Re: Parody of Science

Tim Rhodes (
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 02:19:39 -0700

From: "Tim Rhodes" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Parody of Science
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 02:19:39 -0700

I wrote the following last week, but it never made it to the list. Please
forgive any double postings.


Derek wrote:

>Very interesting. I hadn't thought about that. However, perhaps the fact
>that the high reproducing classes still have good survival rates shows that
>any genetic qualitative disadvantage they may have as a consequence of low
>mate pool choice, is not a large enough selective pressure to have any
>evolutionary consequences, ie., they'll still win the evolutionary game in
>the long run.

Again, this is assuming that the boundaries of the classes are static. If
25% of children from the labor classes enter the professional classes (and
adopt their reproductive rates) and the same is true the other way
round--with 25% of the children of professional parents also entering the
working class and adopting their reproductive strategies--then any effects
on their respective gene pools disappear entirely after few generations.



I would also add that since I wrote the above I've played around with a
little computer model and from what I could tell, for any class-strategy
defection rate that is non-zero the ratio of population in each class will
stabilize after about ten generations. What the a ratio stabilized at
seemed to depend on the defection rate. Using the numbers you (Derek) gave
(of 2.94 versus 4.57 children per couple) a 1% defection rate stabilized at
2.8% upper-class/lower-reproduction and 97.2%
lower-class/higher-reproduction in the population. For 2% defection it was
5.4% vs. 94.6%; for 5% it was 12.7% vs. 87.3%; and on up to 50/50 at a 50%
defection rate.

My model may be wrong, since I made it off the top of my head, but if it's
right I don't see any reason to think that a lower birth rate combined with
a high defection rate isn't a stable strategy.

-Tim Rhodes

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