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NS debate split from LBGT INTP

redbaron

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There is probably a good reason why so many people are gay. It must lend them or the tribe some advantage.
not how natural selection works btw
 

Marbles

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There is probably a good reason why so many people are gay. It must lend them or the tribe some advantage.
not how natural selection works btw
I think I remember that if a trait with obvious downsides has a higher prevalence than 5%, it is generally assumed to have advantages. Doesnt that make sense?
 

redbaron

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you 'think you remember' that it was 'generally assumed'?

wow very science+++!!!

traits are subject to natural selection if:
  • they are heritable
  • they provide an advantage in competition for resources

there's no 'must' here for homosexuality to be either of these things to continue to occur in a society.

in any case, not the thread to have a lengthy debate about it
 

Marbles

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That is very science. It is "generally assumed" because there are many mechanisms at play; there will be exceptions. If a trait with dysfunctional qualities survives through selective pressure, it must either not be detrimental enough to be weeded out (but will still probably disappear in the long run, because any gene sequence will be subject to entropy without selective pressure), hitchhike on some beneficial trait, or be advantageous in the homozygous or heterozygous form. If a trait is driven by only a few mutated genes, it could of course be surviving for a while simply because it isn't detrimental enough. There are probably more reasons, but those are the one I can think of, flat footed.

I'm not sure, which is why I phrased a question. I think my original theory follows directly from:

traits are subject to natural selection if:
  • they are heritable
  • they provide an advantage in competition for resources
there's no 'must' here for homosexuality to be either of these things to continue to occur in a society.
So I don't really see your point.
 

redbaron

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you're still making the assumption that homosexuality is necessarily heritable though

there's a whole world of biology and evolution where this need not be the case for homosexuality to still occur, because natural selection is not the only means by which we see ambiguous traits such as homosexuality occur.

the assumption that there are potential upsides to an otherwise apparently detrimental trait is made only when the trait's heritability is understood and well defined - homosexuality's is not
 

peoplesuck

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you're still making the assumption that homosexuality is necessarily heritable though

there's a whole world of biology and evolution where this need not be the case for homoseexuality to still occur

natural selection is not the only means by which we see ambiguous traits such as homosexuality occur.

the assumption that there are potential upsides to an otherwise apparently detrimental trait is made only when the traits heritability is understood - homosexuality is not
So....Is it not possible that the neurological traits that decide human attraction are so complex that even the slightest "mutations" could cause homosexuality? It makes sense to me.
Its not passed down, its just a common error in our systems?
A recurring issue in our game engine, each game(person) has the probability to have this glitch, since we are running the same engine?

Edit: Ohh I get it, I used a lot of words to say that its here, and I dont know why.
 

Marbles

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@redbaron I'm not making that assumption, I was asking a question. The scientific community is making that assumption, though, since twin studies show a 50% chance that you are gay if your monozygotic twin is.
 

redbaron

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if true (another assumption) it doesn't follow that it necessarily has a selective advantage.

studies on its heritability show mixed or weakly correlative results. its impact on resource competition is not something that's simple to explore either.

you don't talk about how a trait relates to selection until you understand where homosexuality fits into these two concepts.
 

redbaron

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@redbaron I'm not making that assumption, I was asking a question. The scientific community is making that assumption, though, since twin studies show a 50% chance that you are gay if your monozygotic twin is.
I'm aware of these studies

they're also limited in scope, mostly not replicated and even assuming the best case scenario: still don't fully answer the question of heritability

these studies are showing a biological basis for homosexulity, not necessarily a heritable one subject to selective pressures: two completely different things

heritable being biological, doesn't mean that biological is always heritable

there's still two components to a trait being considered relevant to natural selection

also, don't say "scientific community" when referencing a handful (at best) of studies
 

Marbles

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Are you really saying there isn't strong evidence that homophilia has a genetic component?

Of course it doesn't immediately follow that it has a selective advantage. That is why I wrote "generally assumed to", which you dismissed as an unscientific statement.

"you don't talk about how a trait relates to selection until you understand where homosexuality fits into these two concepts. "

Yes, that is exactly what you do. You talk about it, that is how you gain understanding. Anyways, I'll hold you to those standards. I bet they will make discussion very interesting around here.
 

peoplesuck

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pliz don crucify me rb
I read a study that found that the more older brothers a guy has, the higher his chances of being gay, I think it was exponentially increasing too.
If that were the case its genetic. maybe the female baby pheromones, changes something in the mothers? I dont know if babes even give off pheromones, but if they did though.
 

Marbles

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pliz don crucify me rb
I read a study that found that the more older brothers a guy has, the higher his chances of being gay, I think it was exponentially increasing too.
If that were the case its genetic. maybe the female baby pheromones, changes something in the mothers? I dont know if babes even give off pheromones, but if they did though.
Yeah, I think I read that. Something about a woman's womb becoming more resistant to testosterone for each son she has, so each son has less prenatal testosterone than the last. I remember wondering whether the immunity abates the more years there are between the brothers.
 

redbaron

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pliz don crucify me rb
I read a study that found that the more older brothers a guy has, the higher his chances of being gay, I think it was exponentially increasing too.
If that were the case its genetic. maybe the female baby pheromones, changes something in the mothers? I dont know if babes even give off pheromones, but if they did though.
yes, i'm also aware of these studies

something being biological doesn't mean that it's automatically heritable or that it affects competition for resources

all things heritable are biological
not all things biological are heritable

not all heritable traits affect resource competition
 

Marbles

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What do you mean by it being biological? Isn't everything about a person biological?
 

redbaron

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if i keep wording this in different ways i wonder if it'll eventually sink in
 

peoplesuck

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oof I hate this sort of conversation. does anyone have a bi parent?
 

Marbles

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I'll grant that you keep repeating yourself, but I can't see you've explained what you mean by the term.
 

Marbles

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Well if we assume this is the explanation for the occurrence.....you seem to be hell bent on labeling it, more than understanding, or studying it.
I guess thats what this conversation is?
I'm not sure this discussion is about homosexuality, or even biology, at all, lol
 

redbaron

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What do you mean by it being biological? Isn't everything about a person biological?
now we've come full circle

from my perspective and the perspective of most naturalists, yes

from many people's perspective on sexuality, no

which is why studies done to verify the biological basis for things like sexual orientation get done in the first place.

something being biological in basis doesn't mean that it's necessarily genetic, hereditary or that it pertains to natural selection
 

Marbles

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something being biological in basis doesn't mean that it's necessarily genetic, hereditary or that it pertains to natural selection
But we have all but established that sexuality has a heritable component. How many studies can you find that suggest it doesn't? Recently, I seem to remember a study with 500,000 participants showing a link.

You are being very vague. What exactly is your objection at this point?
 

peoplesuck

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What do you mean by it being biological? Isn't everything about a person biological?
now we've come full circle

from my perspective and the perspective of most naturalists, yes

from many people's perspective on sexuality, no

which is why studies done to verify the biological basis for things like sexual orientation get done in the first place.

something being biological in basis doesn't mean that it's necessarily genetic, hereditary or that it pertains to natural selection
If we are biological organisms, that is all there is. Any change is biological, because that is all we are. does this make sense, does this go deeper into perceptions of reality, or?

this started as a question about wether or not being gay is genetic, it is now at the stage of, nothing exists.
 

redbaron

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something being biological in basis doesn't mean that it's necessarily genetic, hereditary or that it pertains to natural selection
But we have all but established that sexuality has a heritable component. How many studies can you find that suggest it doesn't? Recently, I seem to remember a study with 500,000 participants showing a link.
it has a limited heritable component in a limited number of studies, where other factors are not controlled for

this doesn't translate to the conclusion of:

Marbles said:
It must lend them or the tribe some advantage.
 

