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Max1951
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15 Apr 2019, 8:10 am

The point of evolution is the survival of the species. The species survives by making babies. From an evolutionary standpoint, sex between two men or two women is a waste of energy. But if homosexuality offered no evolutionary advantage, why didn't it die out as an evolutionary dead end. The human tail was lost when man moved from the trees to the savannah, because it no longer conferred an evolutionary advantage. But homosexuality is still with us and has been observed in 1500 species.

1. Does the persistence of homosexuality indicate that this behavior has an evolutionary advantage?

2. If it does not, then why has homosexuality survived evolution's pruning?

3. If it does, then what is the evolutionary advantage conferred by homosexuality?



Gromit
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15 Apr 2019, 12:03 pm

Max1951 wrote:
The point of evolution is the survival of the species.

No. Selection can operate at different levels: gene, individual, group, and there is a remote possibility that it might operate at the level of ecosystems. Most evolutionary biologists think that group selection can only operate under a special set of circumstances. "Survival of the species" is not just group selection, but a pretty large group. The larger the group, the more special the circumstances have to be for group selection to work.

Max1951 wrote:
The species survives by making babies.

Yes.

Max1951 wrote:
From an evolutionary standpoint, sex between two men or two women is a waste of energy.

If you believe that reproduction is the only function of sex. But then hidden ovulation and sex when a woman is not fertile is equally a waste of energy. Whatever argument you make, based on lack of opportunity to make babies, applies equally to hidden ovulation, to sex after menopause, and to homosexuality. So it's a good guess that sex might have other functions.

Max1951 wrote:
The human tail was lost when man moved from the trees to the savannah

None of our nearest relatives has a tail. Chimps, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons all lack a tail. The most parsimonious inference is that the tail was lost before our last common ancestor with gibbons.

Max1951 wrote:
1. Does the persistence of homosexuality indicate that this behavior has an evolutionary advantage?

Probably. Look up bonobos.

Max1951 wrote:
3. If it does, then what is the evolutionary advantage conferred by homosexuality?

In bonobos, it has social function. In Laysan albatross, two females without males may be able to raise a chick together, where a single female couldn't. They still need a male donour. I don't know how they decide who lays an egg or whether they just ignore a second egg.



naturalplastic
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16 Apr 2019, 2:34 pm

I stumbled upon an interesting Ted talk about that. But I cant find the one I saw, but here is another Ted talk that covers the same ground as the other one I saw.

Apparently the latest research shows that the odds of a guy being gay go up sharply the more older brothers he has because of epigenetics having to do the mother's womb. Its nature's way evening out the sex ratio in the tribe.