[ExI] [GRG] NewAbs: The Phenotype of IQ is Polygenic x 1, 000 Genes

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri Aug 12 17:46:59 UTC 2011

On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 8:29 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2011/8/12 Stefano Vaj wrote:
>> Once more, life expectancy has not much to do with lifespan, and has to do
>> with the probability of your being killed at any time by predators,
>> infections, hunger, accidents, lack of parental or elderly care, etc.
>> Conversely, no matter how well you treat your cat, it is not going to live
>> fifty years any way.
>> In fact, lifespan has been *shortened* until sometimes in XIX century in
>> comparison with prehistory, and in spite of that cctuagenarians have always
>> existed.
> I don't think anybody is disagreeing with this point.
> But if most people die (by whatever means) by their 30s, then
> evolution has no chance to develop enhanced characteristics for the
> 70s and over age group. Evolution will enhance the attributes that
> suit a live fast, die young population.

OK, I'm going to go out a little bit on a limb here, and disagree with
this point.

I believe that a certain amount of longevity of human elders is
selective in the Darwinian sense, so long as you also extend Darwinism
into the area of memes. In pre-writing cultures, story telling, songs,
epic poems and other mnemonics were the primary mechanisms for
maintaining cultural knowledge over multi-century time frames. These
memes were likely very important to the survival of groups as a whole.
Only through these types of stories would you know about tsunamis,
volcanoes, and other disasters that come around only now and again and
might wipe out the entire group. Also, many life preserving memes
applicable on a more day to day basis, how to hunt the buffalo
effectively, etc. were passed on using these mechanisms. The longer
the elders lived, the more faithfully these memes were reproduced into
the younger generations. An old story teller (in at least American
Indian cultures) chose an acolyte at a young age, around 4 or 5, and
began teaching their stories in a process that took about 5-10 years.
If the elder started the copying process too early, they decreased
their value to the group and took a productive member of society out
of the race too long, and if they started too late, then some memes
would be lost. It is a delicate balance that the old story tellers are
very aware of on a conscious level.

Genetics would favor groups that had successful elders (in terms of
memetic reproduction) over the long term. Memetics would favor groups
with successful elders over a shorter term as well. You only need a
few people living into their 50s to achieve this success, so the genes
for longevity need not be common in the groups, merely extant.

So, I disagree with the idea that whatever happens after you reproduce
does not affect the success of your genes. I have Dawkins on my side
for this one too, if I understand him correctly.


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