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Consider a population where a low percentage of people (5%) posess a genetic advantage over the rest. In my fictional world, let’s assume this small percent of the population can wield magic while others cannot.

Now over the course of millenia, the count of the advantageous group should increase due to natural selection and eliminate the larger less-advantageous group.

I would like to know how this can be prevented from happening - the possible exceptions that cause this minority to still remain a minority without going extinct.

Edit :

  • Both parts of the population - magic and non-magic users get along with each other. The normal population would probably resent the mages to a certain extent for their magical abilities but they are rather civil about it.
  • These mages would be functioning members of the society (scholars, apothecarists etc) and are not being persecuted by the common folk.
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marked as duplicate by bilbo_pingouin, Confounded by beige fish., Legisey, Mołot, bukwyrm Feb 28 at 13:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ Millennia isn't a large enough time frame for natural selection if they have a human life expectancy. Natural selection is based on generations, not time. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Feb 27 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Mormacil ever heard of the black plague? $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 27 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ Definitely related, possible duplicate: How can I make a net beneficial genetic trait occur only in a small fraction of the population, sustained? Full disclosure: My own question. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Feb 27 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Mormacil - it is exactly the same thing. If I have a gene conferring resistance to the plague, I have a better chance of improving my genetic fitness by leaving offspring. The better chance (as compared to my neighbors) is because I don't die and they do. Being not dead is an important prerequisite for reproduction. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 27 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Mormacil Way more than millennia is needed if genetic mutation is needed as part of the natural selection, but there's many documented cases of natural selection occurring far faster if the alleles that become beneficial are already present in a population. In fact, in many cases we depend on it. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Feb 28 at 3:43

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The actual challenge in your question isn't just to prevent the trait from spreading via natural selection - it's also to prevent the trait from going extinct via random drift.

Natural selection is an important factor in evolution, but before you have natural selection you have genetic drift - the natural random fluctuation of how much of a gene there is in a population. Every generation, people with a certain allele have more or less children and pass on the gene to more or less of them, meaning the percentage of people in the population with this allele will go up and down semi-randomly over the generations. It so happens that mathematically, if all alleles (alternate versions of a gene) are equally likely to be passed on to the next generation, after enough generations you will get to a point where there is only one allele left. Simply because when your percentage fluctuates randomly over time, you'll eventually hit "0%" or "100%", and once you've hit either of those numbers you'll stay there (obviously if no individual in the population has an allele they can't pass it on to their offspring). This is called "fixation", when an allele reaches 100% of the population.

The odds of an allele reaching fixation, in the completely random scenario, are proportional to its frequency in the population; meaning the higher the allele's percentage in the population, the higher its odds of taking over the population. Conversely, the lower its percentage, the higher its odds of going extinct. Natural selection doesn't prevent this, it just nudges the odds on whether an allele will reach fixation or go extinct.

So the problem you have with your genetic magic ability is that you want your population to be a stable minority over the long term. Most of the suggestions you'll get for preventing natural selection from promoting the allele may indeed prevent the allele from becoming fixed in the population - but in doing so they'll instead guarantee the allele will go extinct over the long term.

What you need is active selection pressure to keep the frequency of your allele at a low but nonzero share of the population. There are many ways of achieving this; the basic idea is to have some way in which the gene is beneficial (selected upon) if it's rare, but harmful (selected against) if it's common. The best suggestion in the answers so far is the sickle cell anaemia analogy, though they get the mechanism wrong. It's not that the sickle cell alleles protect from malaria at the expense of ill health; it's that if you have one sickle cell allele you're protected from malaria, but if you have two alleles you get sickle cell anaemia. This means that as long as the allele is rare it's going to be beneficial, because most people will get only one copy. But if it becomes too common then you're more likely to get children who have both, which is bad, which means having the allele becomes deleterious.

