Re: Disorders (Was: Re: Are guns extropian?)

Bradley Felton (
Sat, 11 Jul 1998 17:26:18 -0500

At 08:21 PM 7/11/98 +0200, den Otter wrote:
>Bradley Felton wrote:
>> Speaking even more strictly, the discovery of genes associated with male
>> homosexuality means that it is not a genetic glitch that prevents
>> reproduction. The glitch that prevents reproduction seems to be a modern
>> memetic one, which encourages gays to "come out of the closet" instead of
>> trying to "act normally" by having girlfriends, marrying, etc.
>So it *is* a genetic glitch which would normally prevent reproduction,
>but it [the gen glitch] was/is suppressed by intolerant societies that
>force gays to "keep up appearances" by marrying, having kids etc.). In
>*liberal* societies "nature can take its course", and reproduction is
>generally prevented since the gay person is not forced to mate with the
>opposite sex, and doesn't feel the biological urge to do so.

I see what you mean, but consider: for a gene to became widespread it generally must confer a net reproductive advantage; which means that male homosexuality is more than a "suppressed glitch". Societal tolerance of deviant sexual behavior has been a rare thing throughout history--this is the memetic environment in which this genetic trait evolved. It's our new "liberal" memetic environment which has turned what used to be an advantage into a fatal "glitch".

To wrench this discursion rudely back in the direction of the original topic: I suspect that many of the behaviors that modern society has a problem with have the same basis, i.e. they are strategies which evolved by conferring advantage in a different environment (memetic and otherwise), but which have turned into fatal flaws today. Tomorrow might see them once again valuable, however, so maybe we should be thinking in terms of preserving behavioral diversity....

-Bradley Felton