Tuesday, June 20, 2006

That's Just Not Natural

Except, of course, that it is. Homosexual sex is what I'm referring to, the subject of a new article in SEED Magazine. It turns out that Joan Roughgarden, a professor of biology at Stanford University, has published an article contending that Darwin was somewhat biased in formulating his theory of sexual selection.

Darwin hypothesized, you see, that normal sexual practice involves males competing for female partners in order to spread their genetics through breeding as much as possible. This theory would mean that all non-reproductive sex was aberrant and wasteful, much as the Bible would have it.

However, Roughgarden postulates that Darwin was incorrect in basing his theory on some very narrow observations and that, in truth, sexual behaviour among higher vertebrates is as much for social bonding - which leads to more successful survival rates of the species - as it is for straight-up fertilization (pun fully intended). Her evidence? Over 450 different vertebrate species engage in homosexual sex. That's right: 450+ species that we know of (so far) are actively homo or bisexual, sometimes on a regular basis. Kind of makes you think, huhn?

Hey, baby.

Some might dismiss Roughgarden's proposition merely because she, herself, is a transexual. But accusing her of bias begs the obvious question of just how biased Darwin, as a straight white male in the Victoria era, might be regarding sexual matters, himself. Either way, it's a fascinating article, and I suggest you go read it right now.

Alternately, you could read this article on the same topic, which is much funnier.

[Tip of the hat to Joe.My.God.]

1 comment:

Qenny said...

Thanks for that. The phobes and the xtian zealots have been in denial about this for years. Mind you, they tend to be happy ignoring science in preference to "what their gut tells them", so I guess there won't be any great changes of heart any time soon.