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Author Topic:   Homosexuality and Natural Selection.
Taz
Member (Idle past 3373 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 196 of 243 (414730)
08-05-2007 10:47 PM
Reply to: Message 194 by anastasia
08-05-2007 10:22 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
anastasia writes:
Anyway, just curious, but is it possible that NS just over-looks homosexuality?
Overlooks? Read this post by moi to mod. It explains why those of us who are frustrated with NJ are frustrated with NJ.
I mean, is sex drive the same thing as 'desire to reproduce'?
Personally, I don't think they are the same thing. Sure, sex drive does more often than not bring about offsprings. But we do observe male animal who are isolated in zoos masturbate themselves and each other. There was one particular study I read some time ago describing how male cats would masturbate themselves and each other in cases where female cats are not accessible. Are these cats stupid enough to think that masturbation would bring about offsprings or are they just satisfying a seperate urge that happens to come hand in hand with their desire to reproduce?
If an organism has one, it may be presumed to have the other, but I don't think animals have any actual desire for parenting.
Says you. Gay penguins both in the wild and in zoos have been observed to be very optimistic when given an egg to care for. Particularly in South America, there are certain species of ducks with homosexual couples that would actually chase away mother ducks and steal their eggs and then nurse the ducklings when they hatch.
But forget the homosexual factor. You should watch March of the Penguins. In it, the film showed several instances where parent penguins who lost their eggs to the ice below their feet or their young to the weather would try to steal other penguins' eggs or young.
So, clearly, the evidence seem to point to some sort of desire to parent even if the offspring ain't their flesh and blood.
If there is no gay-specific gene, then selection will be clueless about how a person's sex drive will be utilised?
You are making the same mistake/argument that christian fundamentalists often make. We are not just talking about gay gene or genes. We are talking about biological reasons for behaviors that we would classify as homosexual behaviors. We don't know what the biological reasons are. What we do know is that scientists have observed homosexual behaviors throughout the animal kingdom and some have even found experimental procedures (hormonal and drug treatments) that would "cure" these gay animal. So, clearly, it appears to us that one's sexuality seems to be more biological than not.
But directly answering your question, how so? I just told you that some studies have indicated that at least among primates the families with those gay uncles have healthier offsprings than others. Why? Because the gay uncles would actually help their sisters to raise the children, who by the way are carrying the family genes. If these children have better chances of survival and healthy upbringings than the children without gay uncles, how is this not a selection for the family genes that would every once in a while produce a gay member?
Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : Changed whether to weather. And I tell people English is my native language...

Disclaimer:
Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.
He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by anastasia, posted 08-05-2007 10:22 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 199 by anastasia, posted 08-05-2007 11:39 PM Taz has replied

  
pelican
Member (Idle past 5067 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 197 of 243 (414735)
08-05-2007 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 195 by Taz
08-05-2007 10:26 PM


Re: who is trying to control who?
I think being a religious person and a person in a homosexual relationship are two different things not to be compared. I don't see the points made in the discussion as in error, as most are assumptions and opinions anyway. It is the implications of such a discussion that I refer to. The actual content is neither here nor there but the impersonal implications have an effect of de-humanisation.
I have a strong inbuilt sense of it because I have experienced inequality through de-humanising concepts. I wasn't born here. I am English and have been around since the industrial revolution. I have experienced many great changes and now it's time for the mentality to catch up.
By all means entertain yourself but use your intellect to look also at the possible consequences of the thought energy you are putting out there. We have a responsibilty to clear our minds of separatists views. The scenerio over gay marriage bans is the extreme of non acceptance and I find it most upsetting, yes.
I felt the same with the anti-abortionist killings. Dreadful.
I see it this way, the guilty (gay bashers) point the finger at the innocent (gays) and the jury (this forum) goes along with the pointy fingers trying to prove the innocent innocent, and the judge (admin) throws out any evidence (me) to the contrary. It is back to front.

