Altruism, behavior that helps others to your detriment, has long been claimed as a refutation of evolution. It is claimed that evolution dictates or requires selfishness so if selfless behavior exists, there are problems with evolution.
Social animals, as I was taught, and have in some small part have observed, do indeed help each other sometimes for abstract or distant reward. Seagulls make an alarm cry when danger approaches, attracting attention to themselves. This behavior is advantageous because other gulls will perform the same activity at other times. Is this altruism?
On BBC4's "In Our Time" is another interesting podcast with academics discussing altruism. As the [in]famous Richard Dawkins is one of the speakers, I suspect altruism will be shown to, or at least claimed to, have evolution roots. The recording will be available starting this Thursday, for a week.
On an unrelated note, this week I start volunteering at a Sokcho church, teaching English.