Staredit Network > Forums > Lite Discussion > Topic: Evolution
Evolution
Jul 5 2016, 11:10 pm
By: Lanthanide  

Jul 5 2016, 11:10 pm Lanthanide Post #1



From http://www.staredit.net/topic/16631/4/#95

Quote from NudeRaider
Quote from Lanthanide
You stated that homosexuality couldn't help the survivability of a species. So I gave you a plausible example of a species where a low level recurring incidence of homosexuality could be more adapted to the environment than a species that didn't have that recurring trait.
So you do think preventing a volatile boom-and-bust is good. And I still say that's a debate for another topic.
"good" is a value judgement. I am not making any value judgement. It is neither good nor bad that any particular species may survive better or worse in its environment.

Once again, I have not said this "prevents" a boom-and-bust cycle.



None.

Jul 6 2016, 12:27 am Sand Wraith Post #2

she*

I'd like to say that I find being alive to be good, as a value judgement.




Jul 6 2016, 12:49 am Zoan Post #3

Math + Physics + StarCraft = Zoan

I would like to hear how preventing a boom-and-bust could be bad. Tell me if I'm wrong, but a boom-and-bust is when a population level explodes and consumes the surround resources at too fast a pace such that the species runs out of resources to survive on before it can be replenished - thus causing the species to experience something like a famine.

So, how could preventing famine be bad?

Edit: Or, maybe 'prevent' is too strong a word. Hinder is what I really mean.



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Jul 6 2016, 1:07 am Lanthanide Post #4



"Good" and "bad" are human value judgements.

Effectively you are saying it is "good" if a species can ameliorate the boom-and-bust cycle, and bad if it cannot.

Do you think it is "good" if the smallpox virus can ameliorate the boom-and-bust cycle? Or would you think it is good if the smallpox virus were to go through pronounced boom-and-bust cycles, so that humans could take advantage of a 'bust' and eliminate the virus?

An extreme example. But when talking about genetic adaptations to an environment, saying some adaptation is good and another adaptation is bad, is misplaced. All you should say is that some adaptation is advantageous to that species, or not.

Or another example, is it good for the bacteria that causes meningitis to evolve genetic resistance to antibiotics so that it can adapt to its environment and survive, or is it bad for it to do that?



None.

Jul 6 2016, 1:51 am CecilSunkure Post #5



What is a value judgment?



None.

Jul 6 2016, 1:57 am Zoan Post #6

Math + Physics + StarCraft = Zoan

Yo dude, you know what I mean by 'good' and 'bad' (I mean why the hell would I be using the moralistic sense of the word 'bad' here?) but fine.

"I would like to hear how hindering a boom-and-bust could be disadvantageous to a species. Tell me if I'm wrong, but a boom-and-bust is when a population level explodes and consumes the surround resources at too fast a pace such that the species runs out of resources to survive on before it can be replenished - thus causing the species to experience something like a famine.

So, how could hindering famine be disadvantageous to a species?"

From here on though I'll probably keep on saying good and bad, cuz it sounds better.



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Jul 6 2016, 4:47 am Lanthanide Post #7



Quote from Zoan
So, how could hindering famine be disadvantageous to a species?"
Beats me, because I'm saying that hindering a famine is advantageous to a species.



None.

Jul 6 2016, 5:40 am Zoan Post #8

Math + Physics + StarCraft = Zoan

Yeah, it sounded like Nude wanted to discuss whether it was or it wasn't



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Jul 6 2016, 5:02 pm CecilSunkure Post #9



I guess we wait for Nude's response?



None.

Jul 6 2016, 6:36 pm NudeRaider Post #10

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Lanthanide
From http://www.staredit.net/topic/16631/4/#95

Quote from NudeRaider
Quote from Lanthanide
You stated that homosexuality couldn't help the survivability of a species. So I gave you a plausible example of a species where a low level recurring incidence of homosexuality could be more adapted to the environment than a species that didn't have that recurring trait.
So you do think preventing a volatile boom-and-bust is good. And I still say that's a debate for another topic.
"good" is a value judgement. I am not making any value judgement. It is neither good nor bad that any particular species may survive better or worse in its environment.

