Even with all the responses to this thread, my example still stands. In a beehive, the breeding queen could not survive without the nonbreeding drones. The hive evolved so that both kinds of bees are required. My point was merely that evolution can and does produce individuals that do not produce. It is not necessary for every single individual to reproduce.
My point is just that gays are not "obviously" an evolutionary mistake due to their lack of reproduction. It is simply not true that childless animals are not part of evolution. This is a common misconception among nonbiologists. Any genetic factors that affect behavior of some individuals affects the social group. Any factor that affects the social group could enhance or threaten survival rates. Any factor that affects survival rates will steer the course of evolution toward a "fitter" animal.
Another good example would be predators, which clearly thin out a herd so that only the fittest survive. They are clearly part of the evolutionary process, even though they do not breed or produce new animals within the herd. Predators are not evolutionary dead-ends or deviations. The are nonbreeding examples of evolution in action.
-- Harvey Newstrom <mailto://firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://harveynewstrom.com> Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist. ----- Original Message ----- From: Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com (none)> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 6:52 pm Subject: Re: homosexuality as an evolutionary adaptation...
> > The difference is that [workers] share many of the genes with the queen
> > and with the other bees. I'm not sure of the details, but they may even
> > all be clones of each other. At least that's how it is with ants. It
> > because the workers share so many genes with the reproducing organisms
> > that group selection works effectively with hive insects.
> > Without such close kinship, group selection has a weak effect and
> > will tend to be dominated by individual selection. An individual who
> > reproduces will tend to have more of his genes propagated than one who
> > does not but who benefits the group as a whole.
> All worker bees in a hive are effectively sisters, so they pass on their
> genes by supporting the queen as a sister factory. It was once thought
> that this genetic arrangement was necessary for eusociality to evolve,
> but this has since been overturned by naked mole rats and other fully
> eusocial animals that have different genetics.
> Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html>
> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
> are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
> for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC