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Author Topic:   Sexual Selection, Stasis, Runaway Selection, Dimorphism, & Human Evolution
RAZD
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Posts: 18260
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Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 91 of 131 (710340)
11-04-2013 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by NoNukes
11-04-2013 8:39 AM


Runaway Sexual Selection
Well, there is some of that, but a good portion of what constitutes beauty is not hereditary. Some of it is likely diet, exercise, surgery, makeup, and maybe even extensions and some Photoshop. The video seems to illustrate that quite well.

I suspect that applies to Miss World as well.

Curiously, what you cite is precisely why I invoke runaway sexual selection -- in this case the "beauty" sought by the participants and judges does not exist within the genetic pool but needs to be artificially enhanced. The video shows this in spades: legs longer, skin lighter (and apparently "barer" ...) than normal (even for a blond with pale hard to see arm hair), face more childlike (bigger eyes, smaller chin, etc), long curly hair (healthy hair signals healthy person for mating, but this is longer than necessary for that) ... etc etc.

The question is not that such things are done, but why they are done: if standard traits of "beauty" could be found within the population, then such measures would not be necessary.

Other human traits that show runaway sexual selection, btw, include the size of the male member (larger that any other ape species) and the size of the human brain (so large that endangers the life of the mother during birth, again unlike any other ape or even any other mammal species) ...

Sex has made us what we are.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 8:39 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 6:20 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 96 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 11:41 PM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 92 of 131 (710342)
11-04-2013 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by WJK
11-04-2013 6:37 AM


Re: For WJK (How Evolution changed humans appearance )
Could you expand on "runaway". The meaning escapes me!!!!

See Catholic Scientist's link and Message 91

enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by WJK, posted 11-04-2013 6:37 AM WJK has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
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Posts: 9453
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 93 of 131 (710344)
11-04-2013 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by RAZD
11-04-2013 5:43 PM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
: if standard traits of "beauty" could be found within the population, then such measures would not be necessary.

Not necessarily. The combination of traits in one person may simply be rare, or perhaps the supposed video ideal is simply exaggerated in some way from something we would actually find extremely pleasing and more common.

When I read comic books, the women all had impossibly thin waists, breast bigger than their heads, and cartoony long-slender legs. The pictures suggested beauty without actually looking human at all.

And the woman in the video doesn't look anything like what I would consider ideal. I'm not saying that some of the enhancements aren't an improvement over the original. But the models eyes, legs and body shape were okay the way they were. And who the heck thinks lightened skin is ideal in any way? Someone from the 50s?

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by RAZD, posted 11-04-2013 5:43 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by RAZD, posted 11-04-2013 9:08 PM NoNukes has responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 94 of 131 (710364)
11-04-2013 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by NoNukes
11-04-2013 6:20 PM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
... The combination of traits in one person may simply be rare ...

Too rare for a world wide beauty contest?

... comic books ... suggested beauty without actually looking human at all ...

Curiously, this too makes my point: in runaway sexual selection the "ideal" is beyond what can normally be attained in the gene pool -- this has been demonstrated in birds (scissortails iirc) by cutting tail feathers and then gluing on different length tails.

The whole beauty industry is based on trying to fake that ideal to attract mates. High-heeled shoes are the human equivalent of glued on long tail feathers ...

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 6:20 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 11:20 PM RAZD has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9453
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 95 of 131 (710371)
11-04-2013 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by RAZD
11-04-2013 9:08 PM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
Too rare for a world wide beauty contest?

Aren't most of the contestants "augmented", on funky diets, and made up? Do most women look like that naturally? Surely not. So yes, probably too rare for a world wide beauty contest.

And, in real life I don't think a woman with an abdomen so small she could not possibly have internal organs, yet with breasts bigger than her head would be attractive. At least not now that I'm not 14.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by RAZD, posted 11-04-2013 9:08 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 8:39 AM NoNukes has responded

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9453
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 96 of 131 (710375)
11-04-2013 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by RAZD
11-04-2013 5:43 PM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
btw, include the size of the male member (larger that any other ape species) and the size of the human brain (so large that endangers the life of the mother during birth,

We've discussed member size before. I'm not convinced, but I find the brain size argument even less convincing. What makes you think the brain is any larger than required to give man a functional, non sexual selection advantage. If women actually found big heads attractive, would the heads need to be filled with big brains?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by RAZD, posted 11-04-2013 5:43 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 8:49 AM NoNukes has responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 97 of 131 (710655)
11-08-2013 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by NoNukes
11-04-2013 11:20 PM


beauty standards
Aren't most of the contestants "augmented", on funky diets, and made up? Do most women look like that naturally? Surely not. So yes, probably too rare for a world wide beauty contest.

