Koinophilia  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Koinophilia is a term used by biologist Johan Koeslag, meaning that when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual, peculiar or deviant features.

Natural selection results, over the course of generations, in beneficial (or "fit") features replacing their disadvantageous counterparts. Thus, natural selection causes beneficial features to become increasingly more common with each generation, while the disadvantageous features become increasingly rare. A sexual creature, therefore, wishing to mate with a fit partner, would be expected to avoid individuals sporting unusual features, while being especially attracted to those individuals displaying a predominance of common or average features. This is termed "koinophilia". It has, as an important side effect, that mates displaying mutant features (the result of a genetic mutation) are also avoided. This, in itself, is also advantageous, because the vast majority of mutations are disadvantageous. Because it is impossible to judge whether a new mutation is beneficial or not, koinophilic creatures will avoid them all with equal determination, even if this means avoiding the very occasional beneficial mutation. Thus, koinophilia, although not perfect or infallible in its ability to distinguish fit from unfit mates, remains, on average, the best strategy when choosing a mate. It will be right far more often than it will be wrong. Even when it is wrong, a koinophilic choice always ensures that the offspring will inherit a suite of thoroughly tried and tested features.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Koinophilia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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