Re: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jul 12 2000 - 12:15:58 MDT

Spike Jones wrote:
> > >Just try to do an integral while you are laughing...
> >
> > altamira wrote:...Mathematically speaking, I've often
> > been known to laugh with delight after working out an especially >lovely proof.
> I do that too. Or Wodehouse, with his Jeeves and Wooster.
> Jokes within jokes. I have been known to be quietly at work
> for hours, then suddenly get the gag from the week before, and:
> WAAAAhahahahaahahaaaaaaa.... No wonder I have that...
> reputation. {8^D
> Now, back to mooses or meese. Im trying to reframe this
> whole evolutionary argument in terms of something I am
> trained in, feedback control loops. With the big antlers
> example I am postulating a positive feedback loop that
> envelopes a negative feedback loop. If we can model
> the only two mechanisms for population genetic drift,
> survival selection and mate selection, in terms of negative
> and positive feedback loops, then evolution can be simulated
> on a computer. All that is known in the field of feedback
> control systems (which is a lot) will be accessible to the field
> of evolution studies.
> If we manage to do that, evolution becomes far more
> satisfying than a lotta pointless theoretical ruminations. We will
> be given a means of actually testing our notions, experimentation.
> Like the up-coming missile intercept attempt, the long-winded
> philosophical arguments get an exclamation point at the end,
> not just a period; or as often the case with evolutionary theory,
> a comma. spike

One point of negative feedback for moose antler size is the average width of
dispersion between trees in the forest. Moose living in areas of more mature
forests with more space between trees will grow larger antlers because there is
room to, up to a point. Then there is the density/mass issue, since Moose are
partly aquatic, in that they feed in swampy muddy areas, and frequently swim
across bodies of water. Too much bone dedicated to antler growth detracts from
bouyancy, and will trap moose in deep mud. Then there is also a stress of the
added antler weight on the neck vertebrae and neck muscles, increased caloric
consumption for same, as well as body heat losses through the antlers increasing
caloric expenditures. Moose in heavily hunted areas will eventually evolve
smaller antlers, since the emphasis of at least a portion of the hunters will be
on the trophy value of the rack.

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