[extropy-chat] Human Evolution is Still Going Strong Today

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Dec 8 14:43:38 UTC 2006

Keith wrote

>> >  If you look under human irrationality, you find rational reasons for
>> > the genes to induced such behavior, or at least there were such reasons
>> > when people lived in small related hunter gatherer bands.

to which I replied

>> But allele frequencies have been changing a lot in *historical* times.
>> For example, today those of us with genes that succumb to the cultural
>> fashion of having few children, will obviously be far fewer in the future.
>> And so will those genes.
> Unless there is ungodly pressure, genes just don't change that fast.  I 
> have cited examples where they did change in historical times in lot of 
> previous posts here, try lactose as a key word.

We are talking about two different historical intervals, no? You: thousands
of years ago, me, mere hundreds or less.  To the point: if the Hutterites you
often describe---or the Vikings of a previous era who often averaged 10
children apiece---greatly grow in numbers, it stands to reason that human
gene frequencies change relatively quickly. Surely you're not talking
mutations only?

> Take the trait behind capture bonding (Stockholm syndrome).  Why should 
> that go away?

Good example, though I wonder if my rationale is the same as yours.
I would suggest that since the EP purpose of the Stockholm syndrome
is that since women still "want" in the evolutionary sense to keep on having
children, then the genes resisting such uncompromising situations (as in
the legend of the Sabine women), would tend to die out in women.


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