Re: buns vs brains

Spike Jones (
Tue, 20 Jul 1999 21:12:07 -0700

> Don't get [phil osborn] started. Most women seem to have an
> underlying...[snip]

> ...rant, rant, rant - you can fill in the blanks from here, as I know that
> most
> men have had these experiences...

This whole thread went off in a direction I never intended. Ah, the magic of a web discussion! {8^D Perhaps I should have specified I meant chimps. Less emotional baggage [that we all carry] from unsuccessful relationships, broken hearts, etc. Humans are too complicated.

That said, what I am really looking at here is the implications of mating behavior to evolution, the future of the race, etc. Consider the first humans vs the very similar chimps. The first humans likely had the mutation of a straight leg: they could lock the knee and walk on two legs much more easily than the chimps. This mutation freed the hands to manipulate objects. The critical factor is that being able to manipulate objects caused the smarter protohumans to have a survival advantage over dumber protohumans, whereas it is not clear to me that the smarter chimps have any real reproductive advantage over dumber chimps.

I am way out of my field here, so biologists, please help me out.

This factor would cause the humans to gradually become smarter, as a group, whereas the chimps went right along eating termites and doing their chimp things. Isnt that kinda the way it works?

Nowthen, fast forward to present day. Humans have been intelligent now for at least 50k years. We have developed the technologies critical to our survival. What I am driving at with the whole brains vs buns thing is that there may have been subtle influences that slightly favored brains, but this influences were subtle indeed.

Now however, it seems society has created a system which gives an *enormous* reproductive advantage... to being stupid! Our welfare system encourages overbreeding by those who cannot take care of themselves, overbreeding by those who put their faith in a church that urges them to be fruitful and multiply, overbreeding by those who are drug addicts, etc. [Natasha *almost* went here I think with her carefully worded comments on teenage pregnancies.]

Those who you and I might agree are the most fit for the future reproduce only modestly, if it all. My burden is this: all those influences that shaped humankind in past millenia were subtle. Modern influences by comparison are overwhelming and the implications to our species profound. spike