r/K selection as adaptation


When I was a spotty teenager, like all other spotty teenagers, I desperately tried to figure out what was cool.  Being smart wasn’t, nor was working hard.  Sporting prowess was helpful but not essential.

I looked around and identified the characteristics of the coolest kids, both boys and girls: Read More

Why penguins are stupid

If you think about it, penguins are adapted to be stupid.

Not completely stupid.  They need to do several tricky thinks.  They have to swim around and find food.  They need to socialize with other penguins.  They have to care for their young.

Penguins could never develop human-level intelligence without completely changing their form and habits.  Think about it.  Penguins have to sit on an egg in the freeing cold for ages.  Once it hatches they have to take turns to either sit on the chicks or go swimming in the icy water finding food for themselves, their mate and the kids.

Any penguin with a massive, intelligence-creating mutation would think, ‘eff that’.  He might Read More

Blood and Tribe


I recently attended the funeral of a close family member.  A miserable service but in the midst of all those closest to us, a reassuring and comforting one.  We are not alone in our grief and there are many who support us, even if from a great distance in space and time.

Old friend were there.  Very old friends from childhood, old neighbours long since moved away, old cousins and great-uncles who I had heard news of but not seen in decades.  A scattering of newer friends, introduced to the old.

With only a couple of exceptions, everyone there was Read More