Marbles

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it has a limited heritable component in a limited number of studies, where other factors are not controlled for
A limited heritability is all we need for it to be considered heritable. Every single trait has limited heritability. Where are these studies of superior quality you would prefer to base conversation on?

this doesn't translate to the conclusion of:

Marbles said:
It must lend them or the tribe some advantage.
I made no such conclusion. This is the full quote: "There is probably a good reason why so many people are gay. It must lend them or the tribe some advantage." In fact, it was the very uncertainty with which I made that statement you originally objected to.

If you prefer to disregard the body of research and preach that there is no indication that homosexuality is inheritable, then:
 

Marbles

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What do you mean by it being biological? Isn't everything about a person biological?
now we've come full circle

from my perspective and the perspective of most naturalists, yes

from many people's perspective on sexuality, no

which is why studies done to verify the biological basis for things like sexual orientation get done in the first place.

something being biological in basis doesn't mean that it's necessarily genetic, hereditary or that it pertains to natural selection
If we are biological organisms, that is all there is. Any change is biological, because that is all we are. does this make sense, does this go deeper into perceptions of reality, or?

this started as a question about wether or not being gay is genetic, it is now at the stage of, nothing exists.
Yeah, I think at this stage, we're at: either nothing can be known with absolute certainty, or Marbles could maybe, possibly, conceivably ask the question if homosexuality could be beneficial in a colloquial forum thread. I think redbaron is just taking the epistemological piss.
 

redbaron

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i think it's more about the recent trend for people to way overstep their scientific understanding while framing ideas or questions under the umbrella of, "science" when they don't belong there at all

good science knows what it doesn't know
 

redbaron

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and no, i'm not arguing that there's no heritable component for homosexuality, that's a strawman.

i'm telling you that you're assuming a level of heritability that's unverified. those are two very different things
 

Marbles

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i think it's more about the recent trend for people to way overstep their scientific understanding while framing ideas or questions under the umbrella of, "science" when they don't belong there at all

good science knows what it doesn't know
I agree with you, but I'm glad this isn't about a personal problem you have with me, cause I got the distinct impression we weren't discussing biology, but something bigger.

traits are subject to natural selection if:
  • they are heritable
  • they provide an advantage in competition for resources
I am not creating strawmen. You said I was making and dependant on the assumptions above.

Homosexuality is inheritable. Inheritable traits of prevalence tend to confer some advantage. It is interesting to consider what those advantages might be.

I think we largely agree, here? People play way too fast and loose with science (but it is interesting to discuss scientific ideas, even if you're a little illiterate). We cannot be sure homosexuality has benefits, but it is a distinct possibility.
 

Cognisant

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There is probably a good reason why so many people are gay. It must lend them or the tribe some advantage.
not how natural selection works btw
"Must" may be too strong of a word choice but given that homosexuality is of obvious detriment to the likelihood of reproduction it follows that there's a high likelihood of there being a factor that offsets this, otherwise factors that prevent homosexuality would have effectively removed it from the gene pool regardless of whether or not there's a identifiable homosexuality gene.

As someone who is very pro-science and likes to fight the good fight this just seems like semantic pedantry to me.
 

Rolling Cattle

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I haven't seen or read the studies. But heritability in studies is confusing. Even if there is heritability, I don't think it can be inferred that genes caused the trait (?), only that there is a correlation between gene variability and trait variability.There'd probably be a high heritability factor for people with dreadlocks, but we wouldn't infer that genes caused the dreadlocks.

I'm probably pointing out obvious things or I am being irrelevant somehow, but evolution doesn't care about perfection or strive for advantages. There's some biological traits we've all inherited that are completely useless and don't serve any kind of advantage.
 

Marbles

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@Cognisant Yes, it was probably a silly wording. I was always accused by my Norwegian teacher of using too many qualifiers in my writing. She said it made it boring, which I'm a little sensitive of today, so I try to limit it.

