Re: memetics-digest V1 #1525

From: Agner Fog (
Date: Tue 22 Feb 2005 - 08:14:42 GMT

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    Peter Baker wrote:<br>
    >May I suggest you read 'Biological Exhuberance' by Bruce Bagemihl, <br>
    >Profile Books 1999, in which he documents, from the scientific <br>
    >literature, homosexual behaviour as a natural part of the range of <br>
    >sexual expression in over 450 species, including most mammals.<br>
    This book is a useful collection of documentation, but its theory is completely out of line with evolutionary thought. Bagemihl's claim is that animals do homosex just for fun or for some other 'esoteric' reason. But he ignores the fact that an animal's sense of what is fun or pleasurable is evolved. If animals have a taste for some subjectively pleasurable activity which is a nonadaptive waste of time and energy then they will most likely be outcompeted by others that find adaptive activities more pleasurable. Bagemihl can't see any adaptive function in homosexual behavior, but other ethologists can. Homosexual behavior in bonobos, dolphins, giraffes, etc. have functions such as forming alliances, solving conflicts, etc.
    Homosexual behavior can of course be a side effect of heterosexual behavior when an opposite-sex partner is not available. But the animal should always prefer an opposite sex partner unless the homosexual behavior has some adaptive function other than breeding. This function may be to practice sexual skills without being pregnant, or it may be to form alliances, or whatever. =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

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