On Tue, 08 Jul 1997 07:27:14 -0400, "John H. Casada" <casad at umich.edu>
>F. Frank LeFever wrote:
>>>> "John H. Casada" <casad at umich.edu> writes:
>>>> > <snip>
>> >This does not present an insuperable obsticle, though. It is to the
>> >individual's advantage to see his genetic material passed on, even if
>> >it is done indirectly through close kin and not by his direct
>> >production of progeny.
>> I'm too lacking in the in-depth reading of current theory to do much
>> more than wing it, but given the eventual acceptance of some ideas
>> previously sounding off-the-wall (e.g. non-chromosomal inheritance),
>> I'm not ready just now to call it a closed issue.
>> If the gene pool includes a wide enough variety, it seems to me the
>> species has resources to meet new conditions. Ipso facto, there is an
>> evolutionary (or simply SURVIVAL) advantage to whatever genetic or
>> historical factors promote and preserve not just any specific
>> characteristic, but variability itself.
>>Sorry for the extensive snipping (required by the browser to respond).
>>I agree with you about the advantages of diversity in the species
>genomic repertoire, but my arguments to the evolutionists that these
>are generated (by mutation) or maintained (through some unnamed
>process) have been met with repeated assertions that evolution
>operates for the benefit of the individual, not the species. Go
>>You reply was fairly dense (not stupid, but packed with ideas that
>were sometimes a little hard to follow). I was wondering what you
>were referring to when you mentioned "non-chromosomal inheritance." I
>know of know non-chromosomal inheritance, so if you felt I was
>advocating this, I am not.
>>My point was this. Is it evolutionarily advantageous for worker ants
>to sacrifice themselves for the colony? Of course! And does it
>contradict evolution theory for the worker ants to be unable to
>reproduce? Not at all! (You may read an analogy to homosexuality
>here.) The evolutionary advantage that these workers gain by
>sacrificing themselves and not reproducing is that their genetic
>material (as contained by the queen) is protected and given an
>increased opportunity to reproduce. So by dying (and winning) the
>worker ants increase the proportion of their genes in the genetic
>>The old joke goes something like this. A geneticist was asked, "Would
>you give your life for your brother?" And he replied, "No, but I
>would give my life for two brothers and a cousin." In short, he is
>stating (pardon if I am dragging out the obvious) that while a brother
>shares only half his genes (and would make a poor trade for his life),
>two brothers (an approximately equal genetic trade for his life) plus
>a cousin (who shares a small fraction of his genes) would make a fair
>trade evolutionarily. All of this is ultimately calculated on
>>I hope this helps to clear up the post I originally made.
Being new to this discussion, I hope what I say will be relevant.
Preface, I have an MS+ in pharmacology, although I'm currently a
computer hack. I've done research on the effects of prenatal methadone
and ethanol exposure on opioid receptor development in rat brain.
There is much evidence in the scientific literature of a congenital
link to, at least, male homosexual tendencies. Many studies in rats
have shown that prenatal, maternal stress, including that from
maternal alcohol exposure leads to feminization of certain brain
structures, particularly the medial preoptic nucleus (MPOA), which is
involved in certain sexual behaviors. Other brain structures have been
implicated as well. Some of these changes appear to be linked to
changes in the activity of a specific aromatase enzyme that converts
androgens into estrogens. Feminized behaviors are also noted in these
prenatally-stressed male rats. RA-Gorski at UCLA has done a lot of
work in this area in rats, and is good place to start. The infamous
Simon LeVay(sp?), an admitted homosexual and neuroscientist, has
looked at this issue in humans, and found that the human brain
structures comparable to the MPOA in rats are feminized in human males
(albeit his subjects have mostly been patients who died due to
complications of AIDS). LeVay's work is supported by studies in the
lab of Gorski and the Dutch neuroscientist D-Swaab. Another study has
found that the play behaviors in young boys from methadone moms is
feminized. This isn't a field I intended to study, but it came up in
my own research, in trying to explain the profound feminization of
delta opioid-receptor development I observed in male rats exposed to
ethanol during pregnancy.