Author Topic: Opinions Wanted  (Read 10193 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2009, 06:34:50 pm »
At lunch today a co-worker and I were talking and somehow the subject of homosexuality came up, and I made the grave mistake of saying what I really thought about the subject.

I commented, rather off-handedly and probably altogether too casually, that I believed that homosexual behaviour was, scientifically speaking, a genetic mistake.

The co-worker went quickly ballistic.  Red faced, stuttering, apparently barely able to contain the urge to strike me.

Noticing this display I quickly added that I personally saw nothing wrong with homosexual behaviour, and that people should be able to fuck whoever they want (within obvious reason), but the co-worker was having none of it.

She blurted out "You're the last person I would have thought to be a homophobe", which both shocked and dismayed me.  Obviously my opinion on the scientific validity of homosexuality is not a popular one, but to be labeled a 'homophobe' should one not be against the practice of homosexuality?  I am honestly not, I don't care what others do sexually, and think men and men and women and women are fine... I just happen to believe that there is no genetic benefit to the practice, and therefor is probably a mistake in nature.

So, opinions... clearly I talk too much, and don't think enough about what I say before I speak, but am I a homophobe?

I don't think so.  I mean, it's clear that *I* am a genetic mistake, and you don't seem to hold it against me.  You certainly haven't tried to prevent me from having sex.  This may have been a grave error on your part, as I have managed to propagate that error not once but twice.

But you're wrong on one count.  Homosexuality is a survival trait in an overcrowded biome, when survival at the tribal level (or above) is considered.  It adds workers (hunters, etc), without adding additional mouths later.  Homosexuality (and, incidentally, insanity) also increases in frequency with population crowding, as demonstrated by the generic adaptative syndrome work done way back in the 50s (When we studied it in rats...Now you can walk out your front door and study it in humans).



It's a possibility, though the study was not conclusive. Another study indicated that when women had periods of High Stress, they had less male hormones in their body and the ration of homosexual males from those women were greater. This COULD be evidence of a safety valve. It could also be evidence of a genetic error, or a suboptimal womb for a male to develop in.

At best we have correlation on these studies, we have yet to really hit on causation.


EDIT: Also, most instances of General Adaptive Syndrome are considered negative. The rat studies from the 1930's supported the idea that homosexual behavior was a pathology, because they saw it as caused by stress etc. It was not supportive of the position that the Rats necessarily were doing what was best for the survival of the group, but possibly best for their personal survival in their social position... noting that the rats low on the social order tended to have more illness due to stress and were mostly homosexual (he claimed, due to this same stress). (Ian McHarg)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 06:43:35 pm by Doctor Rat Bastard »
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Vaudeville Vigilante

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2009, 06:47:33 pm »
I agree with that statement about adding workers without adding mouths.  I'm not sure that the inability to procreate (in a homosexual relationship) should be classified as a mistake.  In this day and age, I'd consider it an advantage.  If humans continue to procreate at the rate we are now indefinitely, it will arguably hasten our extinction.  From that angle, the increasing frequency of homosexuality could be seen as a positive adaptive development.

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2009, 06:49:51 pm »
I agree with that statement about adding workers without adding mouths.  I'm not sure that the inability to procreate (in a homosexual relationship) should be classified as a mistake.  In this day and age, I'd consider it an advantage.  If humans continue to procreate at the rate we are now indefinitely, it will arguably hasten our extinction.  From that angle, the increasing frequency of homosexuality could be seen as a positive adaptive development.

So, same as serial killers, then?

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2009, 06:52:05 pm »
I agree with that statement about adding workers without adding mouths.  I'm not sure that the inability to procreate (in a homosexual relationship) should be classified as a mistake.  In this day and age, I'd consider it an advantage.  If humans continue to procreate at the rate we are now indefinitely, it will arguably hasten our extinction.  From that angle, the increasing frequency of homosexuality could be seen as a positive adaptive development.
There are three domains you're conflating - the genetic, the individual and the communal. An advantage or disadvantage in one domain does not necessarily confer the same to another domain.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2009, 06:58:06 pm »
Ah and I found the New Scientist article I recalled from my last forray into this topic:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13674-evolution-myths-natural-selection-cannot-explain-homosexuality.html

It discusses examples of behavior among macaques and among humans (including the benevolent Uncle theory). It also discusses health options and the bi-sexual possibility... noting that in societies where homosexual behavior was acceptable, it was often not exclusive... which also seems to be a common observation among animals.


