[extropy-chat] 300 and the Gates of Fire

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Sun Mar 11 02:31:08 UTC 2007

At 10:59 PM 3/10/2007 +0100, you wrote:
>I said (before checking properly):
> >That might not be the truth, however (according to another source).
> >Leonidas might have chosen the particular 300 because of the _mothers_
> >of the 300 ... :-)
>..sorry there's more, not only the mothers. The wives, the sisters.
>Leonidas might have chosen those 300 for the particular women relatives
>of those 300. Perhaps that still fits your theory, however, I think
>that the emphasis changes for the  way that he wished his culture
>to survive.

Although "culture" might map to tribe or band, evolution is presumed to 
shape psychological traits toward those that promote genetic 
survival.  That means (where personal survival is contraindicated) taking 
horrible risks or dying so that relatives carrying copies of your genes 
will survive.

Human psychological traits of this sort were shaped when we lived in little 
hunter gatherer bands with high average relatedness.  The evolution of such 
human psychological traits since the start of agriculture 10k years ago is 
expected to be small considering the millions of years our ancestors lived 
in hunter gatherer bands.

This is not my theory, but a fundamental statement of evolutionary psychology.

Keith Henson

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