Me on Evolution Again

Shane McKee shane at reservoir.win-uk.net
Sat Sep 2 06:09:16 EST 1995

In article <950828131224.25015e7a at AZCC.Arizona.EDU>,
>D.P. Trelka wrote
>>I hate to disagree, but natural selection and humanity don't go
>>together anymore.  With the onset of modern medicine, we had
>>effectively removed ourselves from the process, much to our
>>species detriment. 
>You seem to have forgotten about viral infections such as AIDS and ebola.
>Just because you can't see them dosen't mean that their not human predators
>and fully capable of putting selective pressure on human development.
>By the way, chilly temperatures don't cause viral infections, viruses do.

To add my own 2d, has anybody here read a book called 'Origin of
Species' by a Mr Charles Darwin? If so, they will realise how
fallacious the old 'modern medicine argument' really is. 

Look at the world. For Mr Trelka's argument to hold, every
individual must have the same number of children. No more, no
fewer. That is not the case. Even with sanitation, medication
("What have the Romans ever done for us?") etc, there is still
wide variation in reproductive success. Some of the factors
influencing this will by necessity be genetic, and therefore
heritable. Selection can act on these factors. We are part of the
selective process. It's just that the criteria change every now
and then.

Of course, that's leaving aside the concept of neutral genetic
drift, which occurs regardless. So please don't re-invoke that old
tired concept of the 'detriment of the species', because as far as
I can see, the best way for a species to continue to propagate
through rapidly changing selective circumstances is to have as
wide a genetic base as possible. Where would the Pima indians have
been if they'd eliminated the diabetes genes 5000 years ago?


Shane McKee (SHO, RVH, Belfast)  | /      Art becomes science when
Shane at reservoir.win-uk.net     --O--    you start trying to figure
                               / |  out what the heck you're doing

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