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More On Evolutionary “Progress” and “More Evolved”

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JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson


2700 words

Another reply to PumpkinPerson on evolution:

Wrong! Agriculture caused malnutrition:

Following the recession of the ice age people evolved a new life style living in permanent village settlements with domestic animals and cereal agriculture. But although the new life style was more convenient the quality of nutrition fell and many skeletal remains show signs of rickets and other malformations caused by suboptimal nutrition (Festinger, 1983).


I just ordered the book Lynn cited and will return to this after I finish it. I can’t really infer anything from one sentence.

It’s a combination of warming + malnutrition caused by agriculture.

The agriculture theory makes sense when you think that it’ll mostly be a grain based diet–however most anthropologists reject the theory because the Agricultural Revolution didn’t reach South Africa and Australia until modern times and brain size has been steadily decreasing since the Stone Age.

Rushton hinted at it, but I’ve developed the theory much further. Scientists avoid the term “more evolved” but they use terms like more primitive and more advanced which mean the exact same thing.

Lynn was the one who said it; he’s wrong. Brain size shrinking runs exactly parallel to any so-called ‘evolutionary progress’. Primitive=old. Not ‘less evolved’. Could humans survive on early Earth? Or could only organisms that evolved to survive on early Earth do so?

And what do you know? Brain size was in stasis from 1.8 million to 600,000 ya. It increased a bit then started to decrease again.

This shows how evolution isn’t progressive either, ironically enough.

But the point is race realist, if the environment doesn’t change, the organism wont evolve, causing some organisms to be less evolved than others. Some organisms haven’t evolved for 2 billion years according to the following:

That proves my point. Organisms only change phenotypically if there is a corresponding environmental pressure. The article says that this is an extreme act of stasis, because the environment hasn’t changed for it so it doesn’t have any reason to change. Evolution only occurs when it needs to, when the environment consistently/constantly changed. More complex=/=more evolved. Organisms are fit enough for that environment to reproduce. That’s it.

This is an extreme example of stasis, and obviously, if the environment changes they will change. That doesn’t mean they’re ‘less evolved’.

But the AVERAGE organism today is more complex than the AVERAGE organism 2 billion years ago. So overall, there is a progressive trend.

McShea (1996) says saying “humans are more complex than other organisms” is not warranted by the data. Of course, evolutionary theorists agree about local changes in brain size, but what is not agreed upon is whether or not this is constant. The evidence is not decisive on whether or not there is complexity in metazoans, I lean towards there being none. Because the so-called ‘direction’ will change in response to environmental pressures, therefore, making ‘progress’ not quantifiable.

Greater complexity occurs when NS is weak or nonexistent. But more complex doesn’t equal ‘more evolved’. This proves the mutation and genetic drift cause for phenotypic and genotypic differences between species.

Again, it’s a branch and you can’t say that one organism is more evolved.

Primate brain size tripled in Africa. Then when we left Africa for the totally opposite environment of Norther ice age Europe, brain size increased again. Only in the last 20,000 years has brain size shrunk, but it’s not clear intelligence has. Further, the average encephalization of all mammals has tripled in the last 65 million years, showing a long-term progress trend across a huge number of changing environments. Not only that, but the trend of increased encephalization is replicated in the dinosaurs over their 140 million year span. If there were no long-term progressive trends in evolution, this wouldn’t happen.

Brain size has tripled in the past 7 million years you’re right about that. Intelligence is seeing a downward trend as the less intelligent have more children. Average IQ for the planet is 90 I believe. It’s only going to get lower. With this a decrease in head size and brain size.

“Because of the frequency of environmental change, the multiplicity of factors underlying fitness, the possibility of frequency-dependent and epistatic interactions among features, and the consequent possibility of nontransitive fitness relations between phenotypes, selection acting within populations frequently, though not inevitably, fails to produce unidirectional trends. The extent to which unidirectional trends dominate, or fail to dominate, the fossil record is therefore not a measure of the adequacy of neo-Darwinian mechanisms as causes of large-scale patterns in evolution.”

Progress in Organismal Design (Fisher, 1986)

Different environments cause different variables that need to be overcome so an organism is able to survive in that particular ecosystem. Hence needing a bigger brain is not always key to survival. You of all people know that higher intelligence isn’t needed in the equatorial parts of the world, this is evolution at work. It occurs due to the environment. Brain size for humans has gotten smaller in the past 7000 years:

“A recent study carried out by Chinese researchers looked at 500 endocasts from the past 7,000 years. They also confirmed that our brains are getting smaller. However, they found that while the whole brain has been getting smaller, the frontal lobe, the region of the brain responsible for speaking, comprehending others’ speech, reading and writing is actually increasing in size as we do more of that now compared to our ancient past.”

