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Natural selection or Societal selection?

  1. Dec 20, 2003 #1
    This is just a curiousity that I am confused about; is natural selection within human society still considered natural selection? I am confused in that people are no longer focusing on natural features so much as artificially "enhanced" features.

    Is an artificial enhancement resulting in offspring still considered to be a form of natural selection, or is there a new category of "societal selection"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2003 #2

    Another God

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    There is no new category, but it is definately recognised. It still coutns as natural selection, but there is also a type of cultural evolution that also happens: This feeds back into the natural selection, and they alter each other.

    For instance, people could ahve a genetic disposition to like....bright colours, or whatever, and so they fall in love with someone who wears a lot of bright make up. They are selecting an artificial feature, but it also affects the genetic makeup of the offspring.
  4. Dec 21, 2003 #3
    I believe it would fit under the category of sexual selection. Since, I doubt there are any pressures that are life threatening. And things like breast implants could acutally reduce the survival of the individual.

  5. Dec 22, 2003 #4
    Why should natural selection have to be "life-threatenting"?
  6. Dec 22, 2003 #5
    If it does not keep the organism from reproducing, then it will not be selected against.

  7. Dec 22, 2003 #6
    I mean, "why should the pressures be life-threatening, for it to be called natural selection"?
  8. Dec 22, 2003 #7
    Only that sexual selection goes against natural selection. Logically, flamboyant colors ect... could cause the survival rate of a spp to be lower; therefore, selecting the trait out before reproduction. But, this trait is elaborated upon due to the selection by females (in most cases).

  9. Dec 23, 2003 #8
    Actually, since natural selection works at the level of the species, and not the individual, and since the whole point of existing, in a Darwinian world, is to reproduce more of your kind, the advantages of flamboyant colors in some species may outweigh the disadvantages, right?
  10. Dec 23, 2003 #9
    Yes, that is my point. But, it is not considered natural selection it is considered sexual selection, which, even Mr. Darwin himself believed to go against natural selection.

  11. Dec 24, 2003 #10
    I fail to understand how "sexual selection" goes against "natural selection"..

    In fact, i fail to see any "selecting" at all. The individuals with traits that are beneficial will survive, because they are the beneficial, which is judged by the fact they survive. Someone help me here..
  12. Dec 24, 2003 #11
    If preditors are around, the spp would "perfer" a nuetral color so that it can go unoticed by the preditor. In sexual selection males are chosen based on elaborate, unnecisary traits, which, like I said, goes against natural selection.

  13. Dec 24, 2003 #12
    I still disagree. In a natural selection framework, there's no point in saving your own life, if it comes at the expense of lessening your chances of producing progeny.
  14. Dec 24, 2003 #13
    No point????

    Evolution has not point. It just is.

    Nature selects out disadvantages, which lessens the individuals fitness (in a reproduction sense) Elaborate colors or fancy feathers, ect.... would clearly be a disadvantage to a spp, and would be selected out, unless of course, it increased that indivuals fitness through sexual selection, which is the case.

  15. Dec 24, 2003 #14


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    This is the definition of natural selection

    So if you have something that attrack the female and helps you in getting laid compare to the others, you will be selected. You migth kill sooner but you got laid more than the others. Therefore you increase you chance on passing you genes.
  16. Dec 25, 2003 #15
    BUT, the "selector" is the opposite sex - NOT nature, preditors, ect....

  17. Dec 26, 2003 #16
    Exactly, in a reproductive sense. Sexual selection would then be a very important part of natural selection on the level of more dominant species, wouldn't it?
  18. Dec 26, 2003 #17
    A creature of the same species but opposite sex is in no way disqualified as being the "selector"...at least not from the definition that iansmith gave.
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