@Rolling Cattle Not at all irrelevant. There is an interesting discussion to be had about how genes are instructions on how an organism should react to the environment, not a blueprint. I believe useless traits will eventually disappear because of genetic entropy, though. I really have to get some sleep, now. Some other time!
 

redbaron

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redbaron

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@Rolling Cattle Not at all irrelevant. There is an interesting discussion to be had about how genes are instructions on how an organism should react to the environment, not a blueprint. I believe useless traits will eventually disappear because of genetic entropy, though. I really have to get some sleep, now. Some other time!
just so everyone's clear on this:

genetic entropy is a term coined by a guy who believes in Intelligent Design and is a Young Earth Creationist, whose works on 'genetic entropy' are thoroughly debunked

i think i'm done here
 

Marbles

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Genetic entropy is a term I coined myself. It is really just an adjective and a noun, it is not trademarked. By it, I mean that DNA needs selective pressure to maintain itself. I have no idea whom you are talking about, but I do not read any creationists, and I agree that you are done here.
 

redbaron

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Genetic entropy is a term I coined myself. It is really just an adjective and a noun, it is not trademarked. By it, I mean that DNA needs selective pressure to maintain itself. I have no idea whom you are talking about, but I do not read any creationists, and I agree that you are done here.
so it means nothing then, because selective pressures do exist?
 

redbaron

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at the end of the day, for as long as homosexuality is not understood to be an entirely hereditary trait or one that affects competition for resource, it's simply inaccurate to say say that there must be some advantage for it to continue because in this case:

  • it can continue to exist regardless of selective pressures, and anything that does not fit these two criteria cannot be said to be the result of natural selection
  • it can potentially exist independent of specific genetic inheritance as well

saying that it could 'die out' if homosexuals stop reproducing is to say, unverified, that the overwhelming majority of cases of homosexuality are hereditary. something not supported by scientific literature. across multiple studies, prevalence of homosexuality and correlation specifically with genetic inheritance don't indicate that this is the case.
 

Animekitty

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Attraction to the same sex could indicate genes for opposite sexual attraction heritability do play a role in homosexuality but were meant to function as a breeding mechanism trait.

Multiple genes may be involved but basically genes meant for breeding in opposite-sex couples can emerge in same-sex couples. Males attracted to males and females attracted to females are repurposing the genes used by the opposite sex used for mate selection.

As a male, I am attracted to females but if I was gay I would repurpose the female selection genes and become gay.

Gays and lesbians do not breed out because the genes for mate selection are repurposed. I am straight because of my attraction genes deem it so. Attraction genes can gender swap. Attraction must be what the mechanism is because these genes do not die out.
 

Animekitty

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male attraction to female
and female attraction to male
results in offspring
these attraction genes pass on

the way attraction happens is different in homosexuals

male to male uses the genes of a heterosexual female
female to female uses the genes of a heterosexual male

There is no gay gene, homosexuals use the function of genes in hetero pair bonding.
 

Ex-User (14663)

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you 'think you remember' that it was 'generally assumed'?

wow very science+++!!!

traits are subject to natural selection if:
  • they are heritable
  • they provide an advantage in competition for resources

there's no 'must' here for homosexuality to be either of these things to continue to occur in a society.

in any case, not the thread to have a lengthy debate about it
Pretty sure that someone who thinks that natural selection is about getting “advantage in competition for resources” is in no position to educate people on how evolution works.
 

Kormak

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There are 3 options as I see it:

1. Its genetic

2. It is caused by how the physiology of the individual in question develops (example hormone imbalances during gestation and puberty lead to a brain wiring similar to females in gay men - thi si just an example.

3. It is psychological in nature aka a mental illness.

IF it is genetic, social pressure and supression of the natural preference for the same sex in these individuals leads to them passing it on and consequently increasing the population with these traits. Removing the social pressures and shaming in such a case leads to the inevitable decline in their population due to both lifestyle and sexual partner choice. It is not advantagious for the gene carrier to be sexually deviant in a way that by consequence fails to produce offspring.

