Statements about genetics I just don’t understand, part 1

I just can’t understand how anybody can believe in one of the following statements (unless they believe in genetics rather than accept it as a scientific theory).

Natural selection doesn’t apply to humans

This is some sort of snobbish belief in the modern human’s being the last of creation. There is no reason to think we are special in this regard. It is true that (in developed countries) natural selection doesn’t push us toward physical strength and against diseases, as it used to, but still people with certain traits have a higher chance to survive than others, and some people are more sexually attractive than others.

The interesting thing, though, is that the changing of the qualities favored by the evolution of modern man is much faster than evolution itself. For example, immunity to pneumonia has stopped being important only about three generations ago. So evolution keeps changing directions all the time. However, this has started only quite recently, so it’s hard to say whether and when this will end.

Variant: Natural selection has been replaced by meme selection

Memes are important, no objection to that, and evolve much faster than genes. But that doesn’t mean genes have lost their significance. Memes are on a higher level than genes, just as biology is on a higher level than physics. But nobody says that, since animals are governed by biology and genetics, they don’t obey the laws of physics!

There is no kin selection (rejecting the gene-centric view)

For example, why do worker bees attend to their sisters rather than having children of their own? According to the idea of kin selection, because they have common genes with their sisters. Zahavi, however, rejects kin selection. Although he agrees that animals “should” rear their young, he doesn’t extend this to siblings. I suppose this opinion must be based on a very specific formulation of the idea of evolution and natural selection, that doesn’t contain the word “gene”.

(Part 2)



One Response to “Statements about genetics I just don’t understand, part 1”

  1. Uncle B Says:

    Evolution is working in our daily lives! In the American population; we have become very dependent on medicine to survive – take away our medicines and we die! We have become very dependent on a super high food intake – feed us fruits and berries and we die! We have become very dependent on cars, take away our cars , we can’t walk to work, we die! We have become very dependent on communications, take away our communications and we get depressed and disoriented, We have become ‘organized workplace’ oriented, take away the workplace and we struggle to survive! We have become synthetic fabric addicted, take away our clothing and we freeze because we lack body hair! The average American is very vulnerable to the kind of natural catechism our ancestors often faced! In fact, we are far too over dependent on our social system for survival without it, and a single economic disaster such as the great republican depression we are now facing may eradicate all but the hardiest sectors of our population – not the richest, mind you, the hardiest!

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