Re: 50/50 elections

From: Douglas A. Whitfield <douglasawh_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 28 2008 - 14:32:39 CST

On Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 2:07 PM, Ronald Crane <> wrote:

> 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.

It need not be a single breeding pair. For instance, perhaps people that
could see in the dark would survive. Perhaps people with a trait that
helps them survive cold temperatures. Or, perhaps rather than being a trait
that is rare that helps them survive, perhaps some rare trait gets knocked
out of the gene pool due to their inability to survive the new climate.

*But, all of that's missing the practical point.* (Not saying you are
missing the practical point, Ronald, just trying to keep us on topic)
Society does not play by the rules of survival of the fittest. Even if
certain traits are desirable in modern society, such as ability to type
faster, such traits are not going to matter when it comes to evolution
unless people are passing off and not passing other genes.

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:21 2008

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