Disambiguating human r/k vs. dysgenics, temperate climate vs. agriculture

As I see it, there are two primary variables which control the way humans evolve: climate and agriculture. One has purely natural causes, one is purely social because humans are social/political animals. Even Heartiste is now picking up on the idea that agricultural society causes dysgenia:

There’s a theory floating around alt-blogs that human IQ in the developed world has been steadily decreasing since about the dawn of agriculture. The working hypothesis is that agriculture enabled dense urban life to develop, and cities are known population sinks (lack of space/high cost/disease vectors all contribute to lower fertility rates in cities).

The thinking goes that cities attract smarter people, who upon settling into urban mimosavilles promptly forget the Darwinian Prime Directive and fail to reproduce themselves in sufficient numbers. 1.5 sprog per hipster village yenta is a recipe for extinction. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing.)

Heartiste
Doombringer Thought Of The Day: Is The Evolution Of Human Intelligence Self-Limiting?

This is actually not my logical explanation for this. Agricultural society, unlike gender, is a sociopolitical construct.

Agriculture causes dysgenic breeding, not r-selection, because through economic specialization and overproduction of group resources it promotes the growth of parasitical humans who merely survive on the excess, having neither social nor natural fitness.

A more cynical person than myself might suggest that the breeding of these useless malcontents is actually encouraged by Top. Men. as a blunt weapon used against the productive class in the great alliance of the high and low to enslave and exploit the middle. Fortunately, I’m not, like, this negative person, or whatever.

Warm weather, contrarily, supports a very large population with a great deal of species diversity. Think Amazon jungle. An extraordinary number of little bug species, some slightly larger things, a few pretty big things. And everything’s poisonous because everybody’s trying to eat everybody else (r-selection).

(Actually, I have a recurring nightmare where I’m in the Amazon and I try to take a step, but there’s a snake where I want to step, so I try to put my foot back down, but there’s another snake, and then there’s a giant tarantula on my shirt, and I get all anxious so I try to climb a tree to get away from all this wildlife, but there are also poisonous bugs on all the tree limbs. If you want a mental picture for the modern neanderthal hybrid, imagine a saber-toothed tiger trying to survive in the Amazon, eating bugs and constantly getting stung by little semi-poisonous bugs and snakes.)

Compare this to the two temperature extremes: hot and cold. A hot world is just a desert, with little biodiversity, and no animals much larger than a skinny rabbit, fox, or scorpion. Nothing large and warm-blooded can survive because their surface areas aren’t large enough to expel heat from their volumes. A cold world also has little biodiversity, but in the form of macrofauna. This causes k-selection.

Whoops, late for work.

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About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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16 Responses to Disambiguating human r/k vs. dysgenics, temperate climate vs. agriculture

  1. Edenist whackjob says:

    Speaking of adapting optimally to your environment, how goes the plan of becoming a software development contractor?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Yeesh, probably like five years out from now at this point. If I go straight into trucking in January that might get shortened a bit, but I can actually imagine myself finding a real job and that will cut into my mental time and energy.

  2. Nottuh says:

    I really like this blog post. Do you think “neotenids” as you’ve called them are primarily the product of urbanization/agricultural society, or r-selection? Perhaps both?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Primarily agricultural society. They are optimized to thrive under totalitarianism.

      • Nottuh says:

        I got to thinking: Neotenids are likely what results when an r-selected group adapts toward agricultural society, whereas Mongoloids are the result of a K-selected group adapting toward an agricultural society.

        This is fitting with the link you posted of Bruce Charlton’s, which suggests that both r-selected and K-selected traits are stripped away in groups that adapt to industrial societies.

        I reckon the differing cognitive profiles and strengths/weaknesses of Neotenids vs Mongoloids are just artifacts of the r-selected and K-selected groups that each of these groups evolved from respectively.

  3. Ooo interdasting :D I’ve been thinking about poisonous things recently… and someone I know recently complained about a bad dream being attacked by a giant moth… Maybe it’s our Spider-sense. BTW good news on the business front. Skype soon :)

  4. Tibetan Buddhism uses the analogy of the Peacock, which can apparently eat poisonous things and yet still flourish into a pretty thing with pretty feathers. I prefer the idea of a Sloth though. Eating and sleeping. Yeah!

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I want to be a bear. But with books too. In conclusion, I want to be a bear who lives in a labyrinthine library maze with trap doors and sterf.

      Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Bearman!

      • The bear is the quintessential Thal spirit animal. It has been mine. For me I feel so at one with Mother Nature right now. Snakes, rats, dogs, lizards, birds, bats, even parasites… I’m more comfortable with how everything inter-relates. Everything is a product of counter-balancing forces and our karma and the fact that we are fallen beings means we must face a counterbalancing force, no matter how ‘good’ we feel that we are. We are loved, and we are fundamentally perfect regardless. That entropy always increases means that all information is written into everything anyway, we just suffer from an information technology problem that manifests as an illusion. Anyway. Skype soon :D

  5. Russell says:

    The Amish are a very agricultural society and have a different feel than modern USA society. I’m not sure it’s agricultural per se that’s the problem.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Ja, the problem is the top-down organization that evolves from the resource surplus. Bad, strong people will form gangs and take stuff, and eventually become instituted as a government. Bad, weak people will band together to vote for bad, strong people to take stuff, and help out bad, strong people by being snitches and small-time bureaucrats.

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