Idiot Parents & Merciless Evolution

#1
 When I read a news story like this one I think of natural selection and the luck or unknown factors that enable two idiots (or maybe one) to produce offspring. With the life of the child victim in this case hanging in the balance, I wonder if evolution eventually finds a way to discard something non beneficial.  On one hand either both or one of the parents possess a stupid gene or quality, a trait that natural selection allowed for them, I call it luck,  to have and still reproduce. I don't know if the kid has actually inherited the parental brainlessness or not but nature perhaps makes sure it doesn't go any further. Don't like talking about the poor kid like this but I find evolution to be merciless, life forms merely at its disposal that allows nature to engineer new and improved models for life's survival.
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#2
Looks more like a pandemic of good judgement deficiency, which kind of clarifies the "meh" attitude of those news stories.

What’s the Best 50cc Dirt Bike for Kids?
https://dirtbikeplanet.com/best-50cc-dirt-bike/

EXCERPT: "I generally recommend that kids between three to seven years old ride a 50cc dirt bike. Kids who are 8-10 years old can also ride their old 50cc bike, but at 8 years-old, they would more properly fit a larger bike."


Journalism's sample of public reaction to a 5-year old riding and injuring himself on a dirt bike: "OMG. He has a broken arm and leg."

Journalism's sample of public reaction to a 5-year old shooting himself in the foot: "OMG. What was a five-year old doing with a gun?!"


EDIT addendum: On the bright side, at least they're not helicopter parents.

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#3
CC... I do think in my example that one parent is more judgement deficient than the other, yet still they both contributed. Somebody put a helmet on the kid. "I'll agree to it as long as he wears a helmet." The kid seemed doomed to suffer a terrible fate. I'm just asking whether a merciless evolution ensures life's (not life form) chances.
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#4
Risk taking is actually an advantageous evolutionary trait, where the bolder member of a species, who can make a better risk-reward assessment, is actually more fit than its peers. The human brain likely evolved under pressure to take advantage of such improved assessments of risk. But they are still risks, and some, even if small, percent will likely fail. Considering the news gives us a view of the world skewed heavily toward the negative, we often don't have an accurate perception of the regularity of such risks having no ill consequence.

There's also the fact that less educated people reproduce more than the more educated. So nature seems to account for potential losses.
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#5
So the species benefits when parents, at no risk to themselves, make decisions that can put the lives of their children in mortal danger? OK... Evolution is much more merciless than I suspected.
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#6
(Oct 13, 2018 07:40 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: CC... I do think in my example that one parent is more judgement deficient than the other, yet still they both contributed. Somebody put a helmet on the kid. "I'll agree to it as long as he wears a helmet." The kid seemed doomed to suffer a terrible fate. I'm just asking whether a merciless evolution ensures life's (not life form) chances.


Tossing children over a cliff to see if any of them eventually achieve flight wouldn't seem to result in anything but a huge traffic of corpses which a river below carries away after they bounce off the nearby jagged boulders. Neither does our routine grind and accumulation of youthful fatalities usually lead to any noticeable, novel advantages for the overall species within non-Methuselah spans of time. Something potentially passed on by either survivors or successful "copers", like sickle cell disease, is a tough trade-off to pay for adaptation to malaria.

Tough history, though. Large families were once insurance for parents having offspring still remaining to enter adulthood. A significant percentage of infants died before age one, as well another good measure of older children dying of diseases and injuries.

While the chances of a woman expiring from childbirth didn't escalate for each pregnancy at the rate of a WWII bomber crew's steeply falling prospects with each mission flown, it was substantial enough to perhaps hang a worrisome haze over an expected "joyful" event's looming commencement.

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#7
No, but parents who inculcate a lack of sensitivity to risk, by normalizing it young, could be an evolutionary advantage. And since I haven't seen a rash of these stories comparable to the likely rate of its practice, I'd assume such parents do not intend to, nor have overwhelming evidence that it does, risk mortal danger. Freak accidents can happen in even the most innocuous situations, like slipping in the shower.
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#8
(Oct 13, 2018 10:54 PM)Syne Wrote: No, but parents who inculcate a lack of sensitivity to risk, by normalizing it young, could be an evolutionary advantage. And since I haven't seen a rash of these stories comparable to the likely rate of its practice, I'd assume such parents do not intend to, nor have overwhelming evidence that it does, risk mortal danger. Freak accidents can happen in even the most innocuous situations, like slipping in the shower.

Are you saying a risk is only a risk when risk taker realizes it? The child did not take a risk because , despite putting the helmet on, he didn't know what he was doing was risky? Sounds like the only person who took a risk here was the parent(s) who decided he had to wear a helmet.....which actually lowered the risk of injury.
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#9
(Oct 13, 2018 11:11 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
(Oct 13, 2018 10:54 PM)Syne Wrote: No, but parents who inculcate a lack of sensitivity to risk, by normalizing it young, could be an evolutionary advantage. And since I haven't seen a rash of these stories comparable to the likely rate of its practice, I'd assume such parents do not intend to, nor have overwhelming evidence that it does, risk mortal danger. Freak accidents can happen in even the most innocuous situations, like slipping in the shower.

Are you saying a risk is only a risk when risk taker realizes it? The child did not take a risk because , despite putting the helmet on, he didn't know what he was doing was risky? Sounds like the only person who took a risk here was the parent(s) who decided he had to wear a helmet.....which actually lowered the risk of injury.

No, I'm saying one news article is not an accurate measure of risk in a behavior likely engaged in by a fair number of people. There are definitely risks of injury, even riding a bicycle or adults riding dirt bikes, but life-threatening risks may be relatively rare. Part of inculcating a tolerance to risk is allowing it young.
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#10
So risk taking is an advantageous trait that results in some merciless evolution. I think the two go together. I suppose all animals, just by reproducing, put their progeny at risk to predators in a violent world. I'm going to say that more young die than survive. No mercy, can't feel sorry, has to be that way for life to continue. 

When I rethink this, I'm not even sure if idiots are capable of a good decision. Maybe complacency is more damaging than idiocy.
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