Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some people just can’t keep it in their genes

This is not going to sit well with the fundies…. “OMG, evilution is teaching our chilluns infidelity!!” But anyway, David Barash, evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington, writes about the relation between sexual infidelity and the selection over time of our genetic wiring.


Part of being successful, moreover, is a tendency to feel entitled and often to be uninhibited -- in part because one outcome of our species-wide polygamous history is that successful men have been those who took risks, which paid off. The losers were mostly found among the unsuccessful bachelors who, by definition, did not contribute very much to succeeding generations of men, or to their inclinations.......

........Some readers may bridle at this characterization of Homo sapiens as EPC-(Ed: extra-pair copulation a.k.a. infidelity) inclined, but the evidence is overwhelming. That doesn't justify adultery, by either sex, especially because human beings -- even those burdened by a Y chromosome and suffering from testosterone poisoning -- are presumed capable of exercising control over their impulses….

….. But even a smidgen of evolutionary insight suggests that maleness plus money plus political power isn't likely to add up to the kind of sexual restraint that the public expects.

Interesting read. Check it out.

For human populations, a corollary consequence of such selection of genetic wiring (which I have long thought to be self-evident) is that, from a purely reproductive-success standpoint, ignorance and impulsiveness constantly breed and succeed while intelligence and restraint largely select against themselves. This explains a lot about the world we live in.

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