Below are responses to Smiley_Cow, Loraxxe, Phaazoid, and Ed. Look for your quote in that order. This was to avoid double posting.
smiley_cow wrote:While I don't disagree that sexual orientation is most likely based on more than just genetics I think it's worth pointing out that being gay doesn't necessarily mean you won't biologically have children or you don't have the willingness to reproduce. Even if you're married to someone of the same sex, it's still not uncommon to have a surrogate mother, have a child through artificial insemination, etc.
(shortened your quote to make the post smaller) Your statements are very true. The thing is that this trait would diminish the frequency of reproduction so if it were a gene it should still be diminishing with each generation rather than increasing like it is. There are other factors that could slow the diminishing of it as well. Such as the fact that a gay parent doesn't necessarily produce gay offspring. If it were genetic, then it's possible that the children become carriers of one gene. That being said, it should still be diminishing since several hurdles need to be taken for a homosexual individual to have children, such as using a lab or having sex with a gender you are possibly repulsed by.
As for the multi-preferences comment. This would essentially lessen the number of chances to reproduce since each time sex is performed, there is now competition between the gender that could produce children and the one that cannot. So again, we should see the occurrence of the gene diminishing.
That being said, there may be genes that predispose individuals to an increased likelihood of homosexuality. For example, let's say that the mother takes a large amount of estrogen supplements while pregnant and it somehow affects the child's sexual development. This perhaps leads to children with both forms of genitalia as the fetus is getting the hormones too. However, let's say that a gene makes the individual more resistant to such hormones or makes the individual less resistant. That's a way that genes could supplement homosexuality without being the direct cause.
Loraxxe wrote:For starters, Sickle Cell Anemia is an extremely maladaptive trait. It's the underlying genetics making at least twice as many babies (I don't know if SCA affects prenatal viability) fit enough in a high-malaria environment that keeps the gene around. If homosexuality followed the same pattern, even ignoring group fitness, the theoretical "gay gene" could certainly be helpful overall. But if it were that simple and absolute, the gene likely would have been identified by now. It's likely far more complicated, and chemicals certainly seem to be playing a significant role nowadays, at least prenatally. Like most traits, genetics, epigenetics, and environmental factors all likely play a role.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a bitch, you're right. But carrying only one
of the genes is what allows the individuals have better odds at survive malaria. Having just one gene is not the same as having two. The one-gened individuals are the ones that are passing along the gene so successfully because they are not dying from Malaria and they don't actually have Sickle Cell Anemia. What they have is sickle cell trait and as such they have a 3/4th's chance of producing offspring that at least don't have Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle Cell trait can carry it's own problems but they are more rare than common.
I'm glad you agree with additional factors likely being the cause. But remember that survivability strictly adheres to the surviving and passing on of genetic information, not living longer. I say this in response to the sentence on the gay gene, if existent, being helpful. To the individual, maybe, but to the passing on of their genes, not so much.
Phaazoid wrote:what if being gay is actually evolution working it's magic? Overpopulation is the earths biggest problem right now. We already know how to use artificial insemination, the species wouldn't die out if everyone was gay. And it would finally kill, or at least severely hurt a lot of major religions if everyone were gay, another large threat to the earth in general. maybe evolution, is like, conscious.
1. Then it would be magic. I could see scarcity of resources resulting in us using products that may increase homosexuality, but I do not see evolution creating a new gene due to some odd foresight. That would make it god.
2. According to a few articles and a piece I heard on NPR, religion generally helps build communities and helps them to work together. The idea of an unseen watcher who has the power to inflict punishment for evil acts encourages individuals to do good or not to do anti-social acts even when no one is looking. Yes, at its worst, religion has been used in war. But I think humans are fundamentally greedy enough to come up with other reasons to kill even if religion didn't exist. Humans are the biggest threat to the earth, not our constructs or beliefs.
That being said, the apparent pull towards forced ignorance of scientific facts is pretty dangerous in that it may slow down learning. But the past two thousand years saw Christianity and Islam (later on) creating universities and only slowing knowledge in very specific areas (poor Galileo). It's surprising how many breakthroughs were found by monks alone (how expressed alleles get passed on, for an example pertinent to this discussion). It is only recently that we've seen so strong a push against proven science and hopefully religion can get to a point where it evolves to accept science while still encouraging man not to be a dick to his neighbor. In summary, religion is a tool that may be used for both good and evil, it is not itself to blame.
I've built palaces in the sky, castles hewn into the mountain sides, netherworld gates to travel faster as well as irrigation channels saddled with rail-road tracks. I've even made a giant galleon ship out of wood blocks and white cotton squares.
What do you do? I love this game as it appeals to my lego/model years like nothing else. But I am running out of ideas. My next goal will be the creation of an entire town.