Re: Are We Still Evolving?

Mike/Damon or Peni R. Griffin (
1 Nov 1995 18:12:05 GMT

>Ironically, the populations with the least access to medicine -- third world
>groups and minority groups in industrialized nations -- are those with the
>lowest rates of female childlessness.

Actually, this makes perfect sense, since the most convenient and
reliable methods of birth control are medical; and since any place with a
high infant mortality is likely to encourage people to have more
children, to increase the chances that some of the woman's genes will
survive long enough to reproduce. Affluent people in industrialized
societies have adopted extreme K strategies, focusing all our resouces on
one or two descendents who we hope will have very long, very high quality
A great many child-bearing and child-rearing decisions in our culture are
made with the implicit assumption that cultural evolution is more
important than physical evolution (as it certainly is, in the short
term). We want our kids to inherit and improve on our standard of
living. For my own part, I explicitly justify my decision not to have
any kids at all by telling my mother that my intellectual children (the
kids who read my books) are more numerous than the physical children I'm
refusing to have could possibly have been. My mother doesn't care; you
can't buy cute outfits for intellectual grandchildren.

This is Peni.