This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 198 of 243 (414736)
08-05-2007 11:25 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by Taz
08-05-2007 10:12 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Evolution and Natural Selection does not necessarily mean the pumping out of as many offspring as you possibly can. Having a gay uncle helping to raise you up does have its advantages. I am reminded of the grandmother hypothesis.
Why would evolution need a "gay uncle" when there are countless women to do that already in a communal situation, which is part of the description for early hominid life?
Past studies have shown, particularly in apes, that having a gay uncle does give a baby ape better chances of a safe childhood as well as a healthy upbringing.
The study of "gay uncle apes?"
I just have one question: Why is it that I can't make arguments about moral relativity about beastiality, because, "animal sexuality is just too different from humans," but you get to compare ape sexuality to a humans whenever you think it might suit you?
Alright, make it two questions: Secondly, does this change the dynamic of what I already claimed-- that on an individual basis, homosexuals would be evolutions cannon fodder?
Even though noone has been able to find any single "gay gene" yet, just the mere fact that animal can be "cured" of their homosexuality via experimental procedures should be at least a small clue that it CAN be not a choice.
No.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt

This message is a reply to:
 Message 192 by Taz, posted 08-05-2007 10:12 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
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anastasia
Member (Idle past 6034 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 199 of 243 (414738)
08-05-2007 11:39 PM
Reply to: Message 196 by Taz
08-05-2007 10:47 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Tazmanian Devil writes:
Overlooks? Read this post by moi to mod. It explains why those of us who are frustrated with NJ are frustrated with NJ.
I didn't read the entire thread, so yeah, I was taking a stab at the gist of the argument.
Personally, I don't think they are the same thing.
Yes, I know sex drive exists on its own. Genetically, though, are there different 'genes' os something which control them, or is there just a sex-drive gene that 'gets lucky'?
Says you.
I don't think I articulated the question quite right. I think what I am saying is that humans are the only species that can 'choose' whether to parent or not to parent, regardless of 'desire' to parent, and based on externals like finance, age, etc. If both sex drive, and parenting desire are present in homosexuals, NS would not care if the person CHOSE not to parent.
But directly answering your question, how so? I just told you that some studies have indicated that at least among primates the families with those gay uncles have healthier offsprings than others. Why? Because the gay uncles would actually help their sisters to raise the children, who by the way are carrying the family genes. If these children have better chances of survival and healthy upbringings than the children without gay uncles, how is this not a selection for the family genes that would every once in a while produce a gay member?
Well, it could be, but it makes evolution sound too smart.
For a long time gay people got married to an opposite sex partner because it was 'normal', and nowadays gay people have committed same sex relationships complete with children and responsibilities. Although your scenerio is possible, it is like a hop, skip and a jump from saying evolution 'knows' the gay person has a sister or brother, that they have offspring, or that the person is not themselves committed elsewhere.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Taz, posted 08-05-2007 10:47 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 204 by Jaderis, posted 08-06-2007 12:58 AM anastasia has replied
 Message 208 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 1:59 AM anastasia has replied

  
pelican
Member (Idle past 5067 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 200 of 243 (414739)
08-05-2007 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 193 by anastasia
08-05-2007 10:15 PM


science v experience
It is my experience that we are all, without exception, a product of our whole life experiences to this moment. We are an evolving species and there are no rules in which we evolve into the human roles we play.
I used to believe homosexuality was inbred because a cousin of mine was very effeminate and gay. This was a long time ago. His father dis-owned him as defective. Very sad. However, many male hetrosexuals are effeminate and also many female hetros are masculine. It really has nothing to do with it so I changed my mind. I have many more experiences to draw on in my life and there is nothing as yet to discredit the 1st statement I made. It really is a case of, 'there but for the grace of god go I'.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 193 by anastasia, posted 08-05-2007 10:15 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:10 AM pelican has replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1548 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 201 of 243 (414741)
08-05-2007 11:56 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Hyroglyphx
08-05-2007 11:25 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Why is it that I can't make arguments about moral relativity about beastiality, because, "animal sexuality is just too different from humans," but you get to compare ape sexuality to a humans whenever you think it might suit you?
Because he's not doing it to be an asshole, and also - it's not the same comparison at all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-05-2007 11:25 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6034 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 202 of 243 (414743)
08-06-2007 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 200 by pelican
08-05-2007 11:45 PM