Once again, I have not said this "prevents" a boom-and-bust cycle.
Oh that's where you were coming from. I referred to good/bad for the survival of the species. Whether or not someone regards this survival or extinction or growth/decline as good or bad is another thing.

ITT: A volatile population can better adapt to changing environments. And having a bust kills of all the not-as-well-adapted individuals, making the next population stronger overall. See antibiotics vs. bacteria.




Jul 6 2016, 10:16 pm Lanthanide Post #11



A population that has a longer boom period already has adapted to its environment, that's the whole point.

The nature of the adaptation, in this case we are discussing a recurring low-level incidence of homosexuality in the population, might be surprising. But if the outcome is that the species is better adapted to its environment, then clearly it's advantageous to the species. Many species take many different avenues to adapt to their environments for success; lots of animals have claws, strong muscles, specially adapted appendages, different social instincts and behaviours, and differing levels of intelligence. Homosexuality may be an unexpected adaption that appears strange on the surface, but then many adaptations are, until you investigate further and understand the context of how it helps survivability of the species.

It's quite circular and muddled logic to say that an adaptation that reduces boom-and-bust cycles, is a mal-adapation for that species, because species need boom-and-bust cycles so that they can adapt to their environment to not have as many/as severe boom-and-bust cycles.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Jul 6 2016, 10:21 pm by Lanthanide.



None.

Jul 7 2016, 5:33 am NudeRaider Post #12

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Alright, you convinced me that having part of a population of say, rabbits, not being able to mate may help maintain it a more healthy population. But humans have much longer life cycles and maturing stages AND possess the intelligence not to impregnate every female in their group every year if there's not too much food around anymore. So there won't be a bust and no need for gays to control it.

So if groups with gay animals were actually more successful to the point that it got adapted into the gene pool *, it must've been even before primates evolved and they just kept the trait and passed it on when they evolved to humans. But it's essentially useless today.

So what does that mean for the biology viewpoint that seems to suggest to alter the mind to remove it? Probably not much, since whoever uses that argument surely hasn't put much thought into it and probably just found bible quotes that support their gay-hate. They certainly didn't think about how it could have once been a useful trait.

* By the way that's probably an oversimplification, since as far as I'm aware, there hasn't been a gay-gene identified and nobody is sure if it's actually just genetics or if there's social or even more factors involved.




Jul 7 2016, 7:51 am Lanthanide Post #13



Given that homosexuality is prevalent in many species, yes, it does seem it evolved fairly early on, or alternatively other common traits amongst species which are advantageous for them can as a side effect routinely result in homosexuality developing in a small fraction of the population - but those base traits (when they first evolved) were of such benefit to the fitness of the species that any disadvantage from the homosexuality was outweighed. For a completely hypothetical example, imagine if a species got to choose between 2 eyes with colour vision, with 3% of the population being gay, or having a single monochromatic eye with 0% of the population being gay - it's pretty clear that the improved vision would greatly increase the survivability of the species, even at the slight cost of the 3% homosexuality.

Quote
* By the way that's probably an oversimplification, since as far as I'm aware, there hasn't been a gay-gene identified and nobody is sure if it's actually just genetics or if there's social or even more factors involved.
While there hasn't been any single gene, or even group of genes strongly linked to it, AFAI am aware, there are many developmental/physiological markers that have been identified to be highly correlated with homosexuality. For example, in gay males, the ring finger is often longer or the same length as the index finger on both hands, and in straight males the ring finger is usually shorter. For me, my ring finger is slightly longer than my index finger, so it checks out for me. This is thought (known?) to be determined by the hormones present in the mothers womb during gestation of the fetus. Other similar maternal hormone signals is that for women who have multiple male children, the younger/youngest child is much more likely to be gay than the eldest, thought to be due to the later children having more exposure to testosterone in the womb during the pregnancy, due to the previous male children the mother has given birth too. Similarly in twin studies, if one male twin is gay, there's a 50% chance that the brother will also be gay - a very strong correlation given the usual prevalence in society appearing to be between 3 and 10%. So these aren't strictly genetic signals responsible, but an outcome of the complex process of pregnancy, a process which is of course governed by genetics and core to the very existence of any species.