This is in line with what Herculano-Houzel says in her book, that the frontal lobes increased in size, which gave us an intelligence advantage over other hominids due to meat eating. The advent of cooking in Africa by H. erectus was the cause of the increase in brain size in Africa, as well as grinding down plants which allowed more nutrients to be extracted  by the body upon ingestion.

You just admitted there are traits that are good for all environments, which means natural selection would tend to favour them in all environments. Of course there are always exceptions, but over billions of years of trial and error, evolution will progress towards the most universally useful traits

There are numerous blind and semi-blind species. Why? Because of their environment. They don’t need to see well, or even to see, to survive to pass their genes, When the environment changes, traits change. That’s not ‘progress’.

I’m not confused about a FUCKING thing. There’s no question that some Australoid types have genetically preserved the phenotype of the Negroids in Africa from which all humans evolved. Papua New Guineans for example.

You most definitely are.


Australasians are Not Negroid So Stop Saying It!!

Cladistics of Human Peoples

They aren’t Negroid.

Whether you want to call them Negroid or not is just semantics.

Saying that it’s “just semantics” is treating race just as a social construct. It’s a biological reality and biologically, they are not near Africans. Just because they ‘look African’ doesn’t mean they are.

Humans can’t survive everywhere, but scientists like Rick Potts believe we’re the single most adaptable species on Earth because unlike most other living things, we can live in rainforests, deserts, high mountains, ice, outer space, and underwater. We’re certainly one of the most adaptable and we’re certainly one of the most evolved, suggesting more evolved organisms are more adaptable.

Bone loss for astronauts is real. We can live in those areas because of natural selection as well as mutations that allow us to survive there. It’s nothing special; it’s just evolution in action.

“More evolved” organisms are not ‘more adaptable’. Each organism is suited well enough for its environment, any organism will adapt  to its surroundings to better survive. That’s it.

Brain size in humans has been shrinking for 10,000 years. It was increasing for 2 million. Across the entire mammal class it’s been increasing, relative to body size for 65 million years. So the overall trend is progressive.

Brain size will continue to decrease for humans. It’s been increasing (for humans and for our ancestors it remained in stasis as I’ve shown above) due to environmental changes. When the environment changes, things can and will change. So you can’t say one organism is ‘more evolved’ than another.

IQ is increasing: the Flynn effect. Of course that’s an environmental effect and is largely spurious but perhaps you mean genetic IQ is decreasing. That theory is far from proven, and even if it’s true, it’s only a small exception to the overall trend of rising mammal intelligence over 65 million years and rising dinosaur intelligence over 140 million years.

It’s decreasing in France; it’s part environmental mostly dysgenic.

Dysgenics is occurring. This is what happens when peoples IQ drops: they can’t adequately nourish themselves because they lack the mental faculties. Combined with lower earning power due to their low IQ, they can only afford refined trash making nutrient deficiencies more common.

Human adaptability has been verified by all the environments we’ve lived in. Evolutionary progress has been verified by increased encephalization for tens of millions of years in both mammals and dinosaurs.

You know a good comparison? The polar bear. The polar bear diverged from the common ancestor with the brown bear 350 kya to 6 mya.

It evolved for its environment, the same as the brown bear. The white fur occurred due to the environment, proving (what is obvious) that selection for traits to have an organism better survive occur, and with changing environments over time traits will continue to change from common ancestors and previous organisms in that lineage. This is where PE has great explanatory power.

Humans evolve based on their environment. There is no ‘progress’ there. There is no overarching trend of ‘progress’ nor complexity for metazoans.

Encephalization and metabolic rate are the primary determinants in directing mammalian longevity and may explain other life history traits. Obviously, bigger organisms have slower metabolic rates and bigger brains. But that doesn’t mean ‘more evolved’ It’s from long-term evolution in any given environment.

Humans evolved in Africa by growing bigger brains. They then left Africa for Europe and evolved even bigger brains. Some whites have since returned to their ancestral Africa and had no trouble adapting, indeed colonizing, their ancestral land. That answers your question.