Re: science v experience
I am not trying to discredit your statement or change your experiences and views. I am just trying to get you to understand that yes, while we could all probably be doing something more productive with our time and energy, discussion boards are popular, EvC is one of the best, if not the best I have seen, and the dispassionate analysis of pretty much ANYTHING is perfectly licit here.
If you are very concerned with life experiences, just remember that many people are learning more here than they may have ever known before.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by pelican, posted 08-05-2007 11:45 PM pelican has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by pelican, posted 08-06-2007 2:48 AM anastasia has not replied

  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 2574 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 203 of 243 (414746)
08-06-2007 12:21 AM
Reply to: Message 190 by Taz
08-05-2007 9:19 PM


You misunderstand me
I'm not saying we should make the decision based on whether or not homosexuality is a choice. We shouldn't. Even if we could prove definitively that homosexuality was purely by choice - we should still not have laws governing it.
What I am saying, though, is that when the Fundies talk about homosexuality, like when they talk about Evolution, they simply don't have the facts on their side.
Their main argument is that "homosexuality is sinful". Well, here's science blasting yet another gapping hole in their swiss cheese of an argument

This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by Taz, posted 08-05-2007 9:19 PM Taz has not replied

  
Jaderis
Member (Idle past 3506 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 204 of 243 (414750)
08-06-2007 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 199 by anastasia
08-05-2007 11:39 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
I don't think I articulated the question quite right. I think what I am saying is that humans are the only species that can 'choose' whether to parent or not to parent, regardless of 'desire' to parent, and based on externals like finance, age, etc. If both sex drive, and parenting desire are present in homosexuals, NS would not care if the person CHOSE not to parent.
That's an interesting way to look at it.
I'm more convinced that homosexuality is caused more by both maternal and fetal hormone levels, but an argument could still be made that in the case of fetal hormones a gene or genes would be responsible for the hormone levels.
Anyway, back to your point. No matter how you put it, NOT reproducing means that your unique genes are not passed on. That said, the arguments put forth in this thread speak to the possibility of the genes (if any) for homosexuality being familially attached to other genes, such a gene (if any) for female fecundity, that would aid in the passage of the familial genes to the next generation.
Of course, homosexuals reproduce all the time and have probably done so throughout history so the passing of individual genes is not actually a problem. The "gay uncle" scenario would only be significant if homosexuals could not/did not reproduce or in the cases we see in non-human animals making exclusively homosexual pair bonds.
In light of this, your idea makes a lot of sense. The mechanism of natural selection does not have forethought and couldn't act on the future choices of an individual. The gene (if any) would only drop out of the population if no homosexual ever reproduced again, provided that it is not a "rider" on another gene or recessive.
I know I went all over the place with this. I'm still pondering it.

"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental aberration." -The Iron Heel by Jack London

This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by anastasia, posted 08-05-2007 11:39 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 205 by NosyNed, posted 08-06-2007 1:26 AM Jaderis has replied
 Message 212 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:31 PM Jaderis has not replied

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 205 of 243 (414752)
08-06-2007 1:26 AM
Reply to: Message 204 by Jaderis
08-06-2007 12:58 AM


The forgotten X Y
It is easy to forget that there are X and Y chromosomes. There can be, apparently, selective pressures on these that are in competition to a degree.
For example, there may be an X gene that produces greater female fecundity (I don't know but it seems it could arise and if it positive selection on this seems likely). If this also slightly increased the chances of males carrying that gene on their X being homosexual then, as discussed upthread, there might be a negative selection on it. However, we now have an obvious numbers game. What is the net selection on that gene?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Jaderis, posted 08-06-2007 12:58 AM Jaderis has replied

