[extropy-chat] differential fitness

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Mar 21 17:16:48 UTC 2007

> > Is there any evidence that smarter, richer, better-looking etc. 
> people today
> > are more likely to pass on their genes than most of the rest of the
> > population?
>### I am not sure about the meaning of your question. I noted that
>there is differential fitness among humans, therefore selection for
>traits correlated to fitness is still taking place. Do you think that
>this is incorrect?

Fitness is such a mess of conceptual worms. I suggest a look at 

Individual phenotypic "fitness"--success at surviving and thriving in 
one's lifelong environment, especially a culturally modified one--is 
not *obviously* linked directly to number of fertile offspring a 
generation or two down the line. (Leaving aside individuals too 
dysfunctional by genotype or accident to reach maturity.) It might 
have been a million years ago, but how could we know that?

Damien Broderick 

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