Re: Education and Genetics

From: Alan Patrick (
Date: Fri 30 May 2003 - 03:14:07 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: Pursuit of Happiness and Genetic Fitness"

    > The analogy is that the educated are a set of workers that add value to
    > general pool of resources. However, they are not commensurately rewarded
    > for this donation. They might feel rewarded, but from a genetic
    > it is only the number of children and grandchildren that is important.
    > uneducated are free riders laying their eggs, as it were, in the laps of
    > rest of us and expecting us to raise their children as if they were our

    OK, this is what I thought you were driving at - however, the view that the educated are not commensurately rewarded would be the opposite of my starting hypothesis. Every study I have ever read suggests education increases survival, longevity, quality of mate attracted (unsure on quantity, but don't think it goes down on average....) and access to resources for the educated ones' offspring.

    > This system of genetic inequity only works in the presence of other memes
    > such as "charity", "every human life is valuable" and "love all people".
    > Imagine the poor black child, born in the inner city to a 14 year old
    > mother. Do you feel charity? Is that life valuable to you? Do you feel
    > that our society should provide some support to that family?
    > Those feelings, if present, are memes that are not in your genetic

    While on first glance this is true, I am interested in the emerging research on the evolution of co-operation memes (or maybe more accurately the punishment of cheating to a degree that seems to be against single player genetic interest) among people who are not (closely?) genetically related. I suppose it could be argued that the above memes come from a time of small groups of humans with high child mortality and are not relevant today, but ther does seem to be a body of work emerging that shows that the higher the wealth gap, the less stable the overall society is for all its members.....

    > I have read "Sperm Wars" but it was a long time ago. What part do you
    > is relevant?

    There were quite a few points made in the book about the impact of education
    (in the broad sense) on reproductive strategies - ie on the memes needed - some of which you touched on in your post. The most interesting to me were the impact of (i) legislation (abortion/anti abortion, divorce & child support), (ii) technology (paternity testing, reliable contraception) and
    (iii) educated (ie economically independent, reproduction managed) women. The hypothesis was that this may massively change the succesful memetic strategies of each sex - for eg your point on male monogamy, Baker takes it further and postulates a reversal to a monogamous male/promiscuous female model brought about by the economic & genetic benefits of a combination of the above factors.



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