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Chris Goss

Entrepreneurial Consultant - Programme, Change & Interim Manager, R&V (New Zealand's Premium Music Festival) - Management Consultant Accreditation

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Do we 'evolve' during our lifetime ? or do we only evolve as a species by passing on physiological 'lessons learnt' through reproduction ?

a) what is the best age to have children (evolution wise) ? Is there a best age ? Is it the same for both men and women ? Would the children I have now be better 'evolved' than those I could have had in my twenties ?

b) does the evolutionary effect come equally from both sexes ? If men create sperm throughout their lives, but women are born with all their eggs (correct me if I'm wrong) then can both sperm and eggs receive evolutionary changes prior to reproduction ?

c) is there a cut-off age by when men shouldn't have children i.e. for the health of the child ?

NB. yes I accept that a lot of behavioural & intellectual evolution comes though living a life - but that's not the question here.


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    Aug 24 2011: Yes...and yes.
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      Aug 24 2011: actually the answer is no in both cases.
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        Aug 25 2011: How does the baby bird know that eating the Monarch Butterfly will make it ill without ever eating it, or that it takes several generations of Monarch Butterflies to complete the migration cycle from Mexico to Canada and back?

        Those two examples come quick to mind.

        Many things get passed down in many ways. But as we make the world safer, stupidity gets passed down more and more instead of being eaten by wild animals...
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          Aug 25 2011: Baby birds that eat monarch butterflies die from poisoning, baby birds that avoid monarch butterflies don't. Eventually genes for monarch aversion start to dominate. As for the migration, again behaviour acquired through monarchs that make the trip when the time is right surviving over those who don't.

          It's not up for debate, Lamarckian evolution simply does not take place, only Darwinian evolution. Knowledge and stupidity are passed down through culture not genes, that's not evolution. Chris was quite specific about what he means by evolution (even though some of this question are based on misconception, which is ok when you're asking a question, but not really when you're answering it).

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