Re: virus: Dawkins is an idiot
Mon, 25 Nov 1996 18:58:58 -0600 (CST)

On Tue, 19 Nov 1996, David McFadzean wrote:

> At 09:44 PM 27/08/70 +0000, David Leeper wrote:


> >I'm not prepared to equate a Flounder's eyes with a Peacock's tail.
> >One's sexual selection, the other's not.
> That's not why I brought up peacocks. I brought it up to show that
> biologists consider growing or changing phenotypic structures to
> put the organism at a relative disadvantage as far as fitness is
> concerned. That is what we were discussing if you will remember.

That isn't obvious. I would agree that there are large classes of
circumstances where that is true. Neither of these examples are
plausibly inefficient by a simple generic reason, though.
The flounder example coincides with an extreme change in preferred
environment. Looking at the seafloor is a waste of visual resources for
an adult flounder [seafloor], but not a problem for a juvenile flounder
[open sea].
Any time "sexual selection" comes up, the reasoning chain behind the
usual energy costs of phenotypic alteration starts to collapse.


/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd