[2011-Jul-17] Evidence for evolutionary and homosexuality

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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:05 pm

welcome to post-nerd-reboot SMBC you must be new here

it is all terrible

[/quote]
I can't tell if you're being serious or not. Why do you volunteer your time for a comic you don't enjoy?
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Edminster » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:42 pm

Guest wrote:
Edminster wrote:welcome to post-nerd-reboot SMBC you must be new here

it is all terrible


I can't tell if you're being serious or not. Why do you volunteer your time for a comic you don't enjoy?

I don't volunteer my time for the comicImage
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Astrogirl » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:47 pm

Guest wrote:I can't tell if you're being serious or not. Why do you volunteer your time for a comic you don't enjoy?

He enjoys annoying people on the forum.

And the comic, too, he's just in denial. Come out, Ed, come out of your comic closet!
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Edminster » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:51 pm

true talk i legitimately hate 90%+ of SMBC ever since zach started paying attention to the advertisers who were offended by the content
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby smbcfan » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:49 pm

not wrote:I'm confused about this comic. apparently what it says is that anyone who makes a coherent argument against homosexuality being genetic is a fat loser? Why on earth would anyone ever want to read this?

How is it coherent? "All human beings ever" are not optimized for heterosexual reproduction, even setting aside the fat loser shut-in portrayed in the comic. I was born intersex and sterile, for example.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby gavin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:42 pm

smbcfan wrote:
not wrote:I'm confused about this comic. apparently what it says is that anyone who makes a coherent argument against homosexuality being genetic is a fat loser? Why on earth would anyone ever want to read this?

How is it coherent? "All human beings ever" are not optimized for heterosexual reproduction, even setting aside the fat loser shut-in portrayed in the comic. I was born intersex and sterile, for example.
The idea is that any genes that contributed to you being sterile are genes that will now no longer be passed on. Any trait that inhibits the ability pass on genetic information is apparently against survival of the fittest where the most fit to survive is the one who is able to reproduce the most.

That's how the argument is generally posed. It is a coherent argument pertaining to the likelihood that homosexuality is an inherited genetic trait, but it fails to disagree with evolution or the possibility that it's caused by something else (perhaps it is a defect caused by something in our diet or maybe it is merely something we haven't figured out yet).

Usually some right-winged people take this argument and run way too far with it, to some unknown ends I guess. Even if homosexuality was a choice, who cares and how does it affect anyone else?
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Gangler » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:21 pm

Yeah, if everything that was in everyone's genes always contributed towards survival and survival of the species then we wouldn't really have a medical term for genetic conditions. If sickle cell anemia can work it's way through lineages just continuing to pop up once every few generations or so when all the right pieces are in place I see no reason that genetics can't at the very least be a contributing factor towards homosexuality. I mean, I'm not a doctor, but that just makes sense.

The very premise of "Survival of the fittest" implies the presence of a those who are not necessarily fit in the sense the phrase means it in. Unless we're done evolving now and I didn't notice, the human genome is far from perfect within the context of evolutionary discussion.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby gavin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:47 pm

Gangler wrote:Yeah, if everything that was in everyone's genes always contributed towards survival and survival of the species then we wouldn't really have a medical term for genetic conditions. If sickle cell anemia can work it's way through lineages just continuing to pop up once every few generations or so when all the right pieces are in place I see no reason that genetics can't at the very least be a contributing factor towards homosexuality. I mean, I'm not a doctor, but that just makes sense.

The very premise of "Survival of the fittest" implies the presence of a those who are not necessarily fit in the sense the phrase means it in. Unless we're done evolving now and I didn't notice, the human genome is far from perfect within the context of evolutionary discussion.
Actually, most (if not all) genetic traits do need to make the species more fit to survive or it needs to be dying away. Sickle Cell anemia, to use your example, can actually make the person with only one of the sickle cell genes more resistant to malaria infections. This is why areas that have a lot of malaria have a larger distribution of sickle celled individuals despite the fact that having two of the genes causes other problems. Most genetic conditions either have an underlying benefit or are caused by something else (defect, mutation, loss of data). A third option is that sometimes it isn't bad enough to affect reproduction (i.e. Huntington's disease doesn't become expressed until middle age).

Homosexuality, a trait that specifically affects the ability/willingness to reproduce, should not exist genetically (or should quickly be dying out rather than increasing like it is). This is why it is far more likely that it is caused by something else. Something non-genetic like a defect or mutation is more likely. This would account for why one identical twin is not 100% likely to be gay if their twin is gay.

I still don't understand why the argument is so prevalent in today's society. Even if homosexuality was choice, I don't see it being anyone else's business.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby smiley_cow » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:08 pm

gavin wrote:Homosexuality, a trait that specifically affects the ability/willingness to reproduce, should not exist genetically (or should quickly be dying out rather than increasing like it is). This is why it is far more likely that it is caused by something else.


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.

I think it's also something that's especially true of women, if they want to biologically have a child and they're fertile, it doesn't matter what their sexual orientation is, it's always possible to go to a clinic for artificial insemination.

And gay doesn't just mean homosexual, you can also be bi, pan or polysexual, in which case just because you're with someone of the opposite sex and having children with them doesn't mean you're not gay.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:16 pm

Edminster wrote:
Guest wrote:
Edminster wrote:welcome to post-nerd-reboot SMBC you must be new here

it is all terrible


I can't tell if you're being serious or not. Why do you volunteer your time for a comic you don't enjoy?

I don't volunteer my time for the comicImage


And I think you'll find this is true of most of regulars at this point.
I've been reading the comic regularly (or at least semi-regularly) for at least a year longer than I've been on the forum. However I haven't cared all that much for the comic for 4 or 5 years now. I still read it regularily, but that's mostly just because there is at least a cursory connection between the forum and the comic. Although at this point the forum is on my favorites, not the comic.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Kimra » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:37 pm

We love you too Lethal.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Gangler » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:47 pm

gavin wrote:I still don't understand why the argument is so prevalent in today's society. Even if homosexuality was choice, I don't see it being anyone else's business.

Yep
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Kaharz » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:02 pm

The whole survival of the fittest thing isn't as simple as most people portray it either. There is inter-species competition and competition between species for resources. Environmental conditions, the resources you are competing for and the other species you are competing with is constantly changing. Just because a trait may not seem beneficial does not mean it was not beneficial to the individual or species at one time or will be in the future. Just because a trait is not optimized for competition does not mean it is maladaptive.

Look at it this way, the human species could be facing seriously problems if our population expands to far past the carry capacity of the environment and causes a sudden collapse in our population. People not breeding while still otherwise contributing to the survival of the species are a damn good thing in that event.*

*Provided it doesn't turn out like [i]The Wanting Seed./[i]
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby theflyingorc » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:31 pm

The comic isn't very valid. All the research I've seen seems to suggest that very few biologists think that homosexuality IS primarily genetic, but rather that it's primarily caused by conditions in the womb of the mother. The biggest piece of evidence for this being that later sons from the same mother have a much higher rate of homosexuality, though there are other indicators (none as strong as that one).

Honestly, how Zach thinks that a nerd sitting in his basement all day (a learned behavior, quite frankly) is a counterpoint to an evolution argument is quite beyond me. SMBC is increasingly become a bad version of XKCD.
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Re: (July 17, 2011) Evidence for evolutionary and homosexual

Postby Loraxxe » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:42 pm

gavin wrote:
Gangler wrote:Yeah, if everything that was in everyone's genes always contributed towards survival and survival of the species then we wouldn't really have a medical term for genetic conditions. If sickle cell anemia can work it's way through lineages just continuing to pop up once every few generations or so when all the right pieces are in place I see no reason that genetics can't at the very least be a contributing factor towards homosexuality. I mean, I'm not a doctor, but that just makes sense.

The very premise of "Survival of the fittest" implies the presence of a those who are not necessarily fit in the sense the phrase means it in. Unless we're done evolving now and I didn't notice, the human genome is far from perfect within the context of evolutionary discussion.
Actually, most (if not all) genetic traits do need to make the species more fit to survive or it needs to be dying away. Sickle Cell anemia, to use your example, can actually make the person with only one of the sickle cell genes more resistant to malaria infections. This is why areas that have a lot of malaria have a larger distribution of sickle celled individuals despite the fact that having two of the genes causes other problems. Most genetic conditions either have an underlying benefit or are caused by something else (defect, mutation, loss of data). A third option is that sometimes it isn't bad enough to affect reproduction (i.e. Huntington's disease doesn't become expressed until middle age).

Homosexuality, a trait that specifically affects the ability/willingness to reproduce, should not exist genetically (or should quickly be dying out rather than increasing like it is). This is why it is far more likely that it is caused by something else. Something non-genetic like a defect or mutation is more likely. This would account for why one identical twin is not 100% likely to be gay if their twin is gay.

I still don't understand why the argument is so prevalent in today's society. Even if homosexuality was choice, I don't see it being anyone else's business.


While everyone's glad that you see orientation as no one's business, some things need to be cleared up about genetics and traits.

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.

And for the genius calling the comic ad hominem: Jesus, will you people ever stop? It's not ad hominem if the characteristic in question is relevant to the argument. The slob's maladaptive traits are clearly relevant. His character disproves his own argument.
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