Re: Sociobiological Concepts

From: gianni valenti (
Date: Tue Oct 07 1997 - 12:14:36 BST

Seminar 1

We have appreciated the idea of evolution as the passing on of
successful recipes encoding for an organism selected by the environment
to survive longer and better and therefore be able to reproduce more
either asexually or sexually, in order to populate its optimal
environment or environment of evolutionary adaptiveness (EEA).

Organisms can, due to mutation (changes in the genetic material not due
to any kind of reproduction) differ from one an other and it is thanks
to such that some organisms develop other abilities that may or may not
make a successful difference for them in their environment. Some forms
of these either physiological or behavioral changes are called ESS
(Environmental Stable Strategies), where the organism tries to outsmart
the system.

Reproduction is divided into two categories sexual and asexual. The
latter one seems to be a better fit for the idea that Richard Dawkins
had and called "the selfish gene", as the genes of one organism are
fully passed on to the offspring (mainly by binary fission but may also
occur by self fertilization, regeneration of organism`s fragments, and
so on)without the danger of being contaminated by an other different
strand of genetic material. This attempt is made by every organism
whether the best fit or not, but it is only the environment that will
select the successful one.

As the chance of completely dying out is quite drastic some other
organisms have evolved an other survival strategy at their own
expenses: sexual reproduction. This form of reproduction allows the
organisms to pass on only half of their genetic makeup (which is the
drawback) but at the same time it increases the chance of at least
letting that half survive the drastic selection of the environment
(whether it is natural, social, or artificially manipulated)and be
passed on to populate that environment. As the organism wants to be as
successful as possible, the partner selection will be on the basis that
the first organism must believe that to get as far as possible in the
generation line, the other half of the genetic material must come from
an other organism believed to be equally or more successful than
itself. These characteristics are "usually" screened for in the
courting, but sometimes one of the organism will try to either force
its genes in the gene pool or have as many partners as possible in
order to have a higher chance of gene survival.

What it is hard to grasp is what you called Xeno`s paradox (Achilles
and the Turtle), how can Achilles never catch up with the tortoise if
even if the tortoise starts further ahead ?? The only explanation is
that maybe they are not running the same race or that they both took
off at different tangents.

Gianni Valenti

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