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← Infanticide in higher mammals

Red Dog's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Red Dog

I can see where a selfish gene would cause such behavior but it is also very much anti life and anti survival of the species.

You need to read or re-read The Selfish Gene because you haven't grasped the essential concept of the book. There is no such thing as survival of the species much less valueing life for the sake of life, its all a matter of genes which are carried by inividuals. If anything its surprising that there aren't more examples of infanticide. My guess is that the reason there aren't is the risk of false negatives, thinking that a child is not your kin and killing it by mistake as a result is the worst mistake you can make from the standpoint of evolution.

Are the selfish gene and survival of the species working at cross purposes here?

No, because there is no such thing as survival of the species, except possibly for some lower life forms such as ants and bees, see the recent discussion on group selection.

Perhaps I'm wrong but I also sense you may be commitning the naturalistic moral fallacy with your statements about "testosterone soaked males... fill their wild oats" Yes, its offensive to our human morality, that is why Dawkins, Harris, and most people who understand evolution are clear that it is in no way a basis for human morality. By the standpoint of evolution rape is totally logical for males. That is one of many reasons we don't look to evolution for a definition of human morality.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 01:48:31 UTC | #948421