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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2009, 07:02:20 pm »
I always liked Aurthur C. Clarke's take on it in "Songs of a Distant Earth", where he mentioned that most folks are at least a bit predisposed towards bisexuality, regardless of what acts they do or don't during their lives.
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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2009, 07:14:07 pm »
I am in agreement with TGRR... actually, we've discussed this in the past. I think it is a tribal survival mechanism... a trait that we are all capable of to some degree, activated by environmental factors. When populations are low, it's useless, so there are few homosexuals. When populations are high, it becomes advantageous.
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Vaudeville Vigilante

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2009, 07:35:19 pm »
So, same as serial killers, then?
Quote from: FP
There are three domains you're conflating - the genetic, the individual and the communal. An advantage or disadvantage in one domain does not necessarily confer the same to another domain.
I was speaking purely from a genetic standpoint, if we were to accept the hypothesis that it is genetically based.  I'm not entirely sure, but from the research I've come across, evidence is suggestive that it is genetic.  I'm not sure I have any reason to believe serial killers are genetically determined, but then again, a genetically predisposed homosexual may experience enough anti-homosexual conditioning to live a heterosexual lifestyle... I think Penn & Teller covered this once, and also see: But I'm a Cheerleader, or google: "Ex-gay"

Individually, I have no doubt homosexual intercourse is as positive as heterosexual, assuming we're talking about consensual adult relations.
For most people I know, gay or otherwise, the  main function of sex on the individual level is for pleasure, not for procreation.  

I'd guess that communal implications would be somewhat circumstantial.  Exclusivity is a factor, as noted by that article above, but I was suggesting that statistically gays may be less likely to procreate, more likely to adopt (less costly), and with enough increase in its occurence, could potentially offset problems associated with high population density within a larger community.  I'm not sure if homosexuality is actually more common today, or gays have just become more vocal, but I seem to knowingly encounter more of them today than I recall ten or fifteen years ago.  

Maybe I'm speaking a bit too far off the cuff.  I thought I'd offer a different slant on the op, but if you're suggesting that there is insufficient evidence to consider it either a genetic mistake or benefit conclusively, I do not disagree.  I simply agree with TGRR/TRRN that it may offer advantages; in which case, it would be that much more difficult to call it a mistake.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 07:37:20 pm by Vaudeville Vigilante »

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2009, 07:38:59 pm »
ARE THERE ANY QUEERS IN THE AUDIENCE TONIGHT!?
                                     \

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2009, 07:41:10 pm »
"theatre"

...Just sayin
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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2009, 07:43:07 pm »
...dammit...



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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2009, 07:48:40 pm »
To be fair the movie version did say "audience" but you aint gonna side with Geldoff now are you?
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2009, 07:49:16 pm »
So, same as serial killers, then?
Quote from: FP
There are three domains you're conflating - the genetic, the individual and the communal. An advantage or disadvantage in one domain does not necessarily confer the same to another domain.
I was speaking purely from a genetic standpoint, if we were to accept the hypothesis that it is genetically based.  I'm not entirely sure, but from the research I've come across, evidence is suggestive that it is genetic.  I'm not sure I have any reason to believe serial killers are genetically determined, but then again, a genetically predisposed homosexual may experience enough anti-homosexual conditioning to live a heterosexual lifestyle... I think Penn & Teller covered this once, and also see: But I'm a Cheerleader, or google: "Ex-gay"

Individually, I have no doubt homosexual intercourse is as positive as heterosexual, assuming we're talking about consensual adult relations.
For most people I know, gay or otherwise, the  main function of sex on the individual level is for pleasure, not for procreation.  

