Brent Meeker wrote:

> The top level goal implied by evolution would be to have as many
> children as you can raise through puberty.  Avoiding death should
> only be a subgoal.

It should go a little further than puberty--the accumulated wisdom of
grandparents may significantly enhance the survival chances of their
grandchildren, more so than the decrease in available resources in the
environment they might consume.

So I agree that once you have sired all the children you ever will, it
makes sense from an evolutionary perspective to "get out of the
way"--that is, stop competing with them for resources.  But the timing
of your exit is probably more optimal somewhat after they have their own
children, if you can help them to get a good start.

I do wonder if evolutionary fitness is more accurately measured by the
number of grandchildren one has than by the number of children.  Aside
from the "assistance" line of reasoning above, in order to propagate,
one must be able to have children that are capable of having children
themselves.

Johnathan Corgan

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