RE: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?

From: altamira (
Date: Sun Jul 02 2000 - 15:47:30 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From:

> No way, Bonnie, thats impossible, cant be done. Just try to do
> an integral
> while you are laughing, or even multiply two digit numbers in your
> head. You wont get there, you'll get the wrong answer.

True, true. Not at the exact same moment. Think first, then laugh, then
think some more, then laugh some more. Like that. You might say, thinking
and laughing at the same sitting. Or sometimes, think for half a day and
suddenly "it" hits you and you laugh. Mathematically speaking, I've often
been known to laugh with delight after working out an especially lovely


> The point of all this is: sex selection and survival
> selection are two *different things* and in fact can
> sometimes pull in different directions. That particular
> species of moose I used went extinct.

> Whaddya think?

First of all, what IS the plural of "moose?" Meese sounds good to me. Or
maybe meece.

Off hand, I would expect that the extinction of the big-antlered meese
didn't happen all at once but rather took place over many generations (so
that it wouldn't be a catestrophic sort of extinction but rather a
transformational sort of extinction). In each generation, the very largest
of the large antlered meese would be unsuccesful at mating because they
couldn't mount the females. Thus, females who were willing to settle for
smaller antlers would begin to contribute more genes to the pool, because,
come on, you're not going to tell me the loser would NEVER mate, are you? We
don't have meeses around here, but I've watched other kinds of animals, and
while the loser may not mate right away (usually the loser's off licking his
wounds) I guarantee you he's gonna get some on the sly later on if he
possibly can. And some of the losers WILL find a way.

 The largest-antlered meese might also die young because of the additonal
survival cost of carrying around the big antlers. During times of extended
drought or other stress, the largest-antlered meese might die in droves, and
during the time they were alive, they might be too weak to win fights, or if
they did win they might have lower amounts of sperm, or unhealthy sperm.
But there would be slightly smaller-antlered meese around who could take the
place of the large-antlered ones. And remember that sexual selection is not
generally based on just one trait. The visual signs like the large antlers
are a sort of short-cut method of advertising fitness. The underlying
fitness values of physical strength, intelligence (eg to remember locations
of food sources and to outwit predators by avoiding places where predators
hide), intelligence of the immune system, etc. are still valid. Probably
some 2ndary trait, like coat texture would become more important as antler
size became a less reliable sign.


 Laugh first, then think. spike

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