So I really get tried of people trying to use any process of evolution to call homosexuality unnatural. The people saying it are likely just trying a reason to be bigots and it's misunderstanding some affects of natural selection and sexual selection.
I wrote this as a rant and a little bit for fun. I'm planning on drawing a picture of it but wondered if I had time so at least decided to put it up here.
Quick note: When I refer to homosexuality as an oddity I only mean it in regards to evolution.
Ever hear that homosexuality is unnatural because no way it could have survived the evolutionary process? Any person saying this is likely just trying to find an excuse to justify their bigotry but that statement shows a misunderstanding of natural selection and sexual selection, the developmental mechanisms of evolution. Yes, the existence of homosexuality in light of evolution is an odd one and a legit question to ask but homosexuality is far from unnatural in nature. I’m sure everyone is aware of many animal species that were observed in engaging in homosexual behavior. People often use these examples to show that homosexuality isn’t unnatural and those people are right. But why? Also another question, how could that trait/behavior survive?
Evolution not only depends on natural selection, the ability for an organism to adapt and survive within its environment, but also sexual selection, the ability of an organism to pass along those good traits which helped it survive so well. An organism may be the strongest, smartest and the most long lived in its species but if it fails to reproduce then its good survival was meaningless. Homosexuality would fail in sexual selection because the sexual orientation of a man would not affect his ability to hunt, find shelter or protect himself but again, if he doesn’t reproduce then his good traits are meaningless in the evolutionary process of the species.
So why do we see homosexuality in our human population. Isn’t it obvious to assume that such a characteristic was weeded out long ago. Nope! Here is the big reason why...
Humans are no longer subject to natural selection.
Duh, so what? Well, I’ll explain.
Diversity within one species comes about through high birth rate and low death rate.
Remember those fish from the movie Finding Nemo? They’re common name are Clown Fish. If you had a tank of twenty clown fish, would you be able to tell them apart from each other? Would you be able to tell them apart so well that you could name them and come back a week later and give their assigned names again? I bet you can’t cause they just look too much alike. Why is that? One reason is that we as humans have more familiarity with our own species and thus are able to notice differences, though there is also a bigger reason.
The birth rate of a clown fish population is about equal to its death rate over a period of time. This means that there is very little individual to individual diversity within a Clown Fish population. If there is one Clown Fish has a defective fin, its fittest to survive is reduced and it likely will die young. Any oddities within an population are removed before that population becomes adults and have a chance to reproduce. Therefore, this sets up the pattern that each generations is the same “this-is-what-works” cookie cutter behavior and appearance.
So what does this have to do with humans. Since we are no longer subject to natural selection or any kind of environmental/predator checks and balances, our diversity has increased. People who would have normally died as children due to disease or illness are now saved by medicine. We no longer worry about predators. Infections can easily be managed. etc etc We could write pages on the many many things which now help people to survive when they otherwise would have died. Humans are not the only example, but any domesticated animal as well, but the important thing is that our birth rate is higher than our death rate. When natural selection is in place, diversity within a single population of a species is almost nonexistent. (Quick note: I’m not talking about genetic diversity but rather the diversity in the genes that are being expressed as our phenotype) When natural selection is removed, individuals with oddities are able to survive and when they reproduce will pass along numerous other traits which are now able to survive. Another way of saying it is that the fact that homosexuality is seen within a population is a indicator that the population is doing well for itself in the sense that environmental conditions are favorable. Edit: A better way to think of it is that if the population has high numbers, the percentage any differences in individuals goes up.
You might remember that I did say that homosexuality wouldn’t survive sexual selection so this might answer your “gotcha” question. It goes into the vast and complicated world of genetics and the probability of what genes gets passed along but more importantly what genes get expressed. The factors that determine a person’s sexual orientation are numerous. Genes, hormones, gene translation or environmental factors could all be an influence. Though just to simplify it, I’ll say it all depends on one gene and that gene must be passed along through reproduction. We all carry genes which are not being expressed but those genes may be expressed in our children. As a simple example, a mother and a father both have black hair but their daughter has blonde hair. Another example is that a heterosexual mother and father have a gay son. I would say that the gene(s) that determine homosexual orientation are indirectly passed along. So how did such genes originally get in our gene pool? Fuck if I know. A lot of things about genetics and origin of genes are unknown and far beyond my understanding.
Two things hope I covered in this rant.
1) Stop incorrectly using evolution to justify homophobic bigotry.
2) Stop being a homophobic bigot.