poly: Leaders and genes

From: <CurtAdams@aol.com>
Date: Mon Feb 09 1998 - 12:32:45 PST

In a message dated 2/9/98 11:55:31 AM, phoenix@ugcs.caltech.edu wrote:

>> The upshot? Basic human nature has encouraged leaders, through massive
>> reproductive success (via harems) to pass on and reinforce traits that
>> suppress the very social mechanisms that would lead to civilization
>> success! Hence the rarity of Periclean democracy, as opposed to that other
>Um... I doubt harems in historical times have had much effect on

In hunter-gatherer groups it's not rare to have the headman be
the father or grandfather of a majority of the children in the tribe.
They almost always have at least a lot of descendants.
Harems, in a loose sense, may well have had a profound impact on
our genetics. In "civilized" times I agree that leaders are too
few to make a big-time change in the gene pool but I don't see
anything to eliminate the effects of several thousand generations
of reproductively successful headmen either.
Received on Mon Feb 9 20:38:12 1998

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