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July 27, 2005


Andrew Duffin

Natural Selection?

What, as in Darwin?

Are you suggesting that more successful terrorists are more likely to survive and breed? It seems a bit counter-intuitive, to put it midly...


As a biochemist/evolutionary geneticist with a (mild) grasp of economics, the relationship appears clear - successful terrorists don't get killed conducting operations. They learn from others' mistakes; Security forces act as Darwin's natural selectors - the "best" terrorists survive and pass on their experience via Dawkin's meme hypothesis to the next generation.

Note: Obviously a grossly simplified analaogy.....


Sorry, I should clarify. I'm not saying there's a selection mechanism directly for terrorism - just that there's (possibly)one for the extremism that can lead to terrorism.
One piece of corroboration here is that a huge proportion of the world's population is descended from Genghis Khan:

Andrew Duffin

Ah well that clarifies it a bit.

However I still have a quibble. "Successful terrorists don't get killed conducting operations"

So, to pick an example, Atta was not successful? Whereas those idiot boys last week were?

Maybe you mean "_the bosses of_ successful terrorists don't get killed..."

otoh not many IRA men got killed - hardly any while conducting operations. And they were certainly successful - their bosses ended up in Government and even in Parliament, or would have done if they had taken their seats.

So perhaps your argument does stand.


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