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matteri comments on Evolutionary Psychology - Less Wrong

41 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 11 November 2007 08:41PM

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Comment author: matteri 05 April 2011 04:14:06PM 9 points [-]

"Anger exists in Homo sapiens because angry ancestors had more kids. There's no other way it could have gotten there."

This is not entirely true - as Boris seems to have noticed. More generally; anything that purely helps survival is certainly more probable to propagate through a species. However, there are other traits that might propagate, such as any of those that are either: a) Not useful nor a burden b) A negative biproduct of something useful, without outweighing the useful

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 05 April 2011 06:32:56PM 0 points [-]

Is it relevant that humanity doesn't have competent competition?

I wonder how we'd be doing if we were up against coyotes with thumbs.

Comment author: moshez 05 April 2011 06:36:37PM 4 points [-]

Um...Neanderthals had thumbs, and fairly large brains. We pretty much wiped them out. If they weren't "competent competition", I'm not sure what you'd call "competent" (unless it would have been some species that wiped us out, who would be here having the exact conversation, or something so delicately balanced that I doubt would ever happen).

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 05 April 2011 06:55:04PM 1 point [-]

We haven't wiped out coyotes, so they might be more competent competitors (even without thumbs) than Neanderthals.

Comment author: David_Gerard 05 April 2011 11:20:33PM 0 points [-]

I thought they were subsumed into the European branch of Cro-Magnon (us).

Comment author: moshez 05 April 2011 11:26:43PM 3 points [-]

Controversial: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_admixture_theory -- but in any case, 1%-4% of the genome? That's close enough to extinction...if coyotes interbred with dogs, and lots of household dogs had 1%-4% coyote DNA in them, but there would be no coyotes in the wild, I'd treat it as "extinct enough for me." :)

Comment author: matteri 05 April 2011 10:51:02PM 0 points [-]

First of all; I don't see any apes or monkeys competing with us presently. Also, we are an evolved species. There have certainly been competitors along the way - perhaps said monkeys or apes and most certainly neanderthals as moshez mentioned. We've won though; that is hardly arguable.

Comment author: Desrtopa 05 April 2011 10:57:51PM 0 points [-]

Other simians compete with us for territory, but kind of like a team of quadriplegic children would compete in the World Cup, so it's not immediately clear that it counts as competing.