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19th-Oct-2007 05:38 pm
Happy Birthday Edith!

It's been so long since any of you freaks had a birthday (except for germolene and fightingthecage, who have had BIRTHS and because I'm secretly a heteronormative romantic, I predict them to grow up and have lots of little LJ babies, dammit.

Thanks to everyone for last night, seriously. You guys lifted my spirits a lot, and I love you all. ♥

In celebration of the glow vindication brings me, I have linkspam.

I've been listening to my music with a fannish ear recently, and this is what's got me:
Chad_Brock: Lightning Does The Work is such a lovely country-ish Iroh song.
Tina Arena: Burn is more a Rabbithole song from perspective of poor dead Mel. >_>

R.I.P.Alan Coren
I like to think he'd appreciate the fact he died age 69.

davegodfrey has a much better discussion in his journal than anything I'd have time to write about the London Review of Books' article: Why Pigs Don't Have Wings. I fail a little bit as a science communicator in that I have difficulty that anyone can misunderstand evolution so thoroughly. Meh.

And something I meant to linked to ages ago but couldn't find the words through the anger:

From February, all across the UK, people charged with petty crimes will be denied the right to talk to a lawyer. Instead they will be put through to a privately-run 'legal advice line', which in London will be run by ex-cops.

Yep, even our legal rights have been sold off to the highest bidder.
19th-Oct-2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
From February, all across the UK, people charged with petty crimes will be denied the right to talk to a lawyer. Instead they will be put through to a privately-run 'legal advice line', which in London will be run by ex-cops.

Wait, WHAT?
19th-Oct-2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
19th-Oct-2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
No, UIZRITEOMG, I just can't believe it.
20th-Oct-2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
I was talking to a friend who did molecular biology, she corrected me when I mentioned it was amazing how complex the systems were that could occur from a series of accidents. She told me how a species' DNA adapts to better survive in its environment, that it was a reaction.

There are some subtle nuances to the theory that are still being debated and I wouldn't say that it is widely understood, despite the vast majority insisting they do.
20th-Oct-2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, meant to add - how do you explain homosexuality in evolutionary terms?
21st-Oct-2007 09:51 am (UTC)
Kin selection.

Know that we don't fully understand the genetic mechanics of homosexuality, but there is plenty evidence to suggest that in men at least, it is inherited. Possibly through the female line. (A woman with gay brothers may have gay sons)

Assume for the sake of argue this is true, and there is a 'gay gene' that is expressed in male homosexuality. A gay uncle can provide an evolutionary advantage to his gay nephews.

Now, just because a gay man doesn't have sons of his own, it doesn't mean that the gay gene dies out. His sister, who is 50% genetically similar to him, may also carry it. And in an early modern human society, which was probably (according to comparison to modern Hunter Gatherer societies) focused on the extended family rather than the immediate, this gay man, having no offspring of his own to provide for, can dedicate time and resources into providing for his sister's children, and thus improve his own fitness. In environments with a high childhood death rate, it's possible that helping other people raise a child only 25% related to you is more likely to succeed than raising a child 50% related to you with only the help of your spouse.

This fitness boost is emphasised if, for example, the man in question is also slightly genderqueer, because in some hunter gatherer societies, the traditional 'male' hunter groups benefit the whole social group, while the 'female' gatherers contribute more to individual families. So if there are gay men (and post-menopausal women) acting as additional helpers to a specific family, that family may have a fitness advantage over those whose male members are helping the gropu as a whole.

Additionally, in areas with high paternal uncertainty, a gay man helping to raise his sisters sons might actually have a greater chance of being related to them than a straight man raising his wife's sons. Because you know your sister's children are hers.
25th-Oct-2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
While there may well be an inherited component to it it doesn't mean that being gay is actually beneficial. After all, sexuality isn't usually totally exclusive, and plenty of gay men did (and still do) have children. Homosexuality has been observed in an awful lot of animals, and I find it very hard to believe that gay damselflies are doing it to benefit their sisters.

The "gay genes" might do things to a woman's body that makes her better at churning out kids, and has the side-effect of making men prefer men.

On the grasping hand it could just be one of those things that happens, isn't massively detrimental and just hangs around the population making life interesting.

(No value judgements were made in the making of this comment).
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