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Tim_Tyler comments on War and/or Peace (2/8) - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 31 January 2009 08:42AM

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Comment author: Tim_Tyler 31 January 2009 06:01:29PM 1 point [-]

I note that filial cannibalism is quite common on this planet.

Gamete selection has quite a few problems. It only operates on half the genome at a time - and selection is performed before many of the genes can be expressed. Of course gamete selection is cheap.

What spiders do - i.e. produce lots of offspring, and have many die as infants - has a huge number of evolutionary benefits. The lost babies do not cost very much, and the value of the selection that acts on them is great.

Human beings can't get easily get there - since they currently rely on gestation inside a human female body for nine months, but - make no mistake - if we could produce lots of young, and kill most of them at a young age, then that would be a vastly superior system in terms of the quantity and quality of the resulting selection.

Human females do abort quite a few foetuses after a month or so - ones that fail internal and maternal integrity tests - but the whole system is obviously appalingly inefficient.