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Author Topic:   Homosexuality and Natural Selection.
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 211 of 243 (414797)
08-06-2007 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 208 by Taz
08-06-2007 1:59 AM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Taz writes:
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.
Well, couldn't we ask why NS has not provided for a great sex drive in all humans? Obviously, no matter how good a job NS does, some 'undesirable' traits will come through...but if you use your 'gay uncle' idea, wouldn't a low sex drive also be beneficial to the rest of the dependent family?
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.
I don't see how that has to do with what I said.
I don't know also why you make disparaging comments so frequently. I have not been in more than one or two threads about genetics. I know I am not thinking long term enough about evolution, but I can handle a reminder.
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.
If you read what I wrote, you would see that I said 'nothing' would make the trait go away, we don't even know that there IS a gene for it, and since humans have great intelligence and also great susceptibility to environment and psychological factors, there will always be some element of nature/nurture/choice when you look at the whole range of human behaviour.
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...
I don't get it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 1:59 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 215 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 1:51 PM anastasia has replied
 Message 217 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2007 2:04 PM anastasia has replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 212 of 243 (414798)
08-06-2007 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Jaderis
08-06-2007 12:58 AM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Jaderis writes:
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.
Unless we knew of a precedent where change does occur in the fetus without a gene which is responsible. Unfortunately I don't have any kind of knowledge to say yes or no to that one.
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.
Right. Again, I don't know for sure, but I think some genes appear randomly? I also don't know that there has been a link in homosexuality being hereditary or running in families. If you think about it, if the whole 'gay uncle' idea depends on the uncle reproducing in order to pass the gene along, it defeats the purpose altogether, doesn't it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Jaderis, posted 08-06-2007 12:58 AM Jaderis has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by NosyNed, posted 08-06-2007 1:18 PM anastasia has replied
 Message 216 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 1:58 PM anastasia has replied

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


Message 213 of 243 (414801)
08-06-2007 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by anastasia
08-06-2007 12:31 PM


reproduction to pass a gene
If you think about it, if the whole 'gay uncle' idea depends on the uncle reproducing in order to pass the gene along, it defeats the purpose altogether, doesn't it?
No it doesn't.
See Message 205 and Message 207

This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:31 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 1:32 PM NosyNed has not replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 214 of 243 (414803)
08-06-2007 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by NosyNed
08-06-2007 1:18 PM


Re: reproduction to pass a gene
I read your message, but I didn't quite get it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by NosyNed, posted 08-06-2007 1:18 PM NosyNed has not replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 215 of 243 (414806)
08-06-2007 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by anastasia
08-06-2007 12:24 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
anastasia writes:
Well, couldn't we ask why NS has not provided for a great sex drive in all humans?
The answer is simple. NS isn't perfect. People that have low sex drive do reproduce. Look at myself, for example. My sex drive is relatively low. However, when I got married, I did have the thought in mind that I wanted children. If it wasn't for my moral conscience, I'd be breeding out kids right now instead of applying to adopt.
Obviously, no matter how good a job NS does, some 'undesirable' traits will come through...but if you use your 'gay uncle' idea, wouldn't a low sex drive also be beneficial to the rest of the dependent family?
Excuse me? Are you saying a low sex drive is an undesirable trait?
NS is a force that governs what gets passed on. Again, it's not a perfect force. And since there's really no pressure against people with low sex drive, why wouldn't this particular trait gets passed on?
I don't see how that has to do with what I said.
I guess I misread what you said. My apology.
If you read what I wrote, you would see that I said 'nothing' would make the trait go away, we don't even know that there IS a gene for it, and since humans have great intelligence and also great susceptibility to environment and psychological factors, there will always be some element of nature/nurture/choice when you look at the whole range of human behaviour.
Which is exactly why we look at animal behavior to try to categorize what's nature and what's nurture.
You are avoiding what I said before. If a drug and hormonal treatment could effectively make an animal not attracted to other members of its own sex, wouldn't this be an indication that the issue is more biological than choice?
Remember how this came up in the first place. NJ claimed that homosexuality is caused by an overzealous liberal media agenda. How does he, and you, explain the fact that we find homosexual animal throughout the animal kingdom, particularly warm blooded animal? How does he, and you, explain the fact that these animal can be "cured" of their homosexuality through drug treatments?
I don't get it.
The experiment that I suggested would prove once and for all if NS work or not. We introduce a selective pressure against those that are religious. We only allow the non-religious to breed while sterilizing the religious as well as isolating them from the rest of the population. If after 100 generations or so the majority of the population is still religious, then NS is disproven. If, on the other hand, only a handfull of religious people are left, then we can say that NS does work. Catch my drift?

