[ExI] IQ and beauty

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 10:51:31 UTC 2015

On Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

​It's very difficult to say for certain what caused a extinction or what
> caused semi-cyclic population levels for that matter, and if it happened
> long ago it's probably impossible. However if the only use of a attribute
> is decoration to attract a female and if that attribute is clearly
> detrimental in all other activities, as is the case of the Irish Elk's
> antlers or the Peacock's tail, then it's not unreasonable to conclude
> that attribute would reduce the number of individuals in a species compared
> to what they would have been if the female had used a better rule of thumb
> to ascertain the fitness of a male. And perhaps it could reduce those
> population numbers all the way down to zero.

### It is generally not reasonable to conclude anything in population
genetics without doing some math, followed by simulations exploring various
assumptions, followed by real-life measurements putting limits on

The least you can do before concluding anything is to read the relevant


> ​Not necessarily. Females could become so rare that the poor male with
> small antlers can't find any females at all, much less females that will
> mate with him.​

### You are concluding that the cost of a signal presented by some males
could somehow reduce the survival of females.

So tell me, how can an extra-large large peacock's tail, found in e.g. 10%
of males, reduce the numbers of peahens down to zero ("any females at all")?


> ​Not necessarily. There might not be any real competitors as the big
> antler males are all dead but the female would not know that, there would
> still be competitors in her mind so she might refuse to settle for the geek
> with the ugly small antlers regardless of how practical they were. She
> wants bling not practicality.

### This is silly.


> ​Not necessarily, not if a female Irish Elk
> thought that a male Irish Elk that had antlers of a size that was less
> than gargantuan to be so repellent that virginity is preferred. And after
> all for all the female knows there could be a beautiful male out there
> somewhere with huge grotesquely impractical antlers.

### Now, since you seem claim expertise in female elk sexuality, tell me
how many elks did you see that actively rebuff males in order to protect
their virginity?

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