Replies to this message:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 3373 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 206 of 243 (414753)
08-06-2007 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 198 by Hyroglyphx
08-05-2007 11:25 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
NJ writes:
Why would evolution need a "gay uncle" when there are countless women to do that already in a communal situation, which is part of the description for early hominid life?
Honestly, i've seen some pretty stupid questions in my life, but the fact that this is coming from you tops them all.
There's no "need" of anything. Evolution, or natural selection, favors what works. Communal raising of children works. Having a gay uncle also works. It's like asking why there's PC when we already have MAC. They both work so they both get selected for.
I just have one question: Why is it that I can't make arguments about moral relativity about beastiality, because, "animal sexuality is just too different from humans," but you get to compare ape sexuality to a humans whenever you think it might suit you?
(1) Whenever you bring up animal and rape as an argument, it's always when we are talking about the morality of homosexuality. You keep comparing gay sex to rape.
(2) This is not a morality thread. Look at the title again. Homosexuality and Natural Selection, not Homsexuality IN HUMANS and Natural selection.
(3) I am speaking purely from the perspective of scientific observation. Scientists study fruit flies, mice, rats, and any other animal that might hold clues to human genetics and whatnot. And when the question of the "nature or nurture" in regard to homosexuality, we look to animal to study the biological possibilities.
(4) You've said many times before that you think homosexuality is a choice and that this choice comes about because of the agendas of the liberal media. So, let me ask this question again. Are gay ducks, apes, penquins, cats, donkeys, horses, etc. affected by the liberal media also?
Alright, make it two questions: Secondly, does this change the dynamic of what I already claimed-- that on an individual basis, homosexuals would be evolutions cannon fodder?
Can you rephrase the question? I want to be absolutely clear what you are asking me.
No.
How so? We observe homosexuality in just about every part of the animal kingdom, particularly in mammals. We have devised treatments to "cure" these animal of homosexuality. How are these 2 facts not an indication that homosexuality is biological?
Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : No reason given.

Disclaimer:
Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.
He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-05-2007 11:25 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 230 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-06-2007 8:57 PM Taz has replied

  
Jaderis
Member (Idle past 3506 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 207 of 243 (414755)
08-06-2007 1:53 AM
Reply to: Message 205 by NosyNed
08-06-2007 1:26 AM


Re: The forgotten X Y
It is easy to forget that there are X and Y chromosomes. There can be, apparently, selective pressures on these that are in competition to a degree.
Oh, I haven't forgotten about it. Just didn't mention it
For example, there may be an X gene that produces greater female fecundity (I don't know but it seems it could arise and if it positive selection on this seems likely). If this also slightly increased the chances of males carrying that gene on their X being homosexual then, as discussed upthread, there might be a negative selection on it. However, we now have an obvious numbers game. What is the net selection on that gene?
This "competition" would also apply to genes that are passed down in sets (the "riders" I mentioned. I don't know the proper term for this). Not to throw any kind of positive or negative connotations into the mix, but the gene(s) for homosexuality could come in tandem with other "beneficial" genes. And as ana pointed out, since homosexuals usually have a sex drive and the ability/desire to reproduce the genes may not be selected against (at least not enough to erase them from the population).
In the case of female fecundity, I would have to say that the net gain would be positive overall. I base that on absolutely no evidence, of course, because this is a hypothetical situation, but I think we can safely say that the prevalence of homosexuality and especially of non-reproducing homosexuals is not statistically significant enough to offset the supposed fecundity of their female relatives.
And of course, this is all revolving around gay man. We haven't even really discussed as strong of a hypothetical case for lesbians. I don't think much research is out there, tho. Typical

"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental aberration." -The Iron Heel by Jack London

