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Evolutionary Value
07-04-2013, 12:32 AM
Post: #1
Evolutionary Value
This was a thought that struck me after replying to another thread, so I thought I'd go with it. I'm offering up a hypothetical about evolutionary value.

In it, we have two men, who are the same age. They were raised in similar communities by nuclear families. Joe has an IQ of 106, "average" and John has an IQ of 160, by most standards a genius.

Joe finds school hard. He perseveres, though, and aces every class, eventually graduating at the top of his class. He gets accepted to a very good university.

Everything comes easy to John. In fact, it bores him. He doesn't bother with homework, and comes to school when there is nothing better to do, but scores well on tests. He graduates middle - low in his class. He gets into a university.

John picks a field of study he finds "fun." He decides he wants to build roller coasters for a living. Once again, he coasts in his classes, but can build beautiful coasters at the end.

Joe picks a field of study wherein he thinks he can help society. It's hard and he almost quits, but he graduates with honours in biochemistry.

Both have successful careers, get married and have children. Both teach their children their worldview. Joe teaches hard work and importance of education, while John teaches his children that they can be successful without worrying about their homework, or attending school regularly.

Which one has a higher evolutionary value? Does evolutionary value equal societal value? I think it's an interesting thought puzzle.
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07-04-2013, 05:14 AM
Post: #2
RE: Evolutionary Value
Neither. (10 characters)

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence - Me
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07-04-2013, 08:18 AM
Post: #3
RE: Evolutionary Value
I am not sure what either have to do with evolution. I do like the story thought. It sounds like something I posted in the General section. As I was John, without the IQ test, who got very bored at school, did not do my homework, but always aced my tests. I graduated middle of my class and did not go further in school. I teach my children that hard work and perseverance are important and go on to teach them that if they find school boring, they should seek out help, as help will not be seeking them out. Anyway, not sure what it has to do with evolution.

If everyone was thinking the same thing, then no one would be thinking at all.
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07-04-2013, 09:56 AM
Post: #4
RE: Evolutionary Value
Evolution is indifferent to any values of creatures or societal values of creatures; it simply selects the genes that are replicative. So, evolutionarily, both are comparably fit because both have children. If one had many more children than the other, that would tip the balance in favor of those genes.
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07-04-2013, 03:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Evolutionary Value
I know how evolution works, believe it or not. Smile

The comment that made me post this one, was in the thread on ethical dilemmas of the future. In it, legend says this:

Quote:Moreover, given current cultural situations, it's not like someone who is gifted is going to gain the same reproductive advantage that evolution traditionally provided and used to adjust populations.

So, I guess my real question was more is someone more evolutionarily fit because of IQ alone than someone who passes on to the next generation better habits and worldview with an "average" IQ.
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07-04-2013, 03:17 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2013 03:19 PM by legend.)
Post: #6
RE: Evolutionary Value
(07-04-2013 03:05 PM)Niva Wrote:  I know how evolution works, believe it or not. Smile

The comment that made me post this one, was in the thread on ethical dilemmas of the future. In it, legend says this:

Quote:Moreover, given current cultural situations, it's not like someone who is gifted is going to gain the same reproductive advantage that evolution traditionally provided and used to adjust populations.

So, I guess my real question was more is someone more evolutionarily fit because of IQ alone than someone who passes on to the next generation better habits and worldview with an "average" IQ.

Nothing is innately a quality that makes you fit, because the ultimate measure of fitness is just propensity for your genese to spread and that is a function of your phenotype *and* environment. IQ in the past was an instrumental quality to that end (hence the evolution of it), but if it no longer provides reproductive benefit directly or in some related way (like ability to mate within a subpopulation), then it no longer makes you more fit.
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07-04-2013, 03:27 PM
Post: #7
RE: Evolutionary Value
(07-04-2013 03:17 PM)legend Wrote:  
(07-04-2013 03:05 PM)Niva Wrote:  I know how evolution works, believe it or not. Smile

The comment that made me post this one, was in the thread on ethical dilemmas of the future. In it, legend says this:

Quote:Moreover, given current cultural situations, it's not like someone who is gifted is going to gain the same reproductive advantage that evolution traditionally provided and used to adjust populations.

So, I guess my real question was more is someone more evolutionarily fit because of IQ alone than someone who passes on to the next generation better habits and worldview with an "average" IQ.

Nothing is innately a quality that makes you fit, because the ultimate measure of fitness is just propensity for your genese to spread and that is a function of your phenotype *and* environment. IQ in the past was an instrumental quality to that end (hence the evolution of it), but if it no longer provides reproductive benefit directly or in some related way (like ability to mate within a subpopulation), then it no longer makes you more fit.

I do know how it works. However, when I read your earlier statement, it seemed to suggest that gifted people should have an edge. That they were somehow "better."
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07-04-2013, 03:38 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2013 03:39 PM by legend.)
Post: #8
RE: Evolutionary Value
(07-04-2013 03:27 PM)Niva Wrote:  I do know how it works. However, when I read your earlier statement, it seemed to suggest that gifted people should have an edge. That they were somehow "better."

All else being equal, it is better, where better means that it would be of personal benefit to any willful being to be smarter. But that does not mean that it's the only quality that matters to any being and its personal value is independent from what evolution will select.
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07-25-2013, 02:14 AM
Post: #9
RE: Evolutionary Value
I see that evolution picks the best genes so that it can replicate them to progress and continue living. I was just wondering your guys thoughts on why the human genome is deteriorating at a rather fast pace? thank you
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07-25-2013, 03:33 AM
Post: #10
RE: Evolutionary Value
(07-25-2013 02:14 AM)mustang_guy Wrote:  I see that evolution picks the best genes so that it can replicate them to progress and continue living.

"Evolution" is not a sentient judge or agent. It does not "pick" anything and it does not have an agenda.

It mean seem pedantic and nit-picky, and I do know what you mean, but small mistakes like this are where misunderstandings creep in, and can easily lead to the larger misunderstandings we often see on here from people who seek to debunk evolution without understanding what it is.
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