I'd guess that communal implications would be somewhat circumstantial.  Exclusivity is a factor, as noted by that article above, but I was suggesting that statistically gays may be less likely to procreate, more likely to adopt (less costly), and with enough increase in its occurence, could potentially offset problems associated with high population density within a larger community.  I'm not sure if homosexuality is actually more common today, or gays have just become more vocal, but I seem to knowingly encounter more of them today than I recall ten or fifteen years ago.  

Maybe I'm speaking a bit too far off the cuff.  I thought I'd offer a different slant on the op, but if you're suggesting that there is insufficient evidence to consider it either a genetic mistake or benefit conclusively, I do not disagree.  I simply agree with TGRR/TRRN that it may offer advantages; in which case, it would be that much more difficult to call it a mistake.

I agree... there MAY be advantages.... Or, it may be a result of the Mother's stress levels and have little to do with actual advantage. Or it may be that we're all (or most but not all) bi-sexual and any strong preference is influenced as much by social rules and personal experiences (4th Circuit imprint ala Leary).

It could be some wild combination of causes and not any single one of these... the key bit here is that we simply do not know. We do not yet have the evidence, nor do we have strong predictive power with any of our theories (though apparently we can stress Momma rats out enough to make homosexual babies). It seems reasonable to suggest that there may not be a single cause for homosexuality... but rather there may be many causes, some people may  be genetically hardwired, some may have had a mother that was under heavy stress and low on Testosterone, others may have had experiences which strongly imprinted their sexual behavior and still others might choose to have homosexual encounters.

Conclusions are just where you stop thinking ;-)
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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2009, 07:53:31 pm »
So, same as serial killers, then?
Quote from: FP
There are three domains you're conflating - the genetic, the individual and the communal. An advantage or disadvantage in one domain does not necessarily confer the same to another domain.
I was speaking purely from a genetic standpoint, if we were to accept the hypothesis that it is genetically based.  I'm not entirely sure, but from the research I've come across, evidence is suggestive that it is genetic.  I'm not sure I have any reason to believe serial killers are genetically determined, but then again, a genetically predisposed homosexual may experience enough anti-homosexual conditioning to live a heterosexual lifestyle... I think Penn & Teller covered this once, and also see: But I'm a Cheerleader, or google: "Ex-gay"

Individually, I have no doubt homosexual intercourse is as positive as heterosexual, assuming we're talking about consensual adult relations.
For most people I know, gay or otherwise, the  main function of sex on the individual level is for pleasure, not for procreation. 

I'd guess that communal implications would be somewhat circumstantial.  Exclusivity is a factor, as noted by that article above, but I was suggesting that statistically gays may be less likely to procreate, more likely to adopt (less costly), and with enough increase in its occurence, could potentially offset problems associated with high population density within a larger community.  I'm not sure if homosexuality is actually more common today, or gays have just become more vocal, but I seem to knowingly encounter more of them today than I recall ten or fifteen years ago. 

Maybe I'm speaking a bit too far off the cuff.  I thought I'd offer a different slant on the op, but if you're suggesting that there is insufficient evidence to consider it either a genetic mistake or benefit conclusively, I do not disagree.  I simply agree with TGRR/TRRN that it may offer advantages; in which case, it would be that much more difficult to call it a mistake.

I agree... there MAY be advantages.... Or, it may be a result of the Mother's stress levels and have little to do with actual advantage. Or it may be that we're all (or most but not all) bi-sexual and any strong preference is influenced as much by social rules and personal experiences (4th Circuit imprint ala Leary).

It could be some wild combination of causes and not any single one of these... the key bit here is that we simply do not know. We do not yet have the evidence, nor do we have strong predictive power with any of our theories (though apparently we can stress Momma rats out enough to make homosexual babies). It seems reasonable to suggest that there may not be a single cause for homosexuality... but rather there may be many causes, some people may  be genetically hardwired, some may have had a mother that was under heavy stress and low on Testosterone, others may have had experiences which strongly imprinted their sexual behavior and still others might choose to have homosexual encounters.

Conclusions are just where you stop thinking ;-)


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Cramulus

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Re: Opinions Wanted
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2009, 08:06:46 pm »