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ghouck
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2011, 12:48:45 AM »

About Global Warming: I read an article about how the temperature of the earth was directly related to the sun's changing output.
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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2011, 06:41:55 AM »


As for evolutionary advantages, it may seem that hetero sex is the most advantageous, but it may just be that sex itself is enough. Let the pieces fall where they may and watch the whole thing take off.


Okay, I'll frame my response in the form of a question rather than an "argument," since it's more something I've pondered than a definitive "conclusion."

How does a biological tendency to be homosexual get passed along to continue as a trait?

(1) Some people who are homosexual will still reproduce heterosexually.  If it's biological, we should thus see a (fairly strong) correlation between homosexual parents who have produced offspring and the sexual tendency in the offspring.  Has this correlation been observed, in cases where environmental influences were non-existent?  (Perhaps the study would include offspring with a homosexual parent that did not know the parent was homosexual, etc).  This would be a very difficult study to execute...has it been done?

I know you were asking Mofo rather than me, but my tentative responses would be:

(1)  I don't know, but even if the cause is biological, there's no reason to suppose homosexuality would be a heritable trait and lots of reason to suppose it wouldn't be.  It could occur during development in the womb.  It could be a result of hormonal factors that are largely environmental/random. There could also be a relatively common "gay genotype" that only rarely develops into a "gay phenotype" and therefore is not subject to much pressure from natural selection.

I believe ulthar was posting his response for the board, not just me in particular, especially since they are open-ended questions.

I wouldn't say that saying homosexuality is biological is directly synonymous with saying it is genetically determined. It seems unlikely that a gay genotype will be found, one that predicts sexual orientation through the genetic code. The pathway through puberty is turbulently complex, and the formation of the brain through which psychology operates is not very well understood.

But I use the word biological to contrast with the idea that sexuality is purely a choice. You never hear anybody ask, "When did you choose to be straight?" By many self reports, many homosexuals found themselves attracted to their own sex throughout their developing years. It would seem unlikely that this was a purely psychological phenomenon, especially in cultures which are very strongly anti-homosexual. Not that anybody can't choose to be anything, but you should know the difference of who you're sexually attracted to versus who you aren't.

That brings us right back to the false dichotomy of psychology and biology, both of which are also built on genetics, and all of which is subject to social pressures. I don't know the answers, of course, but I very much doubt it will all be one thing or the other.

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« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2011, 09:34:41 AM »


As for evolutionary advantages, it may seem that hetero sex is the most advantageous, but it may just be that sex itself is enough. Let the pieces fall where they may and watch the whole thing take off.


Okay, I'll frame my response in the form of a question rather than an "argument," since it's more something I've pondered than a definitive "conclusion."

How does a biological tendency to be homosexual get passed along to continue as a trait?

(1) Some people who are homosexual will still reproduce heterosexually.  If it's biological, we should thus see a (fairly strong) correlation between homosexual parents who have produced offspring and the sexual tendency in the offspring.  Has this correlation been observed, in cases where environmental influences were non-existent?  (Perhaps the study would include offspring with a homosexual parent that did not know the parent was homosexual, etc).  This would be a very difficult study to execute...has it been done?

I know you were asking Mofo rather than me, but my tentative responses would be:

(1)  I don't know, but even if the cause is biological, there's no reason to suppose homosexuality would be a heritable trait and lots of reason to suppose it wouldn't be.  It could occur during development in the womb.  It could be a result of hormonal factors that are largely environmental/random. There could also be a relatively common "gay genotype" that only rarely develops into a "gay phenotype" and therefore is not subject to much pressure from natural selection.

I believe ulthar was posting his response for the board, not just me in particular, especially since they are open-ended questions.

I wouldn't say that saying homosexuality is biological is directly synonymous with saying it is genetically determined. It seems unlikely that a gay genotype will be found, one that predicts sexual orientation through the genetic code. The pathway through puberty is turbulently complex, and the formation of the brain through which psychology operates is not very well understood.

But I use the word biological to contrast with the idea that sexuality is purely a choice. You never hear anybody ask, "When did you choose to be straight?" By many self reports, many homosexuals found themselves attracted to their own sex throughout their developing years. It would seem unlikely that this was a purely psychological phenomenon, especially in cultures which are very strongly anti-homosexual. Not that anybody can't choose to be anything, but you should know the difference of who you're sexually attracted to versus who you aren't.