This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by NosyNed, posted 08-06-2007 1:26 AM NosyNed has not replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3373 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 208 of 243 (414756)
08-06-2007 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 199 by anastasia
08-05-2007 11:39 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
ana writes:
Yes, I know sex drive exists on its own. Genetically, though, are there different 'genes' os something which control them, or is there just a sex-drive gene that 'gets lucky'?
I'm not a geneticist or a sexual behavior biologist... or whatever you call those geeks. What I do know is that a small portion of the male population in the US supposedly have such low sex drive that they don't care much for sex. Some have even claimed that they are not physically attracted to anyone at all.
Take me for example. I can go on for weeks and months without sex. The wife, on the other hand, wouldn't let me get away with it.
I don't think I articulated the question quite right. I think what I am saying is that humans are the only species that can 'choose' whether to parent or not to parent, regardless of 'desire' to parent, and based on externals like finance, age, etc. If both sex drive, and parenting desire are present in homosexuals, NS would not care if the person CHOSE not to parent.
But there are plenty of gay couples that adopt and raise these orphaned children like their own flesh and blood. In fact, a few years ago, a Dutch lesbian couple with their 2 adopted sons came and stayed with us for a few days before moving on to other parts of the States. They read Harry Potter to their sons each night. From what I observed, there was no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the 2 sons were the most important part of their lives.
Well, it could be, but it makes evolution sound too smart.
For a long time gay people got married to an opposite sex partner because it was 'normal', and nowadays gay people have committed same sex relationships complete with children and responsibilities. Although your scenerio is possible, it is like a hop, skip and a jump from saying evolution 'knows' the gay person has a sister or brother, that they have offspring, or that the person is not themselves committed elsewhere.
How can you possibly say such a thing after many of us have tried to explain this to you dozens of times before?
It is as simple as this. The family that has some sort of biological inheritance that every once in a while would produce a homosexual member has a slightly better chance at having healthy offsprings that would not only survive to adulthood but also have better health while growing up than the offsprings of other families. In other words, these children with the gay uncles (at least back in the stone age) had better chances at growing up healthy and breeding out more healthy children.
I was particularly amazed at this sentence that you wrote:
quote:
For a long time gay people got married to an opposite sex partner because it was 'normal', and nowadays gay people have committed same sex relationships complete with children and responsibilities.
I still don't think you fully appreciate the amounts of time that is involved in evolution. What you would call a "long time" is nothing but a microscopic point on a time scale that would go beyond your field of vision.
On the other hand, even if there has been enough time for us to see the effects of sexual selection taking place, what on earth would select against family genes that every once in a while would produce a gay member? Remember that in order for a trait to go away, there has to be some sort of selection against that trait.
In fact, I have suggested in the past that we should experiment with this concept. We only allow non-religious people to breed while sterilizing the religious ones. After, say, 10 generations, we can look at the population and see how many are religious. We then go on and keep this selective pressure up for another hundred generations. See how well religion can last in such an environment...
Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : No reason given.

Disclaimer:
Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.
He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by anastasia, posted 08-05-2007 11:39 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 211 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:24 PM Taz has replied

  
pelican
Member (Idle past 5067 days)
Posts: 781
From: australia
Joined: 05-27-2007


Message 209 of 243 (414761)
08-06-2007 2:48 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by anastasia
08-06-2007 12:10 AM


Re: science v experience
well I guess my statement and views from life experiences was meant to challenge yours. I'm sorry that some feel threatened by a challenge. That is certainly not my intention. I am simply offering a different view to that of the forum. I am not trying to be right. I am not trying to make anyone wrong either. I am different.
The ideas put forward could all possibly be correct. I am saying there is more than one way to skin a cat and if someone could articulate the objective of this discussion then maybe it would benefit us all.
Whilst dispassionate discourse is taking place, it may be causing harm without intention. The responsible adult would at least take this into consideration. It is only my intention to show the possible effects of the discussion from a different perspective.
I know a different view is very difficult to percieve, as it is not recieved objectively. This applies to all of us, but we can try.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:10 AM anastasia has not replied

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 13081
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 210 of 243 (414772)
08-06-2007 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by pelican
08-05-2007 8:46 PM


Re: who is trying to control who?
dameeva writes:
I think if you read my post 162 you would find I am being civil but human too.
You seem to be taking this personally. Are you somehow operating under the misimpression that my original post about civility was addressed to you? It wasn't. It wasn't addressed to anyone. It was a generally addressed statement of concern because I saw the initial signs of increasing incivility in some of the messages. I wasn't singling anyone out.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
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