Darwin, Peacocks, And Idiots
I don’t normally read Wing Nut Daily, but when I saw this headline cross my Google News page…
I had to take a closer look. The column from Craig Smith begins promisingly…
Before you know it November will be upon us, and we will be required to choose a new president. But as in all elections, we will also vote on certain proposals and ballot initiatives. So I suspect it is only a matter of time before we hear the voices of the gay and lesbian community demanding the right to government-sanctioned "marriage," and this year I am all for it!
Homosexuals should enjoy the same rights and privileges married couples have experienced since the beginning of time: To be able to love and cherish, to have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ’till death do they part.
But this is a Wing Nut Daily column of course, so actually Smith is being sarcastic here. His real point is…
Thus I suspect if married gay couples honored their vows, within two to three generations we would not have any more gay babies being born. Given most gay people say they didn’t choose to be gay but were born gay, it would eliminate innocent people being born into a world that homosexuals deem so hostile toward them. It would settle once and for all the argument that homosexuality is genetic and not a choice. Nature, not nurture. If there is no procreation, there is no passing of genes and, thus, the species does not survive.
Darwin would have been right!
Let’s get serious. Homosexuality is a choice. And the choices people make are their business. What goes on in your bedroom is your choice. But when a group or person attempts to force society into condoning their choice or demands that their choice be taught to future generations as a "normal" lifestyle, I have a problem.
If you want to take the position that homosexuality is not a choice, then let’s experiment with my idea. We will know rather quickly who is right and who is wrong for nature itself proves the whole genetic argument invalid.
We’re having a Darwin moment here I see…
From: Bruce Garrett
To: Craig Smith
Subject: Darwin and Homosexuality
You write, "If you want to take the position that homosexuality is not a choice, then let’s experiment with my idea. We will know rather quickly who is right and who is wrong for nature itself proves the whole genetic argument invalid".
You need to take a little better interest then this in how the natural world really works. Perhaps this AP article from 1999 will help you out a tad…
Why Do Peacocks Stick Together in Avian `Singles Bar’?
By MATTHEW FORDAHL, AP Science Writer
Copyright ©1999 Associated Press
Groups of peacocks strut their stuff in hopes of attracting the finest peahens, but only a few lucky guys will find a willing mate in the wild kingdom’s equivalent of a singles bar.
Scientists have long wondered why the unsuccessful peacocks stick around the same group year after year when the hens tend to select the same few males each breeding season.
Research published Thursday in the journal Nature suggests a sound evolutionary reason: Many of the bird buddies within individual groups are brothers. By working together, the brothers are increasing the odds that their genes will be passed to another generation.
"By helping your relatives to attract mates, your genes are spread," said Marion Petrie, a researcher at Britain’s University of Newcastle, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The research sheds light on why some peacocks seem unconcerned with sex and are content to be hangers-on in the animal singles scene: Larger groups of peacocks attract more females, so some of the peacocks are there just to make the group bigger.
"The benefits of helping closely related dominants to attract more females may outweigh the subordinate males’ own meager mating opportunities," said Cornell University researcher Paul Sherman in an accompanying Nature commentary.
Petrie and her colleagues studied about 200 free-ranging peafowl in Whipsnade Park north of London. Using DNA fingerprinting, the researchers found birds inside the strutting groups are more likely to be related to each other than those outside the group.
But how do the related birds find each other? That’s unclear, but it is not because the peacock brothers grew up together.
In fact, the researchers found that when peacock brothers were separated before hatching, and then were released into Whipsnade Park when they were yearlings, the brothers still tended to group together.
The mechanism by which the birds found their relatives is unclear. It could be by odor, feather patterns or the sounds the birds make.
"There is some way in which kin can be associated, which doesn’t require learning or environmental clues," Petrie said. "They didn’t know their fathers or mothers. They could not possibly learn who their brothers were. They had no reference points to where they were born, but they still found each other."
If you don’t pass on your genes, but you help your siblings pass on theirs, your family genes get passed on, and that’s good enough as far as natural selection is concerned. If you help make your family, or your tribe look desirable, then the genes in that pool, which likely include a good many of yours too, get to go a few more rounds. If a trait is recessive, not everyone in the group needs to express it, for it to get passed along too, with all the others. If this is not true, then the mating rituals of Peacocks would not look the way they do.
Here’s a little something else to ponder when considering Darwin and homosexuality: the humble prostate gland. When you massage it, which is what happens during a certain kind of male to male sex, you can bring a human male to a right dandy orgasm. I doubt that massaging any other gland in the human body will produce anything other then pain, let alone sexual pleasure, but that one particular gland, in that one particular part of the male anatomy is different that way. You need to pay attention to that, because militant homosexuality didn’t do that, godless secularism didn’t do that, the Warren court didn’t do that, millions of years of adaptive evolution gave that to every human male who ever walked this earth, whether they had any use for it or not. And let’s be honest here, most don’t. The vast majority of human males have utterly no use for that.
Yet there it is.
So…actually, you’re probably sitting on all the proof you need for the genetic argument at this very moment.
I was too polite to tell him that as long as he’s got his head up his ass he should look around.