You could get some interesting side effects if you went with this exact mechanism. If you have a gene with one allele that gives magical powers, and people who are heterozygous for it are magic users, people who are homozygous for the magic allele are reproductive dead-ends (they're sick, they're insane, they're infertile, they die in utero...), and people with any other version of the gene are nonmagical, then that means every magical family will include nonmagical members (because every magical person necessarily has a non-magical allele to pass on). You would also have negative consequences for magical people who have children with each other, which would discourage "inbreeding" within magical communities.

Of course you don't need to resort to complex genetic effects like this, you could have any mechanism that depends on how many magic users there are. For example, social forces could make having magic beneficial as long as they were rare enough to pass under the radar, but if there were too many magic users the witch hunts would start (though I don't think it's that realistic to assume social forces will be constant on evolutionary timescales). Or there could be properties of magic itself - The Dark Ones seek out magic users to eat them, but only wake if there are a lot of people doing magic in the area. Or you have a tradeoff in how sensitive you are to the magical fields: if you're a little sensitive you can do cool stuff, if you're very sensitive you get incapacitating headaches, and the more people are around doing magic the stronger the magical fields become; this would mean when few people have magical powers the threshold for sensitivity is high, and any magic gene is beneficial; if many people have powers the strong magical fields mean it takes very little sensitivity to get debilitating headaches, so the magic genes become harmful, and you end up with a stable situation with a small proportion of people who have the genes, and those come in a range of sensitivities, most being average and some unlucky souls getting the headaches (and maybe those need to move away from the other magic users, living as hermits or in places magical people are rare).

Note that this is all assuming alleles don't appear, which in the real world they do of course via mutation. Whether this is worth taking into account or not depends on how likely and common a given mutation is. It is perfectly reasonable to assume the magic genes are a rare mutation that happened only once or a few times, so you only get a magic gene if you inherited it. But you could tweak things a lot if your magic genes are likely to appear via random mutation; you could even go to the point, as another answer suggested, that magic users are all de novo mutations and they don't spread beyond that baseline mutation probability because they're all sterile... But at that point why have it be a genetic trait in the first place. Point being, if you allow a baseline rate of new magic mutations you have a guaranteed minimum percentage of magic people without having to worry about them becoming extinct; you also have different social dynamics with respect to whether magic is a family thing and how much of a family thing it is.

ETA: I want to note one thing on the mechanism though - you don't have to worry about this if you want to be fuzzy on the whole thing, but if you want natural selection to function in a realistic way you need to keep in mind it acts on individuals. So when talking about whether the magic allele is beneficial or harmful, it isn't enough that it's beneficial or harmful to society, or to the magical community - it would need to be directly beneficial or harmful to the individual that has the allele (even more specifically, it would need to affect how many offspring and grand-offspring that individual can be expected to have).

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  • $\begingroup$ They also have to avoid extermination by the majority (the actual challenge IMO). AFAIK, we don't know why Neanderthals went extinct, but my money's on homo sapiens. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 27 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Mazura: That supposes the main challenge of every human allelic variant is to avoid active extermination by the allelic majority, which isn't the case. Neanderthals are a separate species, which involves different dynamics, and while plenty of human subgroups went extinct because of extermination by other human subgroups, plenty have also gone extinct for completely different reasons, and plenty more haven't gone extinct at all. And that's different from genetic traits going extinct; eugenics are harder to implement than you'd think, especially with recessive traits. $\endgroup$ – Oosaka Feb 28 at 4:53
  • $\begingroup$ I like the sickle cell idea. But won't the number of people who are heterozygous outnumber the homozygous ones. And now assuming the heterozygous population can use magic and the homozygous people die before reaching adulthood, will that not cause the heterozygous population count to increase to a point where it becomes the majority? $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 13:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Lord-of-the-Larks consider if everyone is heterozygous (He); He+He couple will have 1/4 nonmagical homozygous children (NHo), 2/4 He, and 1/4 dead. But a NHo+He couple will have 2/4 NHo and 2/4 He; that's 33% more live kids and as many magical ones. So being a NHo in a world of He, ie not having the allele, is beneficial. If half the population has the allele, everyone has 50% chance of He spouse and 50% chance NHo; if you're NHo that's ~15% more live offspring at the cost of 50% fewer magical ones; so how beneficial it is depends on how good the magic is. (...) $\endgroup$ – Oosaka Feb 28 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ See here for sickle cell allele frequencies (ie percentage of people heterozygous for it more or less) over the world. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060623 20% max, and around 5% in plenty of places. But it all depends on the tradeoffs. Having said that, given in this case everyone can tell who has the magic allele and who doesn't, and He and NHo have every incentive to mate with each other (He gets more kids than mating with He, and NHo gets magical kids they don't get mating with NHo), I think sexual selection may lead to a 50% frequency which isn't what you want. $\endgroup$ – Oosaka Feb 28 at 19:02
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Infertility, magic talent comes with a severe reduction in fertility if not down right sterility. Now would that not make them die out? Not of the mutation rate among regular humans is high enough.

So your regular humans every now and again have a child with magical ability but it's sterile. So the child will never pass on their highly effective magical genes.

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    $\begingroup$ Nor if they exhibit kin selection effects: magicians can't have kids themselves, but the close relatives of magicians are better off. $\endgroup$ – Logan R. Kearsley Feb 27 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ Slap in magic/infertility being a recessive trait and bam. There’s a chance your child will have Rincewind syndrome. Good news: They’re magical and preternaturally lucky. Bad news: they’ll never have children and always get themselves and their family caught up in horrible events despite trying to avoid them. Good luck parenting!!! $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Feb 27 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Only issue I see with this is that typically I'd expect magic to be capable of curing such an issue. Magic people would likely spend long hours trying to find a solution, and it is hard to believe they'd never succeed, especially with this being a natural (I assume) genetic mutation. $\endgroup$ – Patrick Feb 27 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Patrick Perhaps there is something inherently "sterile" about magic. For example, you can make some sterile again, but then become amagical. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Feb 28 at 3:22
  • $\begingroup$ Combine this with the trait being recessive (so the regular alleles can be passed on between fertile relatives) and you've got it sorted. $\endgroup$ – Ynneadwraith Feb 28 at 10:31
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Sickle cell anaemia and malaria

In a malaria-ridden country, sickle cells provide a marginal advantage to survival because they give immunity to to the disease despite causing some ill-health. The condition allows humans to reach reproductive age.

In malaria-free countries sickle cell is a distinct disadvantage.

A magical ability came about by a genetic mutation. Unfortunately that mutation either reduces fertility or makes for a high death rate before puberty.

The following is a fairly technical explanation but easier ones can be found in more popular-type articles.

Heterozygotes for the sickle cell gene are relatively protected against malaria, while patients who are homozygous for the sickle cell gene, suffer from sickle cell disease and are highly prone to the lethal effects of malaria. http://www.scientificanimations.com/malaria-loses-sickle-cell-battle/

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    $\begingroup$ This offers narrative potential if done just like sickle cell. Heterozygotes have some magic. Homozygotes have a boatload of magic but it warps them and they have many problems as a result and tend to die young. These should be magical problems - like attracting attention from other magical beings, accidentally falling into the astral plane, etc. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 27 at 22:54
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    $\begingroup$ You could even make magic Homozygotes extremely powerful individuals in society, but still dangerous. For example, maybe you get 1000 times the magic of a heterogote, but you go slightly mad and are at a very high risk of magical accidents and diseases. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Feb 28 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ "In malaria-free countries sickle cell is a distinct disadvantage." Except in malaria free countries today, we often have the technology to improve the health of sickle cell patients. It probably isn't enough of a disadvantage to actually decrease their reproduction rates since we don't practice eugenics anymore. $\endgroup$ – jpmc26 Feb 28 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ @jpmc26 - I think using terms like 'eugenics' is an unnecessary injection of politics. Eugenics refers to deliberately preventing people from reproducing, sometimes by drastic means. You are making light of a very unpleasant period in human history. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Feb 28 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK I assure you I have no lightness about. But we are stuck between a rock and a hard place: genetic disorders become more common as our ability to maintain health improves. Sadly, some people thought those practices were an answer to that (among other goals, many of which were far less noble). $\endgroup$ – jpmc26 Feb 28 at 10:18
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Species that are as complicated as humans typically take many millennia to evolve, but the 2 basic approaches are.

