Re: Disorders

Harvey Newstrom (
Sun, 12 Jul 1998 22:24:37 -0400

Bradley Felton wrote:
> 1. An increase in gay rats does not slow down the population bloom, as
> non-gay rats are always happy to take up the slack.

There is no "slack". We are talking about overcrowded rats. I know of no mechanism for an gay rats to trigger increased breeding in other rats. It would be very interesting to discover a nonbreeding influence on the subsequent generation!

> 2. If these gay rats are not contributing to the gene pool, their trait
> can not be said to have evolved for this purpose (it may be a "glitch",
> which evolved for some other purpose but turns fatal in an over-populated
> environment).

Your assuming that all rats passing along the gay gene are themselves gay. Most genes are not simple dominant genes that express themselves in their hosts. This is why children can have traits not visible in their parents, even though they were passed genetically from the parents.

> In humans, the "gay gene" exists in an equilibrium with those of other
> sexual stratedgies, increasing its share in small societies where the
> increased disease risk that this strategy brings is not a large factor,
> decreasing when the opposite is true.

If there is a "gay gene", I'm not sure why you think it would be more likely to be regulated by disease that any other gene. I don't think there are any gay-specific diseases. HIV is too recent to be proposed as a disease factor in evolution, and its incubation time is much too long to prevent breeding. Since gays don't reproduce as much as nongays, I would expect a gay-preferring disease to have little effect on genetics.

Harvey Newstrom                                   <>
Author, Engineer, Entrepreneur,              <>
Consultant, Researcher, Scientist.           <ldap://>