Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Possibly Original Concept Near The Foundations Of Theoretical Biology

Starting with a conjectural illustration:
Suppose that the lactase-persistence allele of West Europe, the haplotype around which is most uncommonly long (1 million DNA units) has been effectively hijacked by a microbe, a lactobacteria perhaps, which gets the carriers of the allele to treat all other carriers as kindred. It gets at the kin-recognition systems, to promote the treatment of unrelated as if they were much more closely related, though not as close as first cousins.
This would solve the problem of how cooperation which is advantageous to all or nearly all of the cooperators, can become established, and long be sustained, against defectors, cheaters and other free-riders. That is, where the advantage to all carriers, occurs only while there is negligible free-riding by non-carriers. The microbe then becomes a symbiont, and it gains by the spread of the carriers, who are also preferentially carrying it, as through their culture (e.g. dairying). It takes over new acreage, even on a large scale, as the carriers, as a group, have advantage in spontaneous cooperation without compulsion, over other groups, which are much less able to form large undertakings, which may sometimes depend on them acting as if they were much more closely related than they are, when combined in the larger groupings.
Lactase Persistence & Possible Correlates
Friday, May 23, 2008


Audacious Epigone said...

That link re: lactase is blocked. Is your FB account "John S Bolton", incidentally?

John S. Bolton said...

It is
I just changed it so everyone can see the notes. It's a backup like you suggested, in case google blocks my blogspot account.