Sexual Selection

If you don't want a gene to reproduce, simply make it undesirable for the population to breed with those of "genetic advantage". The reasons for such could be cultural (anti-magical bigotry), biological (humans at the time see the trait for magic produces ugly people), or purely functional (maybe those with magic cause unintended spells that occasionally slay offspring).

Recessive Trait

Make the gene for Magic be a recessive one. In the same way that blue eyes are more rare than brown ones, magic genes may be rarer that non magic genes.

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Basic exceptions to this rule of nature are:

  • lack of competition
  • separation
  • natural disasters
  • Human interference

Feel free not to read this explanation if you don't think you need it: If I'm not mistaken, Natural Selection is the idea that organisms which are more fit for the environment are more likely to survive than those that are not as well designed for the environment. If this is the case there are a few elements that affect this process. We can find out what these are by thinking about what can make things more fit for a certain environment, or what things create opportunity for superiority.

Right off the bat, we have competition. the more things in an environment the more apparent Natural selection is. If there is very little in the way of competition many things escape natural selection. For example, a pack of wolves kills a deer, they all eat equally at first, but one day a wolf is born with a mutation in its genes that makes its teeth sharper. this wolf has a competitive edge and will tear more meat off the animal than the others because it can rip and chew faster and more effectively. Thus he would be healthier and become the alpha and have more children than the other males. Eventually this one mutation would overrun the wolf population, natural selection right? but an exception to this is lack of competition, if there is enough deer that all the wolves eat right then sharper teeth have no place in the world of natural selection, however longer or stronger legs might.

Moving on to another exception to natural selection is separation. Say there are two islands with extremely similar environments, and both have wolves on them. both islands have plenty of deer so no wolves have to compete for food. however on one island the wolves have stronger legs. they catch more deer, but natural selection never takes place and both wolf races live on equally because they are separated.

Yet another exception to this process is interruption by natural disasters, such as a volcano erupting. this kind of thing could kill off a developing superior mutation and completely stop Natural Selection in its tracks.

Lastly, the biggest exception to Natural Selection is human interaction and interference. Every time you see a video of somebody saving an animal from an icy pond or something that is an example of humans interfering with Natural Selection. The trapped animal did something that made it fail at life, for whatever reason. This means the animal wasn't entirely ideal for the environment. As nature would have it this animal should have died. but humans don't work like that, i guess. I hope this answer was helpful and thank you for your patience in reading this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well said, very thorough answer. +1 $\endgroup$ – Bewilderer Feb 27 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ It's a bit WOTee, could do with some spaces, paragraph breaks, formatting & whatnot. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore duly noted :) $\endgroup$ – Elias Rowan Albatross Feb 28 at 16:17
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Just make the magic gene a recessive & tie it to infertility ~ two copies of the gene (one from each parent) are needed to express magic ~ but two copies cause infertility, a mage can't have children.

Only those with one (or no) copy of the gene can have children ~ only those with two copies will have magic.

Crettig's answer shows you the distribution of children from parents who each carry one copy of the gene, so any mage with three siblings will on average have no siblings that also have magic ~ but two will be carriers with one copy of the gene & one will have no copies of the gene.

If they don't have the tech to identify who has or hasn't got the gene someone might still spot the pattern so siblings of mages from different families might be encouraged to marry each other but that's still going to be a bit hit or miss so you can still plausibly keep your mage population low.