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 211 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:24 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 2:20 PM Taz has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 216 of 243 (414807)
08-06-2007 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by anastasia
08-06-2007 12:31 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
anastasia writes:
If you think about it, if the whole 'gay uncle' idea depends on the uncle reproducing in order to pass the gene along, it defeats the purpose altogether, doesn't it?
See, it's statements like this that tell me you have an agenda behind your "openmindedness". I've been repeating myself and you've been completely ignoring what I've been repeating all this time.
Let me try again. The "gay uncle" doesn't need to reproduce in order for the "gay gene" (if it exists) to be passed on. All there need to be is a family gene that every once in a while would produce a gay member of the family.
Look at male pattern baldness, for example. It's passed on by the female members of the family, but only the male members exhibit this trait. Here's an example where the person who has a particular trait isn't necessarily the one to pass the trait on to the next generation.

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 212 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:31 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 2:12 PM Taz has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 143 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 217 of 243 (414810)
08-06-2007 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by anastasia
08-06-2007 12:24 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Well, couldn't we ask why NS has not provided for a great sex drive in all humans?
The reason this is not so is because banging out as many offspring as possible is not necessarily the most advantageous way of passing on ones genes.
The human brain takes a long time to develop and relies on a great deal of parental resource and nurturing to reach full maturity.
As a species we have gone down the 'large investment in fewer offspring' route as opposed to the 'whack out as many sprogs as possible and let them fend for themselves and take their chances' approach.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 12:24 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 2:23 PM Straggler has replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 218 of 243 (414813)
08-06-2007 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by Taz
08-06-2007 1:58 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Taz writes:
See, it's statements like this that tell me you have an agenda behind your "openmindedness". I've been repeating myself and you've been completely ignoring what I've been repeating all this time.
Let me try again. The "gay uncle" doesn't need to reproduce in order for the "gay gene" (if it exists) to be passed on. All there need to be is a family gene that every once in a while would produce a gay member of the family.
Well, maybe you can tell me what my agenda is?
I didn't say the gay uncle needs to reproduce, I was responding to Jaderis whom I thought was speculating about that, and you may notice I was saying 'no, I don't believe that need be'.
Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 1:58 PM Taz has not replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 219 of 243 (414814)
08-06-2007 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by Taz
08-06-2007 1:51 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Taz writes:
You are avoiding what I said before. If a drug and hormonal treatment could effectively make an animal not attracted to other members of its own sex, wouldn't this be an indication that the issue is more biological than choice?
Sure, but it doesn't mean that someone couldn't still choose to do whatever they wanted.
The experiment that I suggested would prove once and for all if NS work or not. We introduce a selective pressure against those that are religious. We only allow the non-religious to breed while sterilizing the religious as well as isolating them from the rest of the population. If after 100 generations or so the majority of the population is still religious, then NS is disproven. If, on the other hand, only a handfull of religious people are left, then we can say that NS does work. Catch my drift?
Not really, unless you can prove that people can't choose to be religious.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 1:51 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 2:51 PM anastasia has replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 220 of 243 (414816)
08-06-2007 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 217 by Straggler
08-06-2007 2:04 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Straggler writes:
The reason this is not so is because banging out as many offspring as possible is not necessarily the most advantageous way of passing on ones genes.
I understand perfectly. I was just pointing out that any trait which could limit offspring would conceivably have to go into the same category. At the same time, you have people who might say that fecundity is selected for.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 217 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2007 2:04 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 222 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2007 2:53 PM anastasia has not replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3369 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 221 of 243 (414821)
08-06-2007 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 219 by anastasia
08-06-2007 2:20 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
anastasia writes:
Sure, but it doesn't mean that someone couldn't still choose to do whatever they wanted.
Oh, sure, and if you go back and read my messages in this thread in the past, I clearly said many times that it can be a choice and that there shouldn't be anything wrong with it being a choice. I even said that I might decide to become gay tomorrow.
But let's not forget the real topic of this thread. Homosexuality and Natural Selection. We are discussing about possibilities for homosexuality being biological rather than just choice, which you and NJ have been trying to implicate. Sure, it can be a choice. But the evidence clearly shows that it's definitely biological in a lot of cases.
You want me to tell you what I think your agenda is? First, NJ tried to say that homosexuality is purely a matter of choice and that people are gay because of the liberal media agenda. I pointed out that if that was the case, we wouldn't find gay animal in so many animal species. Beside that, we wouldn't be able to "cure" these animal of their homosexuality. Then you came in and keep repeating that it "can be a choice". Of course it can be a choice, I said, but the evidence clearly point to biological factors. Sure, I can dye my hair red, but the evidence clearly suggest that some people are born with red hair.
But none of that is important to you, since you keep ignoring what I said about the biological factor. You keep repeating that "it can be a choice". Now, just look at how silly your words are if you said this same sentence to red hair.
A:
Some people are born with red hair. We can even locate the specific gene that causes red hair. Yes, I can decide to dye my hair red, but the evidence clearly show that some people are born with red hair so clearly it is a biological trait.
B:
But it can be a choice
Take a step back for a moment and see how that sound. I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like person B has something against red hair and is just trying desperately to imply that it's purely a matter of choice (as if there's something wrong with it being a choice) by saying over and over "but it can be a choice" even though this thread is about the biological trait (or lack thereof).
That's my guess on your agenda. NJ's agenda is all too obvious. But yours is a lot less obvious. If what my guess of your agenda is not correct, mind sharing it with the rest of us? Otherwise, why are you ignoring my comments on the biological factor of homosexuality?
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 219 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 2:20 PM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 223 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 4:07 PM Taz has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 143 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 222 of 243 (414822)
08-06-2007 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by anastasia
08-06-2007 2:23 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
I had to look up the meaning of fecundity.
I have therefore learnt a new word today.
I think it would be hard to argue that in a species like ours that relies on intelligence and learning, things that take time and nurturing to develop, fecundity would be more advantageous than the parental investment route.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by anastasia, posted 08-06-2007 2:23 PM anastasia has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 224 by Wounded King, posted 08-06-2007 5:54 PM Straggler has replied

