Re: A Further Further Note

Robert Snower (rs222@WORLDNET.ATT.NET)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 02:29:55 +0000

At 02:40 PM 8/2/96 +0000, Ronald Kephart wrote:
>In message <19960801195714.AAA21830@LOCALNAME> Robert Snower writes:
>> I think I am right that mutations would make no difference. They have no
>> place to go. They would not change the relative gene frequencies in the
>> gene pool as long as the mating was absolutely random beeause of the
>> Hardy-Weinberg law. Ask a population geneticist--if you can find one. And
>> let me know.
>What do you mean, they have "no place to go"?? They can spread through the
>population in various ways, thereby changing the gene frequencies of the
>population and thereby creating "evolution" which is, precisely, change in gene
>Ronald Kephart
>University of North Florida

What I am interested in establishing is the thesis that culture (including
religion) is a device for reducing sexual competition in favor of
cooperation. Thus culture has two tasks. One, to extend kinship as far as
possible, to increase altruism on the basis of an inclusive fitness.
(Kinship vis metaphor afforded a boundless opportunity.) Two, to directly
reduce sexual competition by quelling fertility. Now I have just been made
to understand that culture is helpless against mutation, gene flow, and
random drift. But it is not helpless against selection. For it can render
those who have a mating advantage (those who would be the winners by
selection) infertile. Thus it is those who have the mating
advantages--these are the heroes of myth and the initiated elite of
ritual--who command the attention of culture. And that is why it these
characters, throughout ritual, myth, and literature, throughout eons of
time, meet the fate they do meet, on one metaphorical level or another.

Best wishes. R. Snower