The Law of Life
Here’s a more general statement of the law as it’s followed by goats: "If your resources are of doubtful sufficiency for two offspring, then you’re better off giving ALL TO ONE than giving HALF TO EACH.” Among goats, it’s the mother who enforces this law.
Among eagles (and many other bird species) the law is similar, but it's not enforced by the mother. The female eagle will typically produce two eggs a few days apart, which is naturally a better survival policy than producing a single egg. It's when the second egg hatches that the law comes into effect, and it's the first-born chick who enforces it. The law is: "Kill the newcomer," which it does by pecking or starving the second-born to death. By living through the first few days, the first-born has a survival value that is PROVEN. The survival value of second-born is UNPROVEN and so it must not be allowed to reduce the first-born's resources. (If the first-born DOES NOT survive the first few days, then the second-born will be unharmed and allowed to have its own chance to live on.)
In lions and bears, females will often abandon a litter that has only one survivor—even if this one survivor is in perfect health. This isn’t "good for the species" in any way. Rather, it’s good for the individual’s lifetime reproductive success. Her representation in the gene pool will definitely improve if she invests exclusively in litters LARGER THAN ONE.--Daniel Quinn
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Who Cares About Gays, Guns or Abortions.
Forget about gays, guns and abortions for a minute and ask whether or not our actions are fostering life.