And, in real life I don't think a woman with an abdomen so small she could not possibly have internal organs, yet with breasts bigger than her head would be attractive. At least not now that I'm not 14.

And yet that still seems to be the "idealized" standard of beauty, what shows up in adverts as well as fantasy:

http://www.nytimes.com/...e-shape-to-venezuelan-fantasy.html

quote:
VALENCIA, Venezuela Frustrated with the modest sales at his small mannequin factory, Eliezer lvarez made a simple observation: Venezuelan women were increasingly using plastic surgery to transform their bodies, yet the mannequins in clothing stores did not reflect these new, often extreme proportions.

So he went back to his workshop and created the kind of woman he thought the public wanted one with a bulging bosom and cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs, a fiberglass fantasy, Venezuelan style.

The shape was augmented, and so were sales. Now his mannequins, and others like them, have become the standard in stores across Venezuela, ...


When plastic surgery is used then it is not natural, but an extreme unnatural standard that still pushes evolution. The "desired" form is at one extreme end of the spectrum of the gene pool, if not "off the chart" at that end ... and that is a marker of runaway sexual selection.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 11:20 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 11-08-2013 8:52 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 98 of 131 (710656)
11-08-2013 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by NoNukes
11-04-2013 11:41 PM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
... but I find the brain size argument even less convincing. What makes you think the brain is any larger than required to give man a functional, non sexual selection advantage. If women actually found big heads attractive, would the heads need to be filled with big brains?

You're making the mistake of thinking that brain size is what is being sexually selected, rather than the product of a larger brain ... creativity (the ability to attract mates through creative actions, singing, dancing, art, etc). Brain size comes along for the ride.

What is clear is that more women and children die in childbirth than in all other ape species and that this is mostly due to large head size. There is a limit to how large a head can be to pass through the birth canal, and once again we see that this limit is pushed in the distribution within the population, it is at a skewed end of the distribution.

That is what tells me that we are dealing with runaway selection rather than simple sexual selection: a skewed distribution.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by NoNukes, posted 11-04-2013 11:41 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by NoNukes, posted 11-08-2013 8:57 AM RAZD has responded

  
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9453
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 99 of 131 (710657)
11-08-2013 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by RAZD
11-08-2013 8:39 AM


Re: beauty standards
When plastic surgery is used then it is not natural, but an extreme unnatural standard that still pushes evolution.

In order to drive evolution, a trait must be inheritable. Plastic surgery created traits, hair weaves, and food starved bodies are not inheritable, so any attraction for those things does not push evolution.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 8:39 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 5:17 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9453
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 100 of 131 (710658)
11-08-2013 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by RAZD
11-08-2013 8:49 AM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
You're making the mistake of thinking that brain size is what is being sexually selected, rather than the product of a larger brain ... creativity (the ability to attract mates through creative actions, singing, dancing, art, etc). Brain size comes along for the ride.

No. I'm not making that mistake. I'm asking you why it could not be the case that the guys with little heads had the disadvantage of being more easily caught by saber tooth tigers, or being the one more often caught under the mastodon's foot during a hunting expedition, or of eating the wrong plants, etc.

I'm suggesting that part of the issue is that the dumb humans may have been the ones who too often went hunting with the short spear.

You are making the mistake of attributing, without evidence, everything to sexual selection and nothing to other selection forces.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 8:49 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 6:03 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 101 of 131 (710681)
11-08-2013 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by NoNukes
11-08-2013 8:52 AM


Re: beauty standards
In order to drive evolution, a trait must be inheritable. Plastic surgery created traits, hair weaves, and food starved bodies are not inheritable, so any attraction for those things does not push evolution.

What it demonstrates is that Fisherian Runaway Sexual Selection is in operation, driving sexual selection of women at this extreme edge of the breeding population. Any choice between two women will tend to be towards that perceived "ideal" ...

The fact that humans are capable of making alterations to the phenotype does not mean that this altered phenotype is not being selected or that women that have some if not all of the "ideal" traits will not be preferred over those that don't.

With breast implants and facial plastic surgery we are seeing "memes" replacing "genes" in the selection process, but we are still seeing selection of the phenotype, and that is part of evolution.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by NoNukes, posted 11-08-2013 8:52 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by Jon, posted 10-26-2014 11:49 AM RAZD has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 102 of 131 (710682)
11-08-2013 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by NoNukes
11-08-2013 8:57 AM


Re: Runaway Sexual Selection
No. I'm not making that mistake. I'm asking you why it could not be the case that the guys with little heads had the disadvantage of being more easily caught by saber tooth tigers, or being the one more often caught under the mastodon's foot during a hunting expedition, or of eating the wrong plants, etc.