I know that's a bit short & pithy for an answer, but honestly, there's nothing more need be said.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is infertility the only option? $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @LordoftheLarks No of course not, but allowing the mages to reproduce themselves makes it difficult to explain why they wouldn't breed among themselves & produce an all mage master race in a few centuries, this gives you plausibility for the low instance of magic users when it has a genetic base & is perhaps the simplest & neatest explanation for that, easy for the author to keep track of who might or might not have mage children too. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @LordoftheLarks You could start tying other genes in & say you need two mage genes plus they only express in combination with the presence of at least one copy of second gene but then it all starts to get messy & less easy to keep track of. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ @LordoftheLarks Another option might be tying it to the sex chromosome in some way as well ~ so only females with two copies of the mage genes have magic (or vice versa) ~ or only the males are infertile with two copies (or vice versa) ~ etc. ~ lots of ways to mix it up & put a kink in if you want. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ @LordoftheLarks if you want a parent-child relationship between two mages that's easy enough ~ any child identified as magical might traditionally be given to (& adopted by) its closest magical relation (of suitable age to be a parent) to raise as their own child as soon as possible. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 16:20
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Frequency Dependent Selection

Imagine a trait that is advantageous to have until it reaches a certain frequency in a population, at which point its fitness decreases often leading to a stable state (i.e. 5%). A real world example of this would be camouflage coloration in lizards, insects, and fish. If there is a species of lizard that is mostly red with a few blue individuals then a predator will evolve to see and respond to eating the red ones. The blue lizards will have a higher fitness and increase in frequency until they become abundant enough for the predator to evolve a preference for them, eventually resulting in a stable frequency of red and blue lizards. This phenomenon can be seen in disease dynamics, and even antibiotic resistance!

So let's assume that magic users have a high fitness but something happens if their frequency gets too high. A magic plague may only be able to spread if there is a high enough frequency of vulnerable individuals (think vaccinated children). Or perhaps an an ethereal predator can sense magic users and if the frequency of the magic user phenotype is high enough it's worth a hunting trip. These possibilities require a culling of sorts, but the principle could be extended nonviolently in a magical world!

Some real world examples of this happening in humans:

Blood type frequencies remain surprisingly stable between populations around the world. This is most likely related to immunity and frequency dependent selection on diversity.

A classic example of balancing selection in humans at the MHC/HLA locus also relates to frequency dependent selection on immunity. This pattern is seen in almost all life with an immune system, a disease will most likely evolved the ability to overwhelm the most common form of immunity causing the forms to increase in frequency.

Even the frequency of right vs. left handedness is best modeled via frequency dependent selection!

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    $\begingroup$ I was just about to whip up an excel spreadsheet to show how this would work. I was thinking there might be some resource available which improved fitness to those with the gene, but at higher frequency numbers the resource is spread too thin and becomes less beneficial. There is a cost to the gene as well which tends to decrease its frequency absent benefit of the resource. This would produce a sinusoidal distribution over time which you could center on 5%. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 28 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ Are there similar examples observed in human evolution? $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Mar 1 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ @LordoftheLarks Yes! Updated answer with Human examples. $\endgroup$ – Jason H Mar 1 at 10:16
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Well there are a few ways this can be achieved.

They may have worse health overall. I don't know what sort of magic your users have access to, but maybe they're more susceptable to diseases or just live shorter than magicless humans.

Another angle could be to give them lower fertility that magicless humans.

The magicless humans keep the population down. It's not hard to figure out that a guy who has access to magic might be a serious problem for you if he or she decides he or she doesn't like you. The solution? Ensure that there aren't enough of them to be a threat to you.

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You could require a combination of genetic and environmental influences in order for a child to develop the ability to use magic. Children born with the right set of genes, but in the wrong environment, are "carriers" -- they won't be magic-users themselves, but their own children could be.

If the environmental influences that trigger development are random and rare -- born under the right phase of all three moons, perhaps -- and the genes are harmless in the absence of those influences, this will keep the population of magic-users low and stable. The genes could still be selected for or against: if people actively want a chance at having magical children, for instance, they will preferentially pair with active magic-users and their near relatives.

