Forum:R/K selection BS

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If you look up "r/K selection" on Google you'll get a few reputable biology articles followed by a veritable slew of right-wing and reactionary bloggers (including Stefan Molyneux). Basically, r/K selection refers to whether an organism has lots of poorly-raised offspring or a few well-raised ones. The crank bloggers seem to think that liberals are r-selected and conservatives are K-selected, even though conservative politicians have been against abortion and birth control from the beginning. Someone ought to write a rebuttal. Rnizam (talk) 13:43, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

It's the other way around. Wikipedia: "...r-selected species are those that place an emphasis on a high growth rate, and, typically exploit less-crowded ecological niches, and produce many offspring, each of which has a relatively low probability of surviving to adulthood (i.e., high r, low K)." In other words, people in rural areas who eachew contraception. At any rate, r/K selection theory has mostly been subsumed by life history theory, which also allows for adaptability within a population as to their reproductive strategies based on environmental triggers. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:53, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Honestly, my biggest problem with trying to write a breakdown of why r/K as applied to humans is garbage is that there are so many problems, and "race realists" don't care about any of them. Gonna try and do some example subsections below. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:03, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Excuse you, but the new hotness in alt-right neo-Nazi dogwhistling is "human biodiversity" (dry heaving sounds come from behind the monitor), not "race realism". :P Ru1138 (talk) 20:12, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Discussion of individual ways r/K is bullshit as used by neo-nazi fuckwits[edit]

There isn't any substantial biological variation in reproduction rates among races[edit]

Emphasis on biological. If it's something selected for, you'd expect to see the most obvious results in simple physiology well before any biological impact on the complex social behaviors that surround sex and raising children. Pretty much all of humanity hits that 9.25 month gestation period, that's almost completely unrepresented in the entire rest of the class mammalia. You'd think from a naive(and race realists are SUPER naive) application of r/K theory if adult success were less important and r were more important, there'd be more children more frequently, with less development.

Or perhaps you'd see a lot more fraternal/identical twins. Not that either. This should be a giant red flag to the application without going into any of the specifics of r/K. For it to only show itself in behavior and not at all in physiology is... extremely unlikely. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:03, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

r/K has been outmoded for decades[edit]

This is a classic case of someone over-extrapolating something in a high-school textbook, just like quantum consciousness, they take a simplified version of what actual science uses designed for kids, and then proceed to misapply it haphazardly to something that they think sounds related. "Higher birth rates? Yep, that's r selection" *proceeds to ignore every other characteristic of r/K selection theory because they've got far enough to confirm their biases*. Definitely ignore that it's an equation that throws out more variables than you can count to focus only on the "dominant" ones under extreme conditions. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:03, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Regardless of more likely there being an underlying genetic homogeneity behind the behavior (and environmental modulation, rather than just strict genetic variation), and of how the concept may have fallen in disuse in biology, an "analogy" with it, regarding how some groups of people have more children than others, and how it impacts the investment possible for each individual, shouldn't be dismissed. One can make completely non-racist (and non-classist) arguments in this regard, that poorer people tend to have more children, and, as a consequence, they tend to delay their own economic ascension, or even go further down economically. And that will also correlate with social pathologies, and even with biological consequences of less resources per children.
Aided with information like that, one can make a liberal/progressive counterpoint, while not being as vulnerable to be painted as a "denier of facts", that dogmatically assumes a rosy PC picture of reality. — Unsigned, by: / talk 23:15, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Pretty much every race had similar birth rates until industrialization and birth control[edit]

Duuuuuh. Let's focus on the giant fucking k-selected elephant in the room. Having few children is a modern luxury that has jack shit to do with race, and everything to do with circumstance, and a trivial inspection of history will tell you that near a dozen children were normal in pretty much every European country up until the 1800s. Hell it was a common convention in the roman empire to name your children numbers, like quintius, sextus, or decimus, because so many would die young. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:03, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Actually, some traditional tribes will limit their fertility rates through celibacy. From the abstract of "Post-partum sexual abstinence in tropical Africa","In sub-Saharan Africa, women consider ideal birth spacing to be 2 to 5 years. Sexual relations while lactating are taboo. A new pregnancy during lactation brings criticism to the mother. Public opinion upholds birth spacing as a means to preserve the health of mother and child, especially among the Yoruba of Nigeria where postpartum abstinence may last up to 3 years." - — Unsigned, by: / talk

I've never heard of this used for race[edit]

Where I've seen it used is among social conservatives who push "evolutionary psychology" and the like in order to justify patriarchy. Supposedly humans are a "K selecting" species and thus we need complete monogamy and strict marriage. Ideas like feminism and women's liberation are especially dangerous because only "r selecting" species are not monogamous, because the only possible reason to have sex with multiple partners would be to crank out large amounts of children. Of course, they then bring up evolutionary psychology to say that men are genetically designed to be as promiscuous as possible and women are designed to be monogamous caretakers due to the energy investment differential in pregnancy. Because this is the 'natural' way, society and culture should work to impose these norms, which always means restricting women as much as possible while giving men free reign. This is the only context I've heard cranks use r/k selection in, them using it for race is new to me. Lord Aeonian (talk) 06:08, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Because this is the 'natural' way, society and culture should work to impose these norms, which always means restricting women as much as possible while giving men free reign. This isn't quite it. Because these different strategies are bred in the bone, they will spontaneously reappear in different cultures and throughout the centuries; as, in fact, they do. There has never been a human society that is not a "patriarchy", if by "patriarchy" you mean one where most of the formal and public political, economic, and military leaders are male. This has nothing to do with the regard these many cultures hold for women, or the autonomy they have in local norms. Visions of political equality that pretend these things shouldn't exist will at least require significant investment in enforcement, and in the long term will not work. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 05:10, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

"Because this is the 'natural' way, society and culture should work to impose these norms" - this does not make sense and probably no one minimally respectable has ever proposed it in reality. It's like saying that men are naturally more violent (standard assumption, and matches empirical data quite well), "therefore" laws regarding homicide or violence committed by men should be more lax, whereas for women, the sentences should be harsher. In reality, the opposite happens, even if the law is isonomic. Please spare the MRA/MGTFOH/whatever accusations, I'm not any of that.— Unsigned, by: / talk