Re: 50/50 elections

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Fri Nov 28 2008 - 14:07:46 CST
Douglas A. Whitfield wrote:
On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 1:34 PM, Ronald Crane <voting@lastland.net> wrote:
Close elections, elections themselves, and, for that matter, civilization, are very recent phenomena in terms of biological evolution. Assuming that elections once routinely were decided by relatively large margins (as you imply), not nearly enough time has elapsed between then and now for an evolutionary process to have produced that behavioral change.

That's assuming the catalyst for change isn't severe.  Evolution can certainly happen in a single generation.  Not at all likely in a population as large and geographically dispersed as humans, but something such a large meteor strike *could* produce single generation evolution.
Certainly a catastrophe could reduce a population to a single breeding pair from the pre-catastrophe population, and their offspring. And that reduction could represent evolution if the surviving pair possessed some heritable trait tending to enhance survival in the face of the catastrophe (e.g., resistance to a new virus that wiped out everyone else). But a large meteor strike, though it might wipe out all but one breeding pair, would not tend to produce single-generation evolution, since the pair's survival is presumably due to random variation in the catastrophe's impact, and not to some biological characteristic of the pair.

-R

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:20 2008

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