RE: Watches & Necklaces

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu 29 May 2003 - 01:10:49 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Re: back to basics"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: RE: Watches & Necklaces
    >Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 20:48:52 -0400
    >At 04:55 PM 28/05/03 -0700, you wrote:
    >>Scott wrote:
    >><<Are you implying that education tends to correlate with reduction in the
    >>number of offspring?>>
    >And to back that up:
    >"Educated women tend to have fewer children than nonliterate women. There
    >is a strong statistical correlation between education and number of
    >children. Worldwide in developing countries, the average woman with no
    >education gives birth to about eight children. The average for countries
    >where there is no female illiteracy is three children. Each additional 20
    >percent of illiteracy correlates with another child. In countries where
    >population growth is seen as a serious problem, female literacy and
    >education is seen as a pressing priority."
    >><<What about the quality of investment in those
    >>offspring? Some of lesser education might have more offspring, but how
    >>are these offsring provided for versus the relatively educated person with
    >>better job and more money to provide for needs of fewer offspring?>>
    >>I don't know. I would guess they in turn would be worse educated and have
    >>more children. Do you have any reason to think otherwise?
    >Hardly. Education and intelligence both tend to run down the number of
    >children. But widespread education is a new condition in the world,
    >something our genes did not equip us to deal with. It is one of the few
    >hopes we have since rapidly rising populations will outrun increases in
    >wealth--resulting in a Hutu/Tutsi situation or worse.
    >><<The r-strategy is cheap, spewing gametes out in the hopes that some will
    >>take root and survive. The K-strategy is more expensive, investing in the
    >>future of fewer offspring, including college education giving them a
    >>So you think the tendency to send kids to college is genetic?
    >><<You might think of education as a parasite because it reduces gametic
    >>output, but this is looking at things through the lense of biological
    >>evolution and fitness as measured by reproductive output, without
    >>consideration of quality of life for offspring being improved by education
    >>and ensuring their relative chances of success and that of their offspring
    >>down the generations. If person A is uneducated and has 10 uneducated
    >>how do the chances for survival and reproduction of these kids compare to
    >>person B who is educated and has 2 educated kids? Would all 10 children of
    >>person A survive and subsequently produce children of their own in the
    >>societal superstructure as that of person B with their offspring when
    >>looking at their respective lineages down the generations?>>
    >>Quality of life has nothing to do with genetic fitness.
    >>I see no reason to think that 10 uneducated kids would produce fewer
    >>offspring than 2 educated kids, particularly with the reverse bias. It
    >>make a great research project though!
    >That's true right now, where the society does not let people, particularly
    >children, stave.
    >Number of children correlates about as well with wealth, though very
    >wealthy people, particularly men sometimes have quite a few.
    >Still there seems to be a lot of bias for people to bust their butts to try
    >to become very wealthy. This is a holdover from the past where those who
    >overdid it were the most likely to get through the winter or the next crop
    >failure. If smallpox were to be spread all over the world, who would get
    >vaccinated first? Being rich in times of scarcity makes a big difference
    >in how well you and your children survive.
    So would you agree with Richard that education is a parasite?

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