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Re: flights of fancy (or "I'm brave, but I'm chicken****")
>I try to be open minded, but the above is an argument based upon group
>selection, and evolution doesn't seem to work that way. Individuals
>don't develop characters because they are good for the species as a
>whole; they develop characters that are good for their descendents in
>particular. You can see the distinction in the scenario reported
>above: the animal with the trait in question is having its life cut
>short, thereby making it less likely to leave descendents than its
>conspecifics that don't have the trait...
Not completely true. We see over and over again that animals that are lower=
on the food chain tend to produce a plethora of offspring. This is so some=
of them will last long enough to reproduce (basically, the flood the=
system). Invertebrates churn out vast quantities of planktonic larvae, as=
do amphibians. This is actually a decent survival strategy: produce enough=
young to satisfy the predators, then produce a bunch more to carry on the=
species. Rather harsh, but it works.
Labrynthodonts: Amphibians that lived with the Minitaur!