I'm suggesting that part of the issue is that the dumb humans may have been the ones who too often went hunting with the short spear.

You are making the mistake of attributing, without evidence, everything to sexual selection and nothing to other selection forces.

First off, the evidence is clear (to me) that head size has "maxed out" in the human population, that further head size increase will be accompanied by increased mortality or injury to mother and/or child. The only way to accommodate further increase is through Cesarean Section births -- as artificial as beauty enhancements, yes?

Second, in normal selection the traits under selection are observed to be in a normal distribution about an average value: with no outside survival pressure one way or the other, this average value will generally be selected, and the result will be stasis in the population. Only when you have selection pressure one way or the other will you have pressure to move away from that average towards a new population average centered on the new selection average ... until that stasis is restored around the new average in a normal distribution.

If survival selection drives a population towards - or off - the end of the available distribution, then the population would tend to extinction. Personally I don't see "more easily caught by saber tooth tigers, or being the one more often caught under the mastodon's foot" creating that extreme level of selection -- that's as likely to be stochastic as it is to be selection, and certainly not as persistent and dominant as sexual selection. Certainly once the selection pressure was eased the population would tend towards a normal distribution once again. I do not see any continued survival selection pressure on the human population, while I DO see continued selection for increased head size.

Thirdly, I DO see sexual selection for creativity being a persistent, dominant -- and ongoing -- selection process, operating on every generation, and still in effect today (while mastodons and saber-tooth tigers have become extinct).

Back in the '70's there was a scientific study of stickle-back minnows that found that the longer a male stickle-back went without mating the more likely he was to attempt mating with something looking less and less like a female stickle-back, to the point of trying to mate with a stick. In other words he had an "ideal" mate, but was willing to accept less than ideal when it came to actual mating activity.

In Runaway Sexual Selection you have an "ideal" to search for, but still will find acceptable mates that are the closest available to that ideal. If the "ideal" is not an average value in the population then it will tend to push the population to one end of the available distribution.

The evidence is there in the population distribution and in the selection process that are still underway.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by NoNukes, posted 11-08-2013 8:57 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 103 of 131 (739587)
10-25-2014 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by RAZD
06-30-2005 9:49 PM


Re: last addendum - male facial hair
Just a note that facial hair patterns in monkeys and apes have a wide range of displays that would have very low survival advantage but high sexual selection advantage:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_tamarin

quote:
The fur of the emperor tamarin is predominantly grey colored, with yellowish speckles on its chest. The hands and feet are black and the tail is brown. Outstanding is its long, white mustache, which extends to both sides beyond the shoulders. The animal reaches a length of 2326 centimetres (910 in), plus a 3541.5 cm (13.816.3 in) long tail.[4] It weighs approximately 500 grams (18 oz).[1]


Cute fella eh? Looks like a bit of a beard as well as the moustache.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by RAZD, posted 06-30-2005 9:49 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 104 of 131 (739659)
10-26-2014 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by RAZD
11-08-2013 5:17 PM


Re: beauty standards
Just in general, though, not many women get plastic surgery, etc. A preference for a plastic-surgery-esque body will favor women in the general population who inherently possess traits more toward that end of the continuum.

With breast implants and facial plastic surgery we are seeing "memes" replacing "genes" in the selection process, but we are still seeing selection of the phenotype, and that is part of evolution.

Since people can't see genes, I don't see how they could have ever been part of the sexual selection process. The process is naturally restricted to observable characteristics. Naturally those are defined by genes; plastic surgery allows the patient to 'trick' the process, but not to change it.

Observable characteristics are still the criteria of sexual selection, as they have always been.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2013 5:17 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by RAZD, posted 10-26-2014 12:47 PM Jon has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 18260
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 105 of 131 (739661)
10-26-2014 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Jon
10-26-2014 11:49 AM


Re: beauty standards
Just in general, though, not many women get plastic surgery, etc. A preference for a plastic-surgery-esque body will favor women in the general population who inherently possess traits more toward that end of the continuum.

And continued selection toward that end of the continuum demonstrates that this runaway sexual selection is alive and well and is operating robustly in modern society.

Are you aware how many breast implants are done a year? It is an industry, not an occasional operation.

How many women shave? How big an industry for shaving is involved?

How many women dye their hair? How big an industry for hair dying is involved?

The purpose is not to pass on genes for those traits but to pass on the genes you have ... which incidentally include the genes for wanting to alter your appearance to better fit the desired icon appearance and the genes for selecting that appearance ... maintaining and reinforcing the runaway sexual selection process.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Jon, posted 10-26-2014 11:49 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Jon, posted 10-27-2014 7:45 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 110 by NoNukes, posted 10-27-2014 12:17 PM RAZD has responded

  
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