That brings us right back to the false dichotomy of psychology and biology, both of which are also built on genetics, and all of which is subject to social pressures. I don't know the answers, of course, but I very much doubt it will all be one thing or the other.


There might be some genetic factor that makes one more inclined toward abnormal sexual desires. Maybe abnormal isn't the right word. Let's just say desires outside the factory default settings. I've always considered homosexuality to operate similarly to a fetish. The groundwork for a fetish is laid down long before puberty makes it sexual.

Of course, homosexuality is no longer officially considered a fetish, but I wonder if that doesn't also reflect kind of an old-fashioned view. I mean, I don't think a fetish is necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, nor do I think it's unnatural or uncommon. I think fetishes just vary so much in degree and in their specifics, that people don't recognize them as the same phenomenon. I've always said that everybody has a fetish, even if it might not be strong or unusual enough to be identified as such.

Could it be that everybody has the potential for homosexuality, given the right set of biological and developmental circumstances? For that matter, if one views sexual orientation as a scale, rather than an either-or proposition, how many people are 100% straight or 100% gay?

Would be nice to hear from the folks on the board with first-hand experience in this regard. I can't say I've known many gay people (that I'm aware of) and none well enough to discuss their sexuality. That and I haven't always been as tolerant as I am today.
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« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2011, 02:41:14 PM »



I know you were asking Mofo rather than me, but my tentative responses would be:

(1)  I don't know, but even if the cause is biological, there's no reason to suppose homosexuality would be a heritable

Perhaps population control? I've heard claims that animals that experience overpopulation have a higher incidence of homosexuality. I dunno.
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« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2011, 02:48:24 PM »

Well, let's see. Global Warming/Climate Change and the nature vs. nurture argument about sexual orientation. Two highly politicized topics. As such, the science also becomes politicized and therefore shabby and unreliable. I treat with extra skepticism ANY science that deals with those two topics.
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« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2011, 03:09:27 PM »

Heritable traits do not have to be beneficial in order to survive (stay present) in a population.  Traits can be selected 'for' (if beneficial), 'against' (if detrimental) and simply present.  And there are varying degrees of both.  If a trait is not significantly detrimental, it is possible it will not be selected against and it may persist in the population in low numbers.  There is evolutionary advantage in keeping a variety of genes/traits 'available' - some of those genes could end up being useful in adapting to future situations.  One of the great concerns about our food sources these days is how limited the gene pools are getting: it limits adaptability and makes the organisms potentially much more vulnerable to any new disease or circumstance that comes along.

Traits also may be affected indirectly if they are associated with other traits that are either beneficial or detrimental to a population.  So a given trait that is more or less 'neutral' in its effect may be spread more than it would on its own merits or held back from becoming more common simply by being connected to other traits that are subject to selective pressures either for or against.

It is not often a simple straight-line cause and effect scenario when you are dealing with genetics; then you add in other factors and it gets all that much more complicated!
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« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2011, 04:01:59 PM »

Heritable traits do not have to be beneficial in order to survive (stay present) in a population.  Traits can be selected 'for' (if beneficial), 'against' (if detrimental) and simply present.  And there are varying degrees of both.  If a trait is not significantly detrimental, it is possible it will not be selected against and it may persist in the population in low numbers.  There is evolutionary advantage in keeping a variety of genes/traits 'available' - some of those genes could end up being useful in adapting to future situations.  One of the great concerns about our food sources these days is how limited the gene pools are getting: it limits adaptability and makes the organisms potentially much more vulnerable to any new disease or circumstance that comes along.

Traits also may be affected indirectly if they are associated with other traits that are either beneficial or detrimental to a population.  So a given trait that is more or less 'neutral' in its effect may be spread more than it would on its own merits or held back from becoming more common simply by being connected to other traits that are subject to selective pressures either for or against.

It is not often a simple straight-line cause and effect scenario when you are dealing with genetics; then you add in other factors and it gets all that much more complicated!

All very true.  I might asterisk "There is evolutionary advantage in keeping a variety of genes/traits 'available' - some of those genes could end up being useful in adapting to future situations," though.  While it's doubtlessly true, natural selection can't think ahead like that---it simply weeds out traits that are immediately undesirable, despite the fact that those traits could be useful in other contexts.  (Of course many traits, famously the sickle cell trait, have both advantages and disadvantages).

