How evolution works

Cathy Woodgold woodgold at seismo.emr.ca
Mon Jun 6 09:48:56 EST 1994

In article dio at nwfocus.wa.com, venezia at zgi.com (Domenick Venezia) writes:
> Cathy Woodgold (woodgold at seismo.emr.ca) wrote:

> ..
> : helps a lot too.)  Anyway, this is one way that bad mutations are weeded out
> : in the human species;  that method can't be used by an individual who is
> : living thousands of years!

> Correct me if I misunderstood, but what you are saying is that I should
> consent to die for the betterment of human evolution? 

I'm correcting you.  I'm saying nothing of the sort.  I don't remember using
the word "should" nor any similar word;  this is a scientific, not an ethical
discussion, isn't it?  I'm trying to understand how human evolution works.
My reason for doing so is the opposite of what you seem to think I mean.
Actually, I think people (most of the time) "should" try to live as long
and as healthily as possible.  I don't see how this could affect human evolution
in a bad way ... especially when one is talking about someone who has already
had all the children they're likely to.  Having children at an older age
may affect their genes a bit, but that's a separate sociocultural issue and
is certainly not going to have a major impact on the gene pool.  (The better
environment, financially, socially and so on, that an older parent tends to
be able to provide, is probably much more important than the gene quality.
For example, most teenage mothers do not breastfeed their children here
in Ottawa.)  I think people "should" have children at whatever age they decide
is best for their family (or whatever age they choose to) and "should" usually
try to live as long as possible and try to help their children be healthy and
live as long as possible.  I'm intrigued by the possibility that something about
telomeres may be useful in helping people live longer, and I'm exploring various
sides of the idea, with the hope that I and others may be able to live longer.
If I think of something like "Oh, well, it might not work because...." I will
say that, too .... not because we shouldn't try to live longer but because that's
part of the process of figuring out how to live longer!  By the way, I said
miscarriages happen;  I didn't say we should try to make more of them happen!
I gave information about how to cut down the number (excellent nutrition by
both parents starting about three months before conception;  Dad can go back to
junk food after conception) in the hope that some people would use it.  I want
to help other people to be healthier.

Sorry if this sounds like a tirade.  :)

Cathy        TISSATAAFL         my personal opinions only

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