Ed & Gen

From: Reed Konsler (konslerr@mail.weston.org)
Date: Fri 30 May 2003 - 17:26:42 GMT

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    "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."

    Things like survival and longevity aren't significant after childbearing years are over. That lifespan have increased from 45-50 to 75-80 is a net Malthusian drain on communal resources. Particularly since women tend to outlive men and, after menopause, there isn't a lot of use for them...from a genetic perspective. There is some research forwarding a hypothesized
    "grandmother effect", in which post-menopausal women care for the offspring of their own daughters (which they can be assured carry their genes). But, I'm not convinced this care outweighs the cost of feeding grandma.

    Quality of mate is subjective. Is a more intelligent mate better, or a fecund fool?

    As for quantity, that isn't relevant unless live children are produced. You can screw around all you want, but it's the number of kids that survive to procreate that counts. You can't survive that don't exist, and educated people have fewer children. These individual children may have a better quality of life; that is the booby prize.

    "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."

    Yeah, I'm a big fan of game theory myself.

    "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 there 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..."

    The United States would be an obvious counterexample. We have a vast gap in wealth, and also a very stable society (at least, both seem to be so to me).

    "...The hypothesis was that this may massively change the successful 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."

    I like the theory, but I think that the memes have yet to beat the genes. There are lots of young women out there that don't accept the new strategies. In that environment, what is successful is still questionable.



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