Re: Racial advantages? (from sci.bio.evolution)
14 Aug 1996 07:59:08 -0600
In article <email@example.com>,
James Howard <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>Bryant responded with:
>"Since you deleted the threading references here, I cannot quote your
>original msg. I recall your stating that phenotypic quality was
>related to lower transcriptional error rates due to androgens, at
>[James responded to that:]
>Just before I started this response, I checked that my original
>message is still available here. It is.
Mia culpa! I was able to thread back to the msg this time; some msgs
between your original and this were deleted, but not the original, as I'd
>Please read it again; I make
>no statements regarding "phenotypic quality" and "lower
>transcriptional error rates" in humans or any other animal in any
>manner or form.
Here is the part of your message I was talking about:
>>My principle hypothesis is that all genes rely on the
>>[testosterone-mediated] hormone, DHEA, for optimum transcription and
>asking this question, Bryant implies that I made a sweeping statement
>regarding transcriptional errors. (Bryant is trying to make me take a
>stance on something I never said. His question is like asking someone
>to answer yes or no to "Did you spend the money you stole today?")
I certainly didn't mean to do such a thing. I *meant* to ask if the
above-quoted statement (and the parts about different testosterone levels
between human races and between higher primate species) indicated that
you thought that the "racial advantage" (and presumably, the human
"species" advantage) were due to "optimum transcription," which I took to
mean lower transcriptional error rates.
>The increases in testosterone, that have occurred in hominids,
>increase testosterone target tissues, such as muscle, bone, etc, that
>include brain activity in the lower brain. This gives an advantage in
>aggression and sexual access. This increased testosterone in the
>group. Lower testosterone types were driven away. This is the cause
Hence, intrasexual aggression and sexual access were the active selective
pressures, not testosterone per se.
>Since testosterone continues to increase, the vulnerability to viral
>and bacterial infections, caused by too much testosterone, comes into
>play. These groups become massive, but are more vulnerable to
>infections. They become extinct.
This is group selectionist. Natural selection acts on individuals, and
(indirectly) on genes, not populations. It is highly improbable that a
trait which would place individuals at such drastic disadvantage
reproductively would become fixed (that is, that the trait would become
universal in a population).