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    #1

    those numbers

    It's hard to measure how much our health has improved over the course of history, though life span is a fairly good indicator. Evolutionary pressures shaped Homo sapiens to have an average life expectancy of roughly thirty years. The logic is easily understood. "Natural selection favors the genes of those with the most descendants," explains MIT's Marvin Minsky. "Those numbers tend to grow exponentially with the number of generations, and so natural selection prefers the genes of those who reproduce at earlier ages. Evolution does not usually preserve genes that lengthen lives beyond the amount adults need to care for their young."

    In the above, does "those numbers" refer to the number of descendants? It's confusing.

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: those numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by unpakwon View Post
    It's hard to measure how much our health has improved over the course of history, though life span is a fairly good indicator. Evolutionary pressures shaped Homo sapiens to have an average life expectancy of roughly thirty years. The logic is easily understood. "Natural selection favors the genes of those with the most descendants," explains MIT's Marvin Minsky. "Those numbers tend to grow exponentially with the number of generations, and so natural selection prefers the genes of those who reproduce at earlier ages. Evolution does not usually preserve genes that lengthen lives beyond the amount adults need to care for their young."

    In the above, does "those numbers" refer to the number of descendants? It's confusing.

    Thank you.
    Go backward through the text and see what could increase as the number of generations increase. What does natural selection favor?

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    #3

    Re: those numbers

    Do you mean it's "the number of genes"?
    Last edited by unpakwon; 31-Aug-2012 at 00:21. Reason: to add a word

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    #4

    Re: those numbers

    No, it's the number of descendants. Two people have 7 kids who have 50 grandkids who have...

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