On the other hand, if the environmental influences are predictable -- every child conceived within the enchanted forest, perhaps -- and the genes are harmful in their absence, this will trigger speciating selection, and in a few hundred years you'll have Homo sapiens mundanensis living on the plains and Homo sapiens arcanus in the forest (or, in traditional high fantasy terms, humans and elves ;-) (please excuse the dog-Latin).

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Borrowing ideas from chinese manwas: (immortal = magic user)

  • the "immortals" are usually extremely competitive and spend all their time killing each other + each other's offspring
  • for an immortal, all other immortals are a danger
  • for low-level immortals, killing each other to steal their artifacts / magic powers is common. They are also bullied by higher level immortals, for the same reasons
  • having a family is usually a liability = hostages, so hard to have kids
  • They also hold long grudges and vendettas between families

That brings a very unhealthy natural selection were having the "magic" gene actually put you in a lot of trouble.

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I think you are missing something important here.

Humans, as compared to any other living thing on earth, actively and consciously choose whether or not to have offspring.
We can see today in the richest countries that the population is on the decline. all "western" countries would loose population were it not for immigration.

In general, it can be said that the more educated a woman is, the fewer offspring she will have (women are more important than men here)
I guess it's fairly safe to assume that your magic-wielders are comparably well-educated. It also seems safe to assume that they know about contraception (and abortion).

That said, the most likely reason for them not to out-populate the non-magic people is that they choose not to spend so much time and so many resources on child-rearing.

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  • $\begingroup$ This would make sense in a modern world. But how would it work in an earlier time when the human race was still evolving? $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @LordoftheLarks The human race hasn't stopped evolving yet, so i guess the same mechanics apply? $\endgroup$ – Burki Feb 28 at 15:38
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All the previous answers ignore one obvious reason: the dominant religion thinks that magic is sinful, and hunts and kills* those whom it suspects of being magic users. Of course, as with the historic Christian persecution of witches, many of those executed aren't really magic users, while a lot of real magic users manage to successfully hide themselves - which gives you the opportunity for a lot of sub-plots.

*Though of course this is arguably still natural selection at work.

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  • $\begingroup$ I wanted more of a 'natural' natural selection that did not involve human interference. $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 13:23
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That assumes that having superpowers actually makes you more likely to find a mate and produce viable offspring. If there's a substantial likelihood that anyone who has magic will make an entry into the Darwin Awards with ill-advised experimentation with their powers, or demons thinking that magicians are tasty the odds of a non-magical person getting grandchildren may actually be better.

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  • $\begingroup$ If the magic trait was a disadvantage, wouldn't it just die out? $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ Bah. There are plenty of somewhat disadvantageous traits that don't entirely die out in the population. Particularly when they also carry some advantages and/or are recessive traits. $\endgroup$ – David Johnston Feb 28 at 16:50
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Disadvantageous Selective Breeding

Inbreeding: Look at Harry Potter and their "pure bloods". Mages are only allowed to breed with full blooded mages. Or, possibly, can only breed with full blooded mages. This leads to a rather small gene pool that will tend to stagnate.

Cultural selection: Magic is only allowed to be practiced by the church (or other organization). Men must become monks and women become nuns (or maybe men's guild and women's guild). The reason can be anything that isolates the male mages from the female mages. This would lead to only the occasional mage popping up from the recessive gene(s) for magic.

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  • $\begingroup$ I want them to be ingrained in society and not remain as a particular sect. Sorry I did not mention it earlier! $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 13:29
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Perhaps the government of the society sacrifices some of them every so often in order to win the favor of the entities they serve/believe in.

"Oh, but your Godliness, we've brought you a new kind of sacrifice; this one can pull quarters from behind your ears!"

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  • $\begingroup$ That's a thought! :P But a mage unable to get out of situations like that seems like a pretty useless one. Also I was hoping both parts of the population - magic and non-magic users would get along with each other to an extent. $\endgroup$ – Lord of the Larks Feb 28 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, well sacrificing mages is probably a bad way to make friends with them :P $\endgroup$ – user45266 Feb 28 at 18:11

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