Die Young and Live Fast

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Die Young and Live Fast

#1  Postby alienpresence » Jul 23, 2010 5:54 am

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... class.html

Die young, live fast: The evolution of an underclass
22 July 2010 by Mairi Macleod, New Scientist

FROM feckless fathers and teenaged mothers to so-called feral kids, the media seems to take a voyeuristic pleasure in documenting the lives of the "underclass". Whether they are inclined to condemn or sympathise, commentators regularly ask how society got to be this way. There is seldom agreement, but one explanation you are unlikely to hear is that this kind of "delinquent" behaviour is a sensible response to the circumstances of a life constrained by poverty. Yet that is exactly what some evolutionary biologists are now proposing.

There is no reason to view the poor as stupid or in any way different from anyone else, says Daniel Nettle of the University of Newcastle in the UK. All of us are simply human beings, making the best of the hand life has dealt us. If we understand this, it won't just change the way we view the lives of the poorest in society, it will also show how misguided many current efforts to tackle society's problems are - and it will suggest better solutions.

Evolutionary theory predicts that if you are a mammal growing up in a harsh, unpredictable environment where you are susceptible to disease and might die young, then you should follow a "fast" reproductive strategy - grow up quickly, and have offspring early and close together so you can ensure leaving some viable progeny before you become ill or die. For a range of animal species there is evidence that this does happen. Now research suggests that humans are no exception.


(continued)
To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty. - Maximillien Robiespierre

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Re: Die Young and Live Fast

#2  Postby alienpresence » Jul 23, 2010 6:00 am

Maybe the fast turnover of progeny means the people in the poor neighbourhoods are better adapted to survival in the ruins after a civilization collapses which they invariably do? I recall something about human evolution speeding up in cities or something along those lines. Just mumbing....I'm sure you'll get there in the end? :naughty2:
To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty. - Maximillien Robiespierre

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