Selfish Ddefinition & mortality

Francis Heylighen fheyligh at vnet3.vub.ac.be
Wed Feb 17 06:00:05 EST 1993


Subject: Selfish Ddefinition & mortality

In article <1993Feb16.145131.973 at gserv1.dl.ac.uk> Cary O'Donnell,
ODONNELL at ARCB.AFRC.AC.UK writes:
>Someone else said:
>
>>   But the
>>   "selfish gene" view seems to preclude any argument that would make
>>   mortality necessary. 
>
>Ouch!!! You surely don't mean that a "selfish gene", by definition, must
>prefer immortality of the body?
>
>A selfish gene is only interested in making copies of itself. The
strategy
>is usually one of doing better than its rival genes. As long as the gene 
>reproduces, mortality of the body is irrelevant.

That is exactly what I said (perhaps you should read more carefully
before jumping to conclusions). I certainly did not say that selfish
genes prefer immortality: they prefer maximal replication, and that seems
to be easier by increasing the number of offspring at an early age than
by increasing the maximal age.

_______________________________________________________________________
Dr. Francis Heylighen                                Systems Researcher
PO, Free University of Brussels, Pleinlaan 2, B -1050 Brussels, Belgium
Phone:+32-2-6412525; Fax:+32-2-6412489; Email: fheyligh at vnet3.vub.ac.be
_______________________________________________________________________



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