[ExI] IQ and beauty

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 02:22:18 UTC 2015

On Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 6:09 PM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2015  Rafal Smigrodzki <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

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 position.
> 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
> 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
> , 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


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