Monday, January 30, 2012

Trivers on genes and mental traits

From Robert Trivers' The Folly of Fools:
By some estimates, more than half of all genes express themselves in the brain: that is, more than ten thousand genes. This means that genetic variation for mental and behavioral traits should be especially extensive and fine-grained in our species--contra decades of social science dogma.


Jim Bowery said...

Trivers' book is largely a reaction to the paper "The Evolution of Eusociality" which he condemned. Trivers also condemned Hamilton's "Innate Social Aptitudes of Man", calling it "fascist". In both cases I believe he was attempting to avoid light being thrown on the dysgenics of civilization and the eugenics of natural environments. Hamilton's ISAOM, in particular, was "evil" because he talked explicitly about how civilization "probably" slowly decreases cultural creativity at the genetic level.

Trivers' emphasis on deception as the origin of intelligence is perfectly aligned with his identification with civilization, promoting it as eugenic. Deception, you see, is the "fair contest", the winners of which are the vanguard of creative evolution.

What is Trivers' ethnic background?

Anonymous said...

What is Trivers' ethnic background?

Trivers is Jewish. Why?

TGGP said...

Malte Andersson's paper came out in 1984. How long as Trivers been writing this book?

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