be ethical by the standards of Objectivism.
Regardless, I am happy that these ideas seem finally to be finding a forum. Your insight is valued.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!