Re: Miss Pop Ulation (was: population, homosexuality)

Robert J. Bradbury (
Thu, 2 Dec 1999 01:20:27 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 1 Dec 1999, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

> Any biologist will tell you that homosexuality is found in all species of
> mammal higher than a cat. Maybe all these species are acting "unnaturally"
> according to your definition, but I would suggest you find a different term.

I will agree that "unnatural" is a poor term due to its lack of specificity. While homosexuality may be a natural behavior (from an observed reality standpoint), it is decidedly "unnatural" from the perspective of the agenda of the genes involved.

However genes in combination work in mysterious ways. For example you have gene imprinting wars regulating, I believe, IGF-2 (insulin like growth factor-2) where the male side wants large fetuses and the female side wants small fetuses), and the genes involved in altering sperm motility (Nature Nov. 11, 1999 & Science 286:1269 (12 Nov 1999)), where it takes a combination of genes for fast sperm and slow sperm (both "distorter" and "responder" proteins) to get "normal" sperm.

These are probably just the tip of the iceberg for "wierd" gene combinations in nature. When I speak of "natural", I mean combinations of genes that will "promote" the reproduction of those genes. Anything else is self-defeating (from the gene's perspective).