Polygyny and Inheritance of Wealth

THE HYPOTHESIS to be tested here, that humans tend to transmit wealth to male descendants where polygyny is possible (Dr. Arbuthnott’s assertions notwithstanding), follows from considering the difference in within-sex variance in reproductive success between males and females (Darwin 1859, 1871) and the fact that in polygynous societies multiple wives are acquired by men who can afford them.

Paternity and Inheritance of Wealth

One of the oldest conjectures in anthropology is that men transfer wealth to their sister’s son when the biological paternity of their ‘own’ children is in doubt. Because maternity is certain, a man is necessarily related to his sister’s son and his brother. It is argued in this paper that relatedness to make heirs can be assured by passing wealth to sister’s sons or down a line of brothers matrilineally or patrilineally.

Matrilineal Inheritance

This paper explores a new analysis of previously published data showing a strong association between matrilineal inheritance and moderate to low probability of paternity, and an even stronger relationship between patrilineal inheritance and high probability of paternity.

Prospects For Existence : Morality and Genetic Engineering

Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.

— Thomas Henry Huxley, Evolution and Ethics

A Eugenic Effect of Medical Care

Abstract When sophisticated medical attention substantially increases the life expectancy of individuals with a severe homozygous condition without significantly raising their reproductive success, an increase in parental investment should render a concomitant decrease in parental ...

Reading and Doing Medical Research

Twenty-nine years as an editor of a medical journal has given me an insider’s view of how research papers get processed … and its not always a pretty picture. Despite the Peer Review Process – ...

How Media Fear-Mongers Misrepresent COVID-19

Accentuating the negative and eliminating the positive leads to irrational and ineffective responses. Today, like yesterday and tomorrow, news outlets will announce the number of new COVID-19 cases. “Cases,” in this case, will be the ...

Cancer might be a failed response to renegade mitochondria

Given a hundred to a thousand mitochondria per cell, each with prokaryotic ‘naked’ DNA that is highly susceptible to muta- tion without repair (see Penta et al., 2001; Verschoor, 2013 for review), cells containing both ...