From: Perry E. Metzger (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 21:34:11 MST
Tommy McCabe <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> I can't speak for Eli, but I think he meant that
> without a constant source of new variation, (mutation
> supplies this natrually), natural selection eventually
> gets rid off all ways of doing anything in favor of
> the most beneficial or least harmful one, thus
> eliminating variation.
Oh, but it doesn't. Consider what would happen to the human race if
everyone had only one idea of beauty rather than a continuum. Mating
would become a difficult problem indeed. We'd all want to live in
exactly the same place, making real estate there impossibly expensive
and plenty of good land unused. One can go on from there.
Put another way, many would never consider removing garbage for a
living, so the man who does not mind makes a good living doing it for
those others who will not.
Being different from a large population in and of itself has survival
value. It provides you with a niche.
One of the things that then happens, of course, is that you end up
with this giant system of non-linear equations, so things constantly
alter rather than stabilizing. It is rather neat, actually.
-- Perry E. Metzger email@example.com
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