Statements about genetics I just don’t understand, part 2

(Part 1)

We can work against our genes (e.g., by using contraception)

It’s like saying “We can violate the law of gravity, e.g., when we put an apple on a table, it doesn’t fall down.”

The weird part is that Dawkins “himself” states this, after explaining that child-bearing is not always evolutionarily optimal. This statement is part of the “free will” problem: on one hand, we think one should act according to some rules called “ethics”, on the other hand, the world is more or less deterministic, and everyone always acts according to the laws of physics, so “should” is meaningless.

“It hasn’t evolved yet” is an invalid argument

This one is really quite reasonable: Sometimes, when a researcher is confronted with a phenomenon that he can’t explain in evolutionary terms, he says “the evolutionarily better behavior/form/whatever hasn’t evolved yet.” Clearly, this is not an explanation, as it can explain anything.

On the other hand, in some cases the conditions have changed only recently, and a species hasn’t adjusted itself yet. I think in this case the author carries the burden of proof that the change is recent.



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