Part of O’Leary for News ongoing series here.
Then there is Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, with its famous exemplar: the peacock’s tail. An illustration may help us see why reasonable persons continue to doubt.
Picture a triplex: Tom, a world class cribbage addict in Apartment A, does no work and has no money (apart from social assistance and charity). Dick, in Apartment B, works eight shifts a week in trucking, so has no trouble paying his bills. Harry, formerly in Apartment C, went off and became a multimillionaire (legally) in packaging and shipping for the software industry.
Does work alone explain Harry’s success? Did he work a thousand times harder and more often than Dick? Is that even possible? Or is it all an accident of fate, such that Tom or Dick might have stumbled down the same way and done the same thing?
Most human beings tend to doubt that it is so simple. Also, there are not a billion generations between Tom, Dick, and Harry. Not even one, actually.
And if each of these guys somehow ends up with fertile heirs, is any of them “unfit”? More.
Question: Did Darwin come up with the sexual selection theory because he realized that natural selection was not working out? Except as a cultural thing?
See also: Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back