F. Frank LeFever
flefever at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jul 7 21:26:36 EST 1997
In <33C0D867.46AE at umich.edu> "John H. Casada" <casad at umich.edu> writes:
>F. Frank LeFever wrote:
>> Remember: it is not the individual's advantage, but the species'
>As the evolutionists have repeatedly hammered me with this, I will
>pass it on to you. Current evolutionary theory states that it is
>indeed the individual's advantage and not the species'. Natural
>selection takes place at the individual and not species level.
>This does not present an insuperable obsticle, though. It is to the
>individual's advantage to see his genetic material passed on, even if
>it is done indirectly through close kin and not by his direct
>production of progeny.
Someone else (from Canada) emailed me much the same message (i.e.,
individual not group advantage and selection) and was awaiting more
time and energy to think it through before replying, but you've
prompted me to say something, no matter how un-jelled.
I'm too lacking in the in-depth reading of current theory to do much
more than wing it, but given the eventual acceptance of some ideas
previously sounding off-the-wall (e.g. non-chromosomal inheritance),
I'm not ready just now to call it a closed issue.
a species is not a collection of clones, but an aggregation of
genotypes with genes shared and unshared to varying degrees, but to the
extent that the heritance of some common core is promoted by the
existance of individuals with more-than-usual unshared or sparsely
distributed characteristics, I can see the possibility of continuity as
a species but also shifts in the distribution of shared
characteristics, i.e. evolution of the species.
If the gene pool includes a wide enough variety, it seems to me the
species has resources to meet new conditions. Ipso facto, there is an
evolutionary (or simply SURVIVAL) advantage to whatever genetic or
historical factors promote and preserve not just any specific
characteristic, but variability itself.
One very well conserved characteristic (i.e. found in many species) is
the potential for sexually dimorphic development of not only gross
anatomy (e.g. penises and clitorises)(not really "GROSS" to my tastes,
but you know what I mean) but also many brain structures--we are just
beginning to learn the full range and the subtleties.
Whether cognitive/behavioral options the basic dimorphisms or their
possible permutations, varieties and shadings of developmental
interactions (e.g. male isoform interacting with varying degrees of
maternal hormonal influence vs. female isoform interacting with them)
could have had time to be relevant to human survival (and thus our
evolutionary advantage), I don't know.
Certainly at this moment in history we need all the different
approaches we can get if we are to survive as a species. Linked or not
linked to sexual status or erotic orientation, the capacity to look at
problems in more than one way is a species-wide resource.
(hope this makes sense to me when I read it tomorrow)
New York Neuropsychology Group
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