[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae, was: Impressive book: Farewell to Alms

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 23:38:24 UTC 2008

On 05/02/2008, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> It's important right now (that many people are choosing to have few
> children), but evolution has a way of curing such "defects". Clearly
> from a biological perspective---how can anyone evade this tautology?
> ---any decision to have *fewer* viable offspring will simply result
> in those genes responsible being eliminated from the population.

Perhaps in the very long run, but you also have to consider how
strongly these things are genetically influenced. Cultural/memetic
factors would come into play way before genetic factors do.

> By the exact same token (which speeds the evolution) cultural evolution
> will go hand in hand. Any culture which supports *not* having extremely
> large families will become less dominant over time---because of, obviously,
> the simple, tautologous fact that more biologically successful strategies
> supplant the less successful.

Yes, but it might have nothing to do with genetic variation. And it is
also possible to define dominance it terms other than mere numbers.
The number, total biomass, prevalence, hardiness and species longevity
of bacteria is greater than that of humans, for example.

Stathis Papaioannou

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