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Health

Jamie Lynn Spears: it runs in the family?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanDecember 23, 2007 11:58 PM

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Hometown Reacts: Residents Respond To Pregnancy News in relation to Jamie Lynn Spears & Casey Aldridge's impending parenthood:

But we did manage to talk to a few locals, who, quite honestly, weren't too shocked to learn that Britney's little sister was pregnant, either because teen pregnancies aren't all that uncommon in Kentwood, or because, after all, she is Britney's little sister. "They tried to keep it secret, I don't know why. In Kentwood, everything gets out. You got kids who are 13 or 14 and pregnant in Kentwood, we're about used to it around here," Donald Church said. "But it seems like a big deal around here. ... A lot of people can't believe it. I used to work with her dad, and I couldn't believe it. You know, little Jamie ... it's kind of freaky." "I heard about it on the radio, they were talking about it. It's real popular down there. Everybody knows about them," Raynard Norman laughed. "It's embarrassing, kind of. If it's not her, it's Britney, so at least it's not Britney this time. But I'm not surprised, not really. ... Nobody's surprised because it's not uncommon with her family. Next time, use a condom."

In The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection R.A. Fisher offered up a reason why long term decreased fertility was never going to be an evolutionary problem for the human race: if any fertility was in any way heritable the proportion of the population which exhibited traits resulting in relative fecundity would slowly increase and replace those disinclined toward reproduction. Evolution is often characterized as "Survival of the Fittest." First, that is actually simply even metaphorically corrected in regards to evolution driven by natural selection. But second, it is probably more accurate to say it is survival of the fertile. Physiological fitness may not correlate with reproductive output. Remember antagonistic pleiotropy? Note: It could of course be cultural heritability. Fisher elucidates that argument as well, arguing that pro-natalist religions will promote the increase of their flock. In Rodney Stark's The Rise of Christianity he makes the argument that the sects opposition to infanticide and communal support networks were critical in allowing it to marginalize paganism in part through procreation.

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