[extropy-chat] accelerating evolution?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Apr 2 23:49:22 UTC 2007

Kevin comments on Damien's link:


> I tend to agree [that human evolution has been speeding up].
> In fact, I think that the one key evolved characteristic of human
> beings that gave us an edge over all other hominids is an ability
> to rapidly evolve.

But this may simply be a byproduct of greater societal organization.
For about the last 10,000 years homo sapiens have had cultures
that are seriously capable of spreading at the expense of other
cultures, often as fast as a man can walk.  For sure these great
demographic changes greatly alter gene frequencies, almost by

The article said

     "Ev­o­lu­tion oc­curs when an in­di­vid­ual ac­quires a ben­e­fi­cial
     ge­net­ic mu­ta­tion, and it spreads through­out the pop­u­la­tion
     be­cause those with it thrive and re­pro­duce more. Cease­less
     repe­ti­tions of this can change spe­cies, or pro­duce new ones.
     As ben­e­fi­cial genes spread, harm­ful ones are weeded out."

Sadly, among those harmful genes and gene complexes that are
weeded out are *intelligence* and *tolerance for birth control*,
and perhaps even lack of religiosity. Certainly two of the more
beneficial characteristics of religiosity are its under-utilization
of intelligence and its frequent bans on birth control.

It's such a pity that in the twentieth century (in the West) intelligence
ended up as a harmful trait.


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