Jim Bowery jabowery at netcom.com
Mon May 30 04:20:45 EST 1994

abubu at aol.com (ABUBU) writes:
> In article <68388 at sdcc12.ucsd.edu>, wsun at jeeves.ucsd.edu (Fiberman)
> writes:
> >There's no selection for longevity genes since as long as
> >an organsim reaches the reproductive age, it has survived well
> >in the evolutionary sense. 
> I have heard this several times, but I do not see why.  Wouldn't an
> organism that stayed as a reproductive adult permanently have a great
> advantage?  It could have ten times (just to pick a number) as many
> offspring as another organism that aged normally.  It would also have
> a better chance of staying alive, and rearing it's young by virtue of
> experience.

The basic answer is that the "unit of selection" is not the 
individual, but the "gene".  Genes are already "immortal" so
there is no inherent selective advantage for increasing the longevity 
of the bodies carrying them.
The promotion of politics exterminates apolitical genes in the population.
  The promotion of frontiers gives apolitical genes a route to survival.

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