There's a similar physiological marker for lesbians to the finger one for men, but I can't remember what it is - a quick google will tell you I'm sure. Edit: actually it might be about the certain structures in the brain for lesbians being on average different from straight women - I'm too lazy to Google. Kind of surprising that a difference in the brain would be found in lesbians but not gay men.

Post has been edited 4 time(s), last time on Jul 7 2016, 12:41 pm by Lanthanide.



None.

Jul 8 2016, 9:39 am Sand Wraith Post #14

she*

There's quite an amount of literature on what brain structures are correlated with what self-ID'd gender and sexual orientation. There are some in the collection I have: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14087916/transMedicalStudies.txt You'll have to read through the titles and/or abstracts.

Quote from NudeRaider
So what does that mean for the biology viewpoint that seems to suggest to alter the mind to remove it? Probably not much, since whoever uses that argument surely hasn't put much thought into it and probably just found bible quotes that support their gay-hate. They certainly didn't think about how it could have once been a useful trait.

I don't think it's possible for a biological viewpoint to suggest altering the mind to remove it (or to suggest any action at all). That's a lot of motivation being tacked on to a science based on experimentation and observation. The motivation to "do something about the gays" isn't driven by knowing that it's possible, but by the assumption that it is necessary to do something about LGBTQ people (in order to accomplish moralist/religious/patriarchal/Nazi/arbitrary goal based an falsehoods/who-cares bullshit but this is where homophobia falls apart and shows itself as an irrational mess).

Quote from NudeRaider
So if groups with gay animals were actually more successful to the point that it got adapted into the gene pool *, it must've been even before primates evolved and they just kept the trait and passed it on when they evolved to humans. But it's essentially useless today.

Well, if you want to examine modern use value or labour value: I reckon gay people are likely to adopt to start a family, so socially speaking, it's a service being performed. However, to start, I don't think variable sexuality is a negative trait at all, since love-making is a highly social activity that has a lot of health benefits (physical, emotional, mental leading to a lot of endorphin, stimulation, de-stressing, etc).

Besides the labour (is sthis what you mean? -- by what measure do you determine usefulneess) value: as Lanth alluded to, the biological factors that produce variable sexuality are necessary to produce normalized sexuality. If we look at "sexual attraction" from a more algorithmic perspective, we might assume that it is optimized to help individuals mate and reproduce. In that case, it is necessary for the algorithm to be lax enough to allow individuals with a wide variety of different phenotypes to be attracted to one another and attempt mating in order to preserve the qualities of a large and diverse gene pool. In this way, it's basically impossible for there not to be some amount of LGBTQ people.

That said, it is entirely possible that in the future the algorithm will result in a gender nihilist society in which attraction is variable and arbitrary (as in "who you like is who you like") because it is possible for us to be an example of a species whose intelligence and social engineering culminates into a society in which reproductive labour is much less associated with specific combinations of reproductive organs between mutually-attracted individuals. In other words, the reproductive labour that's commonly associated now with straight couples may become less associated together because of alternatives in breeding solutions.

In other words, assuming there is a "gay gene," it's overall consequences can be dramatically positive for a species, even for one such as ours.

(Also I feel like there's this underlying assumption that all gay couples or LGBTQ couples don't want children or to reproduce, which is proven false easily.)

edit: on one hand I have a longer ring finger and on the other I have a shorter one. I guess it checks out since I'm bi :') a y y




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