Arms Races and Manipulation, Part I
Dawkins' purpose in his book The Extended Phenotype is to dash the concept that the individual is the unit of selection, that is, the idea that, among other things, individuals act in a manner as to increase copies of itself. (Ann Coulter, for example, in her crap book Godless asks why, if evolution is true, she doesn't want to have children. Once again, she has mistaken evolutionary theory for a naive "for the good of the species" caricature of evolution. I should think that organisms (i.e., Dembski) manipulating other organisms (i.e., Coulter) into believing in creationism would be a prime example of said manipulation.)
Organisms may consistently work against their own interests (inclusive fitness) through being manipulated by another organism. Examples of manipulators are angler fish and cuckoos.
Although it's easy to assume that one animal manipulating another is only a temporary phenomenon until the other animal evolves some method of fighting back (that is, that the manipulation is a "time-lag" phenomenon--see my post on constraints on perfection), in reality the manipulator can in fact succeed continuously under certain conditions. An example of this is intraspecific manipulation (manipulation within the species, particularly kin-manipulation). Examples are parents manipulating their offspring, and offspring manipulating their parents.
Altruism is defined here, in a biological sense, as a behavior that favors other individuals (their inclusive fitness) at the expense of the actor.
Dawkins believes that parents who manipulate their children have an advantage over parents who do not, but states that parents do not have any built-in advantage over their children by the mere fact of their being parents.
TO BE CONTINUED