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 6030 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 223 of 243 (414846)
08-06-2007 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by Taz
08-06-2007 2:51 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Taz writes:
That's my guess on your agenda. NJ's agenda is all too obvious. But yours is a lot less obvious. If what my guess of your agenda is not correct, mind sharing it with the rest of us? Otherwise, why are you ignoring my comments on the biological factor of homosexuality?
I can't tell you anything about my agenda, because I don't have one.
I don't see how I ignored any biological factors, when most of my posts were talking about how biological factors could escape the attention of NS. And please, don't bother reminding me that NS has no brain or no attention span.
Even if I did think homosexuality was purely choice, I don't see how that would be an agenda and not an uninformed observation. In actuality, I mentioned choice mostly in relation to reproduction, because I didn't see how a gene would be passed on which presumably 'knew' a person would not reproduce, and would therefore be a better helper for the extended family. That was my silliness, and I get into those traps often.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by Taz, posted 08-06-2007 2:51 PM Taz has not replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 224 of 243 (414862)
08-06-2007 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by Straggler
08-06-2007 2:53 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
I think it would be hard to argue that in a species like ours that relies on intelligence and learning, things that take time and nurturing to develop, fecundity would be more advantageous than the parental investment route.
I don't think that would be hard to argue at all. We now have a much more controlled environment in the western world today than at any time in previous history. Modern medical advances have made our infant mortality rates dramatically lower than those of the previous century.
The trade off between R, high fecundity, and K, lower fecundity higher parental investment, strategies can be seen all the way through the organismal spectrum even in a highly K species such as humans. In situations were environmental factors have a large detrimental effect on infant mortality rates an R type strategy can be more advantageous, especially in an agrarian setting where from early adolescence, or possibly before, a child can be a productive member of a family aiding the communal effort for survival rather than being the drain on parental resources that children are so often viewed as in our urban oriented modern world.
These sorts of changes have progressed radically in the western world in the last couple of centuries. It is certainly reasonable to frame evolutionary explanations of a phenomenon in terms of the conditions which have prevailed more extensively.
Humans are a K type species, but there are certainly a number of environmental conditions where a more R like high fecundity strategy could be advantageous.
TTFN,
WK
Edited by Wounded King, : Because I don't bother to proof read any of my posts and consequently write stupid things.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2007 2:53 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 225 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2007 6:37 PM Wounded King has replied
 Message 226 by Omnivorous, posted 08-06-2007 6:58 PM Wounded King has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 143 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 225 of 243 (414868)
08-06-2007 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by Wounded King
08-06-2007 5:54 PM


Re: Arguments from science, not emotion
Fair enough.
You sound like you know what you are talking about and I have no real reason to take issue with your argument which sounds reasonable enough.
So it would seem Ana had a valid point after all.
I was doing nothing more than applying what seemed like common sense to the situation.
As I am constantly telling people here at EvC, if nature worked by the principles of common sense alone we would barely need science at all anyway.
So I should listen to my own advice in future....
So where does the issue of fecundity lead us regards homosexuality and natural selection?
If what you say about fecundity is true what conclusions can we draw about the naturalness or otherwise of homosexuality?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by Wounded King, posted 08-06-2007 5:54 PM Wounded King has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 229 by Wounded King, posted 08-06-2007 8:26 PM Straggler has not replied

  
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