That doesn’t mean that they have resistance to malaria that Africans have from constant exposure to malaria-infected mosquitoes (Sickle Cell Anemia protects against malaria and is related to climate, not race but it’s most prevalent in Africans for obvous reasons). My question was as follows:

“Are you saying that if an organism survives somewhere and incurs phenotypic changes to have it bigger survive in that environment for 10 K years then moves on to another environment for 10 K years and incurs other phenotypic changes that 1) they’d be able to go back to the original environment and survive the same way they did before and 2) that the phenotypic changes incurred in the previous environment wouldn’t go away when they migrated to the new environment and stayed and evolved there for 10 k years?

Clearly, the answer is no. Moreover, as I said above, Europeans don’t have the disease resistance that Africans have due to evolving in that environment, which proves my point.

Bigger brains occurred due to cooking and acquiring more nutrients out of the meat. Other than that, tropical climes negatively correlate with brain size due to parasitic load, worse nutrition and more diseases that affect brain size (among the obvious ancestral component).

Yes you can. If you have one population that splits into three, and population A evolves into a different race from the parent population, while population B evolves into a different species from the parent population, and population C evolves into a different genus from the parent species, then C is more evolved than B who is more evolved than A, because a new genus is a higher taxonomical level, thus represents more evolutionary change, then a new species, which represents more evolutionary change than a new race.

No all that means is that differing selective pressures in the differing environment forced different phenotypic changes. Just because there are branches off of a parent population and LCA doesn’t mean that later organisms are ‘more evolved’, it just means that different environments call for different phenotypic traits so that organism can better survive in that environment. Just because one organism becomes a new genus from a parent population doesn’t mean that organism is ‘more evolved’. More evolutionary change does not equal ‘more evolved‘ or ‘superior’ nor does it mean that ‘evolution is progressive‘. All that means is that different selection pressures occurred to incur differing phenotypic traits to that organism. Anything else he says is just conjecture.

But if the environment doesn’t change, then the organism doesn’t have to evolve much to survive, hence those bacteria that didn’t evolve for 2 billion years.

That’s the point. This shows that evolution is not progressive. Moreover, there is no unidirectional line that evolution is going in. I’ve shown countless times that evolution is just as likely to make organisms less complex as it is to make organisms more complex. We may even find that organisms become less complex more than they become more complex through evolution, natural selection, mutation and genetic drift. That will prove definitively that evolution is not progressive nor are different organisms ‘more evolved’ than others. Those bacteria didn’t have to change much as their environment hardly changed, so they remained in stasis for 2 billion years (however with a change in environment will come evolutionary change, no organism is resistant to this).

Although interesting and portentous events have occurred since, from the flowering of dinosaurs to the origin of human consciousness, we do not exaggerate greatly in stating that the subsequent history of animal life amounts to little more than variations on anatomical themes established during the Cambrian explosion within five million years. Three billion years of unicellularity, followed by five million years of intense creativity and then capped by more than 500 million years of variation on set anatomical themes can scarcely be read as a predictable, inexorable or continuous trend toward progress or increasing complexity.

The Evolution of Life on Earth

PP is wrong on evolutionary progress. Organisms evolve based on pressures in their environment and will continue to evolve based on any changes in environmental pressures to continue their genetic lineage. It’s that simple. It’s not a scientifically testable hypothesis. Here’s yet another article on ‘evolutionary progress’ that echoes the same sentiments as me:

The two main components that lead to the process of evolution—random variation and differential reproductive success—do not combine to create an ordered progression that improves with change. The former depends on randomness, and the latter on the environment, which is constantly in flux. Hence evolutionary change leads to continual difference, but no variation is better than any other one. The words “progress” and “better” should be abandoned in evolutionary discourse, because they refer to processes that do not occur in nature.

Scientifically, no species can be viewed as “better” than any other. Each species adapts to fit into a certain niche, and its success depends on a variety of factors, such as environmental conditions, relations to other species, and so on, many of which have little to do with whether the species is “better” than others

Words like “progress,” “improvement” and “better” are carried over from the old notions of the Great Chain of Being and the idea that evolution strives for perfection. These ideas are no longer accepted by evolutionists, so the terms associated with them should be removed from evolutionary discourse. This old terminology hinders our understanding of the randomness of evolutionary processes. Darwin’s theory itself did not deal specifically with the idea of evolutionary progress (Taylor) and I don’t believe that it should be part of the story of evolution that is told today. Even when limited and qualified, progress is not an appropriate or useful term to use in the discussion of evolution. Evolution is constant change, not improvement.

Evolution is not progressive, and saying it is is ignoring how amazing the evolutionary process is, which is constant and ongoing change. THAT is what evolution is, not ‘progress’.


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