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The Genial Gene: Joan Roughgarden

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Previous FORAtv comments:
tecciztecatl Avatar
Posted: 08.27.11, 10:21 AM
So are you saying that the studies showing that peacocks' tails do not influence the penhens' choices were wrong, or poor studies? Your earlier point about asymmetry being an indicator of healthy was interesting. I'm not a scientist but all humans can tell from experience just how much we're influenced by attractive faces! My main objection to Roughgarden's talk was how much emphasis she put on the moral implications of the selfish gene theory, as though those who accept the theory would also adopt it as a moral code, which is ridiculous. Nature may be amoral and favour ruthless competition, but that doesn't mean we have to build our societies on the same principles. I got the impression she doesn't like the idea of such a ruthless natural world because that would give lie to the idea of a loving creator - scientists should not try to prove ideas because of their emotional appeal.
Utsav Avatar
Posted: 02.12.10, 09:05 PM
It is important to note that there are many more studies indicating symmetry as a function of good genes and, just as importantly, good environment during development. Fluctuating asymmetry, as the term is called, is the measure of how identical in size and orientation certain physical characteristics of the body are across the midline. The theory is that mutations and the environment of the womb or egg (eg Hox genes, distribution and concentration of hormones, diffusion of signaling molecules) can throw off the balance of development rather minutely, indicating a less-than-ideal male. Aggregated over the whole body, fluctuating asymmetry is a pretty good indicator for sexual selection as studies have shown. Any flaw in a peacock's huge tail (which is very sensitive to minor mutations or bad environment) can result in fewer offspring as even more studies show. If this is not evidence for Darwinian evolution, then I don't know what is.
Jann Avatar
Posted: 02.12.10, 04:28 AM
Maybe she should first define the meaning of good genes.
Calorus Avatar
Posted: 10.30.09, 08:12 AM
I'd say everything she says make sense and (subject to peer review) should be a valid modification of Darwinian theory. Well played.
nbodhi84 Avatar
Posted: 08.22.09, 11:23 PM
no one is asking people to "believe" is all about getting to the truth. if people r willing to see that they should do a little reading about all the maths nd other evidences.
esis Avatar
Posted: 07.23.09, 12:57 PM
haha whoops that was darwins idea, my bad *embarrassed*
esis Avatar
Posted: 07.23.09, 12:47 PM
I dont agree on the idea that sexual attraction between human beings is all about males competing for females who chooses one of them. How does she base that scientifically? She does'nt. Pretty serious flaw in her idea.
staroversky Avatar
Posted: 07.23.09, 06:51 AM
So basically, males are competing with and showing off to each other and not the females ? Is that a way of decreasing the other male's moral and his motivation to compete ?