IF it is physiology related and a developmental issue, the causses can be indentified and treated. In such a case we can consider these individuals defective and their inclinations beyond their own ability to control. A medical issue.

IF it is psychological, that implies a choice and so it becomes a choice we can disagree with. Since I don't really have a choice in who I'm sexually attracted to as a str8 male, I assume neither do they, but this is a mere assumption. There is research being done in how early childhood molestation at the hand of pedophiles can cause sexual deviancy later on in life. It remains to be seen.

Conclusive proof as to what the underlying causes are at this point does not exist.

Personal approach in how I'd deal with all of this:

a) Ban pride parades (indecency in public), give them the rights, pedophiles will be chemically castrated upon conviction (children do not have enough agency to agree, if you disagree i will by law make them the property of their parents until age 20 to counteract that)
b) Allow them to marry and even adopt <== this is eugenic.
4) Discourage shaming and normalize it.
c) Research it more until the underlying causes are found... adapt aproach based on the facts.

4821
 

redbaron

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you 'think you remember' that it was 'generally assumed'?

wow very science+++!!!

traits are subject to natural selection if:
  • they are heritable
  • they provide an advantage in competition for resources
there's no 'must' here for homosexuality to be either of these things to continue to occur in a society.

in any case, not the thread to have a lengthy debate about it
Pretty sure that someone who thinks that natural selection is about getting “advantage in competition for resources” is in no position to educate people on how evolution works.
Pretty sure that someone who doesn't realise natural selection inherently assumes finite resources and therefore ability to compete for resources to survive in said environment is considered one of the core necessities in process, should probably return to high school science class.

For reference, the 4 components of natural selection are:

  • variation
  • inheritance
  • high population growth
  • differing survival and reproduction strategies

https://globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/selection/selection.html

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/natu...n-through-natural-selection/content-section-2

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_25

https://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/capsules/outil_bleu10.html

Feel free to send a letter to Berkeley University. McGilll University and also the University of Michigan Serac, I'm sure they'd be super shocked to find out that they actually have no business teaching evolutionary theory to their biology students.
 

redbaron

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Or just to keep me cackling maniacally at your arrogant idiocy, please do tell me your definition of natural selection if you aren't up to taking on the big bad universities who are in no position to teach people how evolution works!
 

redbaron

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@Kormak it doesn't naturally follow that knowing the cause of something means that it's a problem or that it can be treated. We know why many mutations or conditions occur, and many aren't treatable.

Moreover, all studies done on homosexuality as it pertains to genetics don't indicate that if homosexuals stop reproducing, the phenomena will cease to be. It's not a simple genetic trait that passes on from generation to generation the way something simple like say, skin colour does. Viewing it as such is folly.

Lastly, if it's psychological in nature it doesn't logically follow that it's a mental illness. We won't be making that a trend on the forum.
 

Kormak

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@Kormak it doesn't naturally follow that knowing the cause of something means that it's a problem or that it can be treated. We know why many mutations or conditions occur, and many aren't treatable.

Moreover, all studies done on homosexuality as it pertains to genetics don't indicate that if homosexuals stop reproducing, the phenomena will cease to be. It's not a simple genetic trait that passes on from generation to generation the way something simple like say, skin colour does. Viewing it as such is folly.

Lastly, if it's psychological in nature it doesn't logically follow that it's a mental illness. We won't be making that a trend on the forum.
That would make sense. If it were a gene combination or such a trait, it would not be an advantage for the carrier of said genes. The only way i can explain the genes spreading in the population is through societal restrictive norms that enable it.

True, sadly. There are too many carriers for it to be a random mutation tho.
 

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IF it is genetic, social pressure and supression of the natural preference for the same sex in these individuals leads to them passing it on and consequently increasing the population with these traits.
How much social pressure would it take to make you have sex with another man? In a hypothetical world where that's how reproduction works how much social pressure would it take to make you repeatedly have sex with that man until one of you is pregnant?

