[ExI] IQ and beauty

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sat Oct 10 21:16:54 UTC 2015

On Sat, Oct 10, 2015  Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:

>  this is not to deny sexual selection.

​Then that is all that's needed, everything else follows logically.  If a
attribute makes a individual more attractive sexually but in all other
areas of life (including the ability to live long enough to reproduce) that
attribute ​
is detrimental
​ then the species is heading for trouble unless the female alters her
felling about what is attractive and what is not.   ​

​> ​
> It remains to be proved in this example that the enormous antlers were
> disadvantageous in the environment they evolved under.

​Perhaps I missed it but I can't recall anyone suggesting that clumsy heavy
enormous antlers or gigantic gaudy spectacularly un-aerodynamic tails have
any function other than finding a mate.    ​

>> ​>​
>> I personally have seen very few because the last Irish Elk died
>>>> 7700 years ago and I was just a kid at the time. However it is
>>>>  very common for modern females to rebuff the advances of modern
>>>>  males and remained virgins, so I think it is reasonable to hypothesize
>>>>  that things may have been no different 7700 years ago.
> ​> ​
> While I'm no expert on elk, I'd like to know where you got that from? What
> little I've read and seen on elks leads me to believe, perhaps wrongly,
> that the males compete with each other for females

​I'm sure they do, but that would still be a form of sexual selection. ​

> ​> ​
>  that the antlers are used in male to male competition.

​I'm sure antlers are used in male in male to male fighting, but if that
was there primary function antlers would be shaped more like a spear and
less like a large blunt open hand. Antlers are like padded shoulders in a
man's suit, they look nice but don't add any real muscle.

The horn on a rhinoceros is much smaller and less dramatic than the antlers
on a Irish Elk, but it makes for a far better weapon. Apparently the female
rhinoceros has a better rule of thumb to ascertain fitness in the male than
the female Irish Elk does.  I'd say the same thing about the horns on a
Triceratops, they could do more than just look nice.

  John K Clark
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