How does this work? "Reproduction + competition leads to pressure to reproduce"

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    There is a pressure on the individual to reproduce. Is sex the best thing ever?

    I think you mean orgasms, not sex, at least for males. Rosie Palm doesn’t get pregnant, hit you up for alimony payments, nag you about the leaving the toilet seat up, or have a mother who hates your guts.


    Simon Paynton

    purely accidental, possibly emergent outcomes that just happen to increase fitness.

    Anything that increases fitness, potentially increases reproduction, and maximised reproduction is what is selected for.

    Individuals with a competitive attitude are “more likely than individuals with other genotypes to survive and reproduce, and thus to pass on their alleles to the next generation.”

    From again:

    Since genes replicate themselves from one generation to the next, it is here that natural selection can operate; genes which are more successful at reproducing themselves (i.e., are “selfish”) will be favoured by the process of selection. According to this viewpoint, genes are the real actors in the drama of evolution; individual organisms are just disposable “survival machines” which carry the genes.

    It is plausible that competitiveness is evolved into genomes, in the same way that maximising fitness, survival and reproduction are evolved into them, as an emergent property.  But at the level of the organism, there is also competition for resources.  This must affect the genome’s makeup.

    In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins says:

    Genes are competing directly with their alleles for survival, since their alleles in the gene pool are rivals for their slot on the chromosomes of future generations.  Any gene that behaves in such a way as to increase its own survival chances in the gene pool at the expense of its alleles will, by definition, tautologously, tend to survive.

    So, there is competition at the genetic level – not genomes, but individual alleles of genes – over which ones will survive – be reproduced.  There is also competition at the level of the organism, over resources.  The latter leads to competitive hierarchies in most animals, and a moral sense of fairness, in cooperative humans.

    In other words, it looks like a pressure to thrive, survive and reproduce is an emergent property of evolution itself, where the population is finite (i.e., only a few genes or alleles survive).  The genes (alleles) are competing for finite resources: organisms to get born into.



    Simon Paynton

    I think you mean orgasms, not sex, at least for males.

    What you are referring to is just one more example of the sexual instinct in action.  Freud’s “Eros”.



    Who’s Rosie Palm? Or whose?

    From Dr. Seuss?

    Who’s Dr. Seuss? Or whose?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  PopeBeanie.

    Simon Paynton

    Here’s the finished argument, in outline:

    reproduction +

    finite resources

    → finite number of carrier organisms

    → finite number of reproductive slots for alleles

    → competition between alleles for reproductive slots

    → competition between alleles to out-reproduce opposition

    → pressure for organisms to reproduce

    → pressure to survive

    → pressure to thrive

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