[ExI] IQ and beauty

rex rex at nosyntax.net
Tue Oct 20 17:35:48 UTC 2015

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> [2015-10-20 09:31]:
>    However you can make theories about the past and some theories are
>    more plausible than others. The theory that the Irish Elk's gargantuan
>    antlers played no part in its extinction is not plausible.

Worse, it's not testable and thus outside the realm of science. Put it in the
bin of sterile idle philosophical speculation.

If we want some hope of being productive we need to ask questions that
science may help with, e.g., is there any evidence the IE horns played
a significant role in the extinction of the IE? I cannot find any in
the primary literature -- Lots of amateur arm-waving speculation, but
no solid evidence.

There IS solid evidence that suggests the horns played no significant
role, e.g., a plot of body weight vs horn size for various deer shows
the IE right on the best least-squares fit. The 'huge' horns turn out
to be an artifact of the way the human mind sees the world.

Also, the antlers were large for a very long time without driving the
IE (and other species with relatively large horns) to extinction. Why
would they 'suddenly' do so?

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