Re: genetic Extropians!!!

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Oct 07 2000 - 00:28:39 MDT

At 08:25 PM 6/10/00 -0700, Spike wrote:

>I submit this notion:
>that there is some yet unknown mechanical/genetic explanation for
>homosexuality that is a completely random event. It comes from inheriting
>the genital configuration from one parent and the sexual orientation
>from the other, and that the probability of this is about 5% regardless
>of other factors. [...] It
>must be something genetic, decided at the moment of conception.

My sense is that (to the extent it's not a matter of choice and local
prejudice) it's a developmental effect. It has been suggested that
upregulated cortisol titers in mothers, due to stress environments during
pregnancy, might serve as a trigger. Dunno the details, though.

>above notion would suggest
>that *all* human societies have about the same percent gay, therefor
>no group selection advantage there.

Two out of 6 kids in my family were born with (or maybe quickly developed)
an eye disorder known as `amblyopia' - a squint or turned eye. It looks
awful, and if not treated young leads to apoptosis in certain visual system
neural groups, causing loss of central focus in the affected eye and
preventing stereopsis. So I and my brother were fated from infancy to live
in a visually flat world. Luckily for him, he had the repair done in
childhood, and suffered nothing worse than the mockery and cruelty due to
any green monkey. But even if there's a genetic component in this
developmental pathway, I'm damned sure it's not selected for by either
individual or group selection. (Aw, shucks, but maybe it is after all--not
being able to see well enough to hunt and fight made me stay at home and do
all that detestable and unmanly book larnin'...)

Damien Broderick

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