This may seem like I'm contradicting myself but I still think homosexuality is genetic, probably not the result of any one gene indeed it could be genetic in the sense that women with high testosterone resistant are more likely to have homosexual males children but I digress. Marbles made a valid point, it probably does confer some kind of advantage to someone's genes even if that advantage doesn't benefit the one who is predisposed to homosexuality. It could be that families with homosexuals benefit from having more family members without the disadvantage of having more people competing for resources. That gays and lesbians are nature's designated aunts and uncles, that they ensure the success of their genes by being available caregivers for their nieces and nephews in case something happens to their parents or to simply share the workload.

This may seem odd to us because we've been taught to think of natural selection in terms of lineage but that's actually how most social animals function, there's a breeding pair or just an alpha male and the others assist with protecting, feeding and generally caring for the young that are indirectly related to them.

Edit: Come to think of it this strategy makes more sense for humans because we spend such a long time maturing and require a huge amount of care and attention, in the human meta it's often (especially now) quality not quantity that matters.
 

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Or just to keep me cackling maniacally at your arrogant idiocy, please do tell me your definition of natural selection if you aren't up to taking on the big bad universities who are in no position to teach people how evolution works!
Any argument pertaining to traits in humans should start with sexual selection. Most self-proclaimed experts in evolution are not even aware of this concept and how it differs from environmental selection. Most of such people base their reasoning exclusively on the latter, thus lagging about 50 years behind current understanding of evolution of the human species. In light of this the claim that traits develop as selection pressures vis a vis resource acquisition is just flat out wrong or misguided at best.
 

Marbles

What would Feynman do?
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If this whole ordeal is about you thinking that the proposition "gay rights will make homosexuals extinct" is ridiculous, we have really wasted our time. That was a joke.

What I have been objecting to is that the statement "There is probably a good reason why so many people are gay. It must lend them or the tribe some advantage." is:

wow very science+++!!!
(read: ridiculous), because
traits are subject to natural selection if:
  • they are heritable
  • they provide an advantage in competition for resources
there's no 'must' here for homosexuality to be either of these things to continue to occur in a society.
I qualified the statement by writing:

That is very science. It is "generally assumed" because there are many mechanisms at play; there will be exceptions. If a trait with dysfunctional qualities survives through selective pressure, it must either not be detrimental enough to be weeded out (but will still probably disappear in the long run, because any gene sequence will be subject to entropy without selective pressure), hitchhike on some beneficial trait, or be advantageous in the homozygous or heterozygous form. If a trait is driven by only a few mutated genes, it could of course be surviving for a while simply because it isn't detrimental enough. There are probably more reasons, but those are the one I can think of, flat footed.

I'm not sure, which is why I phrased a question.
You went on to point out:

you're still making the assumption that homosexuality is necessarily heritable though
And have since admitted that homosexuality is necessarily heritable:

and no, i'm not arguing that there's no heritable component for homosexuality, that's a strawman.
But point out that it isn't completely heritable. What heritable trait you know of is completely heritable?

You keep getting emotional and making assumptions. What is all this anger? I can't see that we disagree on anything? Must homosexuality confer advantage? No, I tried to express that in my original statement, in a way that wasn't dry enough to bore the community to tears. You thought I was too vague (yet too bombastic), so I channelled my inner Asperger in my later clarification.

What are you arguing at this point?
 

Kormak

The IT barbarian - eNTP - 6w7-4-8 so/sx
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How much social pressure would it take to make you have sex with another man? In a hypothetical world where that's how reproduction works how much social pressure would it take to make you repeatedly have sex with that man until one of you is pregnant?
Considering how many kids Oscar Wilde had, aparently enough pressure existed up until the 1960s I suspect.

This may seem like I'm contradicting myself but I still think homosexuality is genetic, probably not the result of any one gene indeed it could be genetic in the sense that women with high testosterone resistant are more likely to have homosexual males children but I digress.
Convenient assumption.

