On 2003-07-01, Marko Paunovic uttered to [EMAIL PROTECTED]: However, I don't think that there is any evidence, except in social insects, for this kind of specialization that you are suggesting. The existence of two sexes appears an obvious counter-example. There are also some reasons to expect that the principle might work at a finer-grained level. I don't have a reference at hand, but I've once read a highly interesting sociobiology account of why homosexuality might be one such specialisation (that's where the childcare idea came from). I've also heard some speculation about the possibility of warrior genes (i.e. genes which cause aggression bordering on self-sacrifice). The same goes for novelty seeking (troubled youth), which I understand has been extensively studied. From the economic standpoint the ratio between novelty seekers and steady people determines the community's collective risk profile. So I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of genetic occupations (a wonderful term, BTW) just yet. Otherwise we're in vigorous agreement. -- Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy - mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED], tel:+358-50-5756111 student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front openpgp: 050985C2/025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
--- Wei Dai [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: and also often act directly against the interest of their genes (e.g., deciding not to have children) when they apply more rational decision processes. Why is deciding not to have children against the interest of the genes? Genes also induce people to want happiness, and children are very costly, at least in modern society. So the net benefit of children may well be less than alternatives. Note also that modern parents stop at one or two children, rather than many, and is that too against the interest of the genes? Human genes endow people with the intelligence to choose not to have children when the cost and risk are high. Fred Foldvary = [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Fred Foldvary [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote: Why is deciding not to have children against the interest of the genes? Because gene for not wanting children will not be around for too long, but only for one generation. Note also that modern parents stop at one or two children, rather than many, and is that too against the interest of the genes? This is different situation. It might be good for your genes to invest all your time and money in one child or two children. Why? Well, instead of having 10 uneducated and poor children, you might want to have two highly educated and skilled children. In human society, where education and money matter in sexual success it makes sense. Human genes endow people with the intelligence to choose not to have children when the cost and risk are high. I can't really see a situation where decision not to have children is good for your genes. Maybe when you have a lot of brothers and sisters and no parents, so you invest your time and effort in them Or if it seriously threatens your own life if you decide to have children, like during wars and such. But even then, it is only good for your genes to postpone your decision until such bad times pass.