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Wiseman comments on The Tragedy of Group Selectionism - Less Wrong

36 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 November 2007 07:47AM

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Comment author: Wiseman 07 November 2007 10:28:39PM 0 points [-]

Ok Kaj, I agree fast-breeders will at some points overwhelm slow/restrained breeders, at times where food is plentiful and greater than the amount needed to sustain the current fox population. But as long as that breeding goes unrestrained, the ecosystem enters a state which there exists less fox food than needed. As soon as that happens, restrained breeders have an inherint advantage because they waste less energy developing innevitably unviable fetuses. The important thing about this rule is it applies to any situation where they is less food than needed to sustain the current fox population. Even if it's only 99% enough food, the rule still applies. When I say 99% enough food to sustain the current population, I litterally mean that, and not states where there's less food so every fox has to go hungry sometimes. I mean metabolically, can the available food possibly sustain the current fox population? If not what's the advantage of giving birth to more cubs than could possibly survive anyway? How is that behavior going to lead to greater spreading of your genes? I don't see how it could.

I know it sounds like I'm repeating myself, but I just can't think of another way to state it. Perhaps it will come to me later.