Evolution Items: “…natural selection favours genes that produce behaviour ‘as if’ decisions are being made”


The currency of natural selection is not longevity or bodily well-being, but reproduction.  Nesse argued that, for example, men get sick and die more often than women simply because there’s a tradeoff between their evolved tendency to compete with other men for women, thereby spreading their genes, and the fact that this competition wears men out physiologically, making them die earlier. He cited one surprising statistic: for every 100 Oklahoma women who die at age 2o, there are 300 men who die at that age. And we all know that the tour buses of old folks you see in your city are largely women, for many of the men who would be their contemporaries died long ago.


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