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Carl_Shulman comments on The Baby-Eating Aliens (1/8) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 30 January 2009 12:07PM

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Comment author: Carl_Shulman 31 January 2009 11:48:09AM 0 points [-]

"If most of the total cost of growing a child lies in feeding it past the rapid growth stage, rather than birthing 50 infants and feeding them up to that point,"

From their visibility in the transmitted images it seems the disproportion isn't absurdly great. Also, if the scaling issues with their brains were so extreme, why didn't they become dwarfs? One big tool-using crystal being versus 500 tool-using dwarfs of equal intelligence seems like bad news for the giant.

"You're also postulating that a whole group gets this mutation in one shot - but even if you say "genetic drift", it seems pretty disadvantageous to a single invader."

Altruistic punishers don't need to be common, one or two can coordinate a group (the altruistic punisher recruits with the credible threat of punishment, and then imposes the norm on the whole group), and an allele for increased provisioning wouldn't directly conflict with babyeating instincts.