Re: JASSS Critical Review of Thought Contagion

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 06 May 1999 12:49:25 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 12:49:25 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: JASSS Critical Review of Thought Contagion
In-Reply-To: <>

At 12:51 PM 5/6/99 EDT, wrote:
>In a message dated 5/6/99 11:09:59 AM Central Daylight Time,
><< Nor,
> incidentally, do I assume that there is *one* gene involved, but that
> perhaps many genes of, say, a combined q of .1 could rise to a combined q
> of .2 and quadruple the rate of repressed homosexuality. >>
>Yes, I did notice that in Derek's criticism. The assumption seemed that we
>are only talking about one recessive factor. I don't think that this has
>been established yet for homosexuality, though much has been done to link
>homosexuality to genetics generally - even though there remains some
>disagreement on that as well. Intuitively, it would seem to me that if
>were more genetic factors involved that things might look a bit different
>from the way that Derek makes it out, but honestly I lack the technical
>know-how to demonstrate that, so I didn't say anything at the time.
>But I would say once again that this could be yet another demonstration of
>how memetics will remain in a sort of uneasy marriage with sociobiology at
>least until much of the genetic side of things has been sorted out.

Thanks, Jake.

Speaking of sorting the genetics out, we should note that the study by
Hammer et. al. suggesting the existence of specific genes is controversial.
So the genetic part of my hypothesis certainly remains a hypothesis for
now. The part about the taboo spreading by causing more children does not
depend on the existence of "gay genes," though.

Incidentally, the q values I discuss above do not correspond to a
multi-gene rise to 4% genetic homosexuality. The combined q to achieve a 4%
rate of genetic homosexuality by the multiple recessive gene mechanism is
greater than the .2 I mentioned. For example, 4 equally prevalent recessive
genes of q value .1 would add up to a combined q value of .4 with a genetic
homosexuality rate of 4%. If they went from combined q of .1 to .4, this of
course would increase the homosexuality rate by 16-fold.

>-Jake ( under a different screen name)

For every cause, a lab; for every lab, a cause. ;-)

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