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Me again on Evolution

Shane McKee shane at reservoir.win-uk.net
Wed Sep 6 17:49:09 EST 1995


 
In article <42ddmb$t58 at newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
 JackF90000 (jackf90000 at aol.com) writes:
>Are human's free of natural selection, or has natural selection chosen
>"chimps with brains", whom we call human?  I mean, natural selection isn't
>restricted to death by disease, it includes death by stupidity too.  If
>humans use their brains to beat death, then natural selection has chosen
>brains.

Death has only secondary importance in natural selection. Primary
importance is in reproductive success. If you live to 28 and have
four children, you have far better reproductive success than if
you live to 108 and only have one.

I've used that example to illustrate another vital and oft-ignored
point. Reproductive success is *relative* not absolute. You don't
have to die in infancy, or to leave no descendants to be selected
against. Just so long as you leave fewer descendants than
everybody else (on average). (Oh yes... and there has to be a
genetic reason that pertains over lots of generations too!)
 


Shane McKee (SHO, RVH, Belfast)  | /      Art becomes science when
Shane at reservoir.win-uk.net     --O--    you start trying to figure
                               / |  out what the heck you're doing




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