[ExI] IQ and beauty
anders at aleph.se
Mon Oct 19 08:47:00 UTC 2015
OK, I have not followed this discussion closely, but a cursory look
showed me these papers:
Sexual selection may be OK in some environments but not others
(extensive discussion on the elk example)
Some evidence sexual selection increases extinction risk in birds, but
it might be a double-edged tool:
No evidence sexual selection affects extinction rates in mammals:
Sexual selection (at least in beetles) protects against accumulating
My guess, after this scan and noting biologists still disagree ten years
after the initial papers, is that the effect is not clear-cut at all.
On 2015-10-19 03:22, Dan TheBookMan wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 6:09 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com
> <mailto:johnkclark at gmail.com>> wrote:
> > On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
> <mailto:rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >> you say it's in the bible, it's your job to quote chapter and verse.
> > I don't have a bible, but maybe the October 28 1982 issue of Nature
> pages 818 to 820 will do,
> For those who prefer a URL, see:
> The article is titled 'Female choice selects for extreme tail length
> in a widowbird.'
> This will only do for the species in question. Also, this is an extant
> species. How would this prove the case that sexual selection drove
> another species -- e.g., the Irish Elk -- to extinction?
> > if not try
> > page 201 of Richard book "The Blind Watchmaker".
> The link is:
> This merely tells what sexual is in lay terms. It doesn't present an
> actual example of a species going extinct from sexual selection.
> >> Also, I already provided links to articles arguing against your
> > You provided no links that say a peacocks tail aids in a individuals
> survival or is aerodynamic or does anything other than help in finding
> a mate.
> > You did provided 3 links and you were correct when you said "
> > All three point towards sexual selection as generally increasing the
> likelihood of species survival
> > ". Well...how could it be otherwise? I
> > f it did not then either sexual selection or species would have
> disappeared long long ago, it has not so sexual selection must
> generally increasing the likelihood of species survival
> > . QED.
> > However the key word is "generally" and that means there are
> exceptions, and that means that sexual selection can cause Evolution
> to make mistakes as it did with the ridiculous antlers of the Irish
> Elk and drive the species into extinction.
> That's still a speculation with regard to the Irish Elk. There are
> many theories of why it went extinct. Why is not possible that range
> reduction and hunting by humans played a much bigger role here than
> merely having supersized antlers? (If we're going to go back to the
> 1980s, e.g., check out this article:
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/228/4697/340 -- 'Taphonomy and Herd
> Structure of the Extinct Irish Elk, Megaloceros giganteus.' Note what
> the abstract states: adult males with small antlers seemed to have
> died during winter segregation from females. What might that imply, if
> true, about big antlers having an impact on survival?)
> >> Because off-the-cuff anthropomorphic psychologizing doesn't
> rigorously (i.e. mathematically)
> > Evolution will never be totally as rigorous as some other sciences
> because it depends
> > as much on history as it does on mathematics.
> Maybe so, but then we also look toward data -- e.g., looking at the
> fossils or extant species -- and see what happens. We can check
> speculations against both mathematical models and field data -- all
> while admitting this isn't a purely deductive science.
> > And psychoanalyzing is not needed
> > to know that humans and animals are attracted to some things and
> repelled by others
> > and at least some of those likes and dislikes are genetic.
> This is true, though one has to be very careful trying to do this with
> extinct species like the Irish Elk. We don't have direct field
> observations of their behavior. We can use some extant species as
> models -- other elk, for instance -- though one has to be careful with
> conclusions drawn. And, of course, one can try to infer behavior from
> fossil remains, but that also requires care. But, that said, it seems
> the experts here are not all lining up for big antlers did the Irish
> Elk in. :)
> >> tackle the stuff of evolution (mutation frequency, fitness payoff,
> heritability, etc.).
> > A trait is not heritable if a mate can not be found. Human females
> are sexually attracted
> > to human males they find attractive and the same is true for female
> Irish Elk. For female
> > Irish Elk the larger the antlers the more attractive, and so antler
> size increased explosively
> > with disastrous results for the species. Our ancestors must have
> found something else
> > attractive, something else that could be used as a obvious marker
> for fitness; perhaps it
> > was intelligent behavior, if so that would explain the unprecedented
> increase in brain size
> > hominids underwent in the last million years or so. Fortunately for
> us intelligent behavior
> > does more does more that just help in finding a mate and so we are
> not extinct
> > , at least not yet.
> At best, this is speculative. You're giving us the same just so story
> for why the elk went extinct. You need to present better data and a
> stronger argument -- one that addresses why other factors -- loss of
> habitat, range fragmentation, human hunting -- didn't play a bigger or
> dominant role in their extinction. The works you cited don't seem to
> make that a slam dunk case.
> Sample my Kindle books via:
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
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