Marbles made a valid point, it probably does confer some kind of advantage to someone's genes even if that advantage doesn't benefit the one who is predisposed to homosexuality. It could be that families with homosexuals benefit from having more family members without the disadvantage of having more people competing for resources. That gays and lesbians are nature's designated aunts and uncles, that they ensure the success of their genes by being available caregivers for their nieces and nephews in case something happens to their parents or to simply share the workload.
Unproven hypothesis bordering on wishful thinking. It is a possibility.

This may seem odd to us because we've been taught to think of natural selection in terms of lineage but that's actually how most social animals function, there's a breeding pair or just an alpha male and the others assist with protecting, feeding and generally caring for the young that are indirectly related to them.
It would mean everyone is a carrier of said genes. No gay gene was found: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02585-6

Swedish researchers did MRI scans of 50 heterosexual men and women and 40 homosexual men and women and found surprising parallels. The brains of lesbians and straight men were anatomically symmetrical while the brains of gay men and straight women had a larger right brain hemisphere. The researchers also looked at the amygdala, a part of the brain that's associated with emotions, and found that straight women and gay men both have more connections between the amygdala and brain regions associated with anxiety and mood disorders. Meanwhile, the amygdala of lesbians and straight men had more connections to the region that controls fight or flight reactions. These clear differences suggest that sexual orientation is determined by biology, not by social factors.

Link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...ble-those-of-straight-people-of-opposite-sex/

Current findings seem to suggest @redbaron is correct, that its biological in origin, but not genetic, possibly depends on hormonal conditions within the woumb while the fetus is developing. Whatever the cause a lesbian's brain will be more like that of a straight guy, this is also a possible explanation for trans people.
 

Marbles

What would Feynman do?
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Current findings seem to suggest @redbaron is correct, that its biological in origin, but not genetic, possibly depends on hormonal conditions within the woumb while the fetus is developing. Whatever the cause a lesbian's brain will be more like that of a straight guy, this is also a possible explanation for trans people.
I'm still confused by the term biological in origin. Is there an alternative, if you are not superstitious? The study you mentioned finds homosexuality to be heritable, but that there is no single gene accounting for it.
  • The gay genes could be hitchhiking on genes increasing fertility of either same sex or opposite sex relatives. Perhaps gay genes increase female promiscuity, for instance.
  • If prenatal testosterone strongly influences homsexuality, that could be our beneficial adaptation, showing up in the mother rather than in the homosexual. Becoming more resistant to testosterone for each pregnancy decreases the chance of testosterone induced strife among the sons of the tribe (prenatal testosterone doesn't strongly correlate with adult testosterone, but it does influence personality), and decreases competitiveness surrounding mating. Like Cognisant says, homosexuals might be nature's designated aunts and uncles. They contribute manpower, but not tribal civil war. This has a cultural analog in how regents sometimes had younger sons killed or disadvantaged in order to strengthen the heir and avoid civil war.
  • Another conceivable advantage of homosexuality is that it allows for strong bonds between same sex members of the tribe, which could ease the stress of same sex competitiveness.
  • Maybe an androgynous brain offers advantages in certain circumstances. Male competitiveness combined with female social skills (in the case of gays), for example.
  • Perhaps the system ensuring opposite sex attraction is simply fragile. Any small mutation, or hormonal imbalances, can mess it up, resulting in homosexuality or asexuality.
  • Perhaps our sexual preference has such a heavy overlay of psychology (software on hardware) that it can be warped. E.G: Early on in life you form strong platonic attraction to someone of the same sex, which eventually bleeds into sexual attraction. There are theories that pedophilia is caused by a similarly warped nurturing instinct. Of the theories so far, this is the only one I can imagine would mean no change in homosexual prevalence if homosexuals stopped procreating. However, it cannot be the singular cause since homosexuality is consistently shown to have a heritable component.

    All pure speculation, of course. Call my lawyer for details.
 
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