Re: virus: RE: virus, Abortion, etc.

Billy Pilgrim (
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 23:21:34 -0500

John Steele wrote:

> If you consider a small, geographically close group of individuals, I
> would say that the two are the same. They are on the same "team" (re my
> soccer analogy). Here seemly selfless acts, such as giving your life to
> safe a drowning child, can be explained not only as good in a moral
> sense, but good for DNA replication.

This may be divergent from the current vein of the discussion but the
above is incorrect. Saving a single child at the expense of your own
life is _not_ in your best interest in terms of DNA replication. In
terms of DNA similarity, direct siblings and individual parents have 50%
of the subject's DNA, blood aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews have
25% of the subject's DNA, and 1st cousins have 1/8 of the subject's DNA.
In order to make this a positive tradeoff in terms of genetic material,
one would have to save more than two parents or siblings at the expense
of one's own life, more than four aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews, and
more than eight first cousins. The only _even_ trade for saving a
singular life by sacrifice would be to save one's own identical twin.
So, even genetically speaking, it is in one's own interest to stay alive,
even if that means letting others die.

Going along with the discussion of animal intelligence, it is necesary to
have a universal definition (this is stating the obvious). However, to
give evidence in favor of at least intelligence in chimps, studies were
done to examine their problem solving abilities. Bananas were hung from
a branch and the chimps were given a few boxes and some sticks that would
fit into one another to make a longer stick. Most of the chimps kept
trying to get the bananas using a box to stand on and a stick, or one and
not the other. One chimp, however, sat and watched his fellows. Finally
this watcher got up, walked over to the boxes, stacked them on top of
each other, stuck the sticks together, climbed up on the boxes, and
knocked the bananas down. This showed that chimps, in the least were
capable of some form of mental event and were capable of assessing a
situation and solving a problem. The study was done in regard to the
Gestalt school of psychology i believe.

That's it.

Would you like some cake? No thank you,
My ears are too sweet now
A strange choice of words, but forensically its true
	-Little Feat
	from "Representing the Mambo"