Certain traits may lie dormant until they're needed.  The various traits which make certain animals domesticatable, like docility and lack of fear of humans, would be disadvantageous to creatures in the wild.   But these "cute and friendly" genes are enormously useful to dogs and cats when they become domesticated.  Becoming cute and friendly is a successful evolutionary "strategy" that helps pets breed and spread their genes quite effectively.
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« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2011, 04:19:41 PM »

This is getting too heavy for me.  I feel much safer with my "where do babies come from" question.

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« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2011, 05:04:31 PM »

This is getting too heavy for me.  I feel much safer with my "where do babies come from" question.



The navel.
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« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2011, 05:38:41 PM »

Has science ever been able to answer the question of the ages:

What are the actual lyrics to "Louie Louie"??
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« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2011, 06:01:17 PM »

Has science ever been able to answer the question of the ages:

What are the actual lyrics to "Louie Louie"??

I don't know. Try it with a "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."
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« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2011, 07:12:54 PM »

I might asterisk "There is evolutionary advantage in keeping a variety of genes/traits 'available' - some of those genes could end up being useful in adapting to future situations," though.  While it's doubtlessly true, natural selection can't think ahead like that---it simply weeds out traits that are immediately undesirable, despite the fact that those traits could be useful in other contexts.  (Of course many traits, famously the sickle cell trait, have both advantages and disadvantages).

Of course; natural selection does not 'think'.  The advantage in retention of 'extra' genes or traits would be more along the line of being a condition that is not selected against.  Those organisms with a capacity for or tolerance of a wider variety of genes might tend to have a greater life span as an organism: they would not be as likely to die off (become extinct) as easily or as soon.
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« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2011, 07:20:40 PM »

okay, Burgo, the answer to where babies come from- 42: It's the friggen answer to everything! BUT, the password will always be Swordfish.and, on standardized test, it's C
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« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2011, 08:05:38 PM »

This is getting too heavy for me.  I feel much safer with my "where do babies come from" question.



It's like this: When a guy has a really cool car, and a girl's parents don't pay enough attention to her, the result is a baby can be born. Now, this often depends on if the guy has a fake ID or an older brother to buy him booze, or if he has the right connection to get really good concert tickets. Once he has taken her to the concert and the booze is drank, the result can be a severe session of kissing, groping, crying, and sexual experimentation. This often happens after a ritual known as the "Uh-oh, we're out of gas" scenario. Now, in the unlikely even that penetration happens BEFORE ejaculation spontaneously occurs (I know, doesn't seem possible), and the 'member' is either not covered with a condom, or the condom is entirely too large (aren't they always), the baby crawls out of the ding-dong and into the girl, where it stays for a while. Hope that helps.
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« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2011, 08:34:28 PM »

All of these questions about what leads to homosexuality is why I went into chemistry. You don't ever hear about people getting into fist-fights over what occurs to an electron as it seemingly passes through the atomic nucleous at the center of a P-orbital (which is a good unanswered science question; as my quantum chem. professor was describing this back in school our physics professor snuck in and wrote "She's making this all up" on the board. This actually reflects a fairly popular view within chemistry that quantum is mostly make believe as it relies almost entirely on math instead of experimentation.)

I can slightly help on the global warming question. Not so much in terms of making you feel good or bad about yourself depending on the size/fuel efficiency of vehicle you drive but give some basics in terms of the physical laws that apply.

1. conservation of mass: there is "X" amount of carbon on the planet earth. Excluding the negligible effects of meteorites generally the amount of carbon does not change but the form of carbon does. The earth has fluctuated WIDELY both in temp and structure(and I mean widely as in jungles conditions once existed in the arctic poles, Kansas was the bottom of an ocean, and so forth) over the past couple of forevers or so. When carbon has been sequestered (e.g. taken out of the cycle by either formation of oil/conversion to some kind of mineral format) generally there is reduction in temperature and typically vice versa but it would be theoritically impossible for us to heat the earth much past where it was back in the day (by which I mean when dinosaurs ruled the earth).

2. The net impact of humans for all minerals and all elements has generally been "desequesterization" we dig stuff up that had been buried (including aluminum, Iron, .... everything) build something out of it and then chuck it out into the environment. This is simultaneously a bad thing and a good thing. Just that's what our overall impact is on the planet.
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