Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
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05-01-2013, 04:17 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(04-01-2013 08:46 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  
(04-01-2013 04:10 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  What makes you say that ?
Monogamy is more a result of religious, social and cultural conditioning rather than evolution. You've no idea whether primitive man was going around screwing every female he could lay his hands on or not. Most modern men still would if they could get away with it !
Monogamy AND religion, culture and social structure are products of evolution. Those all happened. So has polygamy. So has paganism. All of this orientation is part of- not separate from- evolution.
I don't agree. Evolution is a biological process, the things that you list are all the result of intellect. Evolution gave us the ability to think, what we do with that ability is no longer part of the evolutionary process per se.
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05-01-2013, 06:14 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 04:17 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  
(04-01-2013 08:46 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  Monogamy AND religion, culture and social structure are products of evolution. Those all happened. So has polygamy. So has paganism. All of this orientation is part of- not separate from- evolution.
I don't agree. Evolution is a biological process, the things that you list are all the result of intellect. Evolution gave us the ability to think, what we do with that ability is no longer part of the evolutionary process per se.
It's not that simple or separate. Societies also evolve.

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05-01-2013, 07:39 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 06:14 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(05-01-2013 04:17 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  I don't agree. Evolution is a biological process, the things that you list are all the result of intellect. Evolution gave us the ability to think, what we do with that ability is no longer part of the evolutionary process per se.
It's not that simple or separate. Societies also evolve.
I agree that it's not simple, but I would argue that it's seperate. Evolution, in terms of natural selection / genetic drift / mutation / climatic influence / etc. is not the same process as that involved in how societies change.

Arguing that all of Human invention is part of the evolutionary process is a dangerous path because it frees us from any responsibility for our actions :

Human sacrifice - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Burning witches - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Holocaust - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Millions dead from Communism - just evolution, nothing to worry about...

At some point several tens (hundreds ?) of thousands of years ago, we developed to a stage where we could start to question and explain what was going on around us. We started to understand, or make up explanations for things we observed. At this point we gained some control over our collective destiny and so became accountable* for our actions. This is were societal construction branched off from physical evolution. All of the concepts that we've developed since (from religions to monogamy to paganism to macro-economics to astrology to Angry Birds to whatever...) are a result of human intellect, not evolution of the species.

(*to future generations, or in terms of justifying them in relation to whatever moral standards are in effect at any given time)
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05-01-2013, 08:38 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 07:39 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  
(05-01-2013 06:14 AM)Chas Wrote:  It's not that simple or separate. Societies also evolve.
I agree that it's not simple, but I would argue that it's seperate. Evolution, in terms of natural selection / genetic drift / mutation / climatic influence / etc. is not the same process as that involved in how societies change.

Arguing that all of Human invention is part of the evolutionary process is a dangerous path because it frees us from any responsibility for our actions :

Human sacrifice - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Burning witches - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Holocaust - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Millions dead from Communism - just evolution, nothing to worry about...

At some point several tens (hundreds ?) of thousands of years ago, we developed to a stage where we could start to question and explain what was going on around us. We started to understand, or make up explanations for things we observed. At this point we gained some control over our collective destiny and so became accountable* for our actions. This is were societal construction branched off from physical evolution. All of the concepts that we've developed since (from religions to monogamy to paganism to macro-economics to astrology to Angry Birds to whatever...) are a result of human intellect, not evolution of the species.

(*to future generations, or in terms of justifying them in relation to whatever moral standards are in effect at any given time)

How does it free us from taking responsibility? Acknowledging the progress and evolution of societies let's us at least admit stuff happened and analyze it. Witch burnings happened in extremely primitive societies in a time when man didn't understand stuff, extremely ignorant and science and society was blind to a lot of stuff. Superstition was rampant and it was in a time when people still actively believed in lots of pagan gods (way way more than you'd see nowadays).

No one is going to say it was good, and no one is going to shrug and go, "oh those silly people who got murdered for that silly stuff. Ohhhh evolution. Ohyou.jpg"....

The point Chas is making is that societies do evolve and make progress. People do stupid shit as they learn, sometimes the lessons come from horrible things. Does it mean we should look forward to horrible things? Nope. But shit happens.

In fact, I'm sure there are things that perhaps we wouldn't think twice about or things perhaps we think now are "strange" or "ridiculous" that in 100 years another society will think we're extremely ignorant and wonder what we were thinking. Right now, many people in my generation have little to no issue with homosexual people. Many of us have friends who are homosexual. My parents generation on the other hand was raised hearing everything from it being a mental disorder to a disease or someone who is sick in the head. They still will tell you that shit.

Once their generation dies and my generation is "their generation" and our kids are raised into society, much of that bullshit will die with them. As we shrug as it being "an issue" less than their generation, each generation will shrug more and more until it's just accepted that there are people who are homosexuals in society and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Guess what, people burned less and less witches as they realized it was inhumane, stupid, ridiculous and that it was a lot of bullshit. How many people do you look at seriously if they say they know a witch, are a witch or knew a witch. A real witch. I think most anyone would roll their eyes and go .... "Yeah... a witch... suuuuure."

Society has evolved past that. We've made progress, we're less ignorant (at least in that sense).

So does it mean we take no responsibility for it since we knew it happened and can attribute it to the progress/evolution of a society? No.

When someone actually says, "I'm just judging you and being a condescending, judgmental and discriminating against you because of my stupid doctrine I was raised into because.... it's part of evolution." then proceed to kick them in the balls as using it as a copout and not taking responsibility for their actions.

Nothing is always "just that simple" - we should always look at past and present to ensure mistakes aren't repeated. But there's nothing wrong with calling it what it is. Just because you're a human being with more intelligence than the average ape doesn't mean you aren't subject to evolution and doesn't mean society isn't subject to evolution. You're still a biological organism and part of a society, responsible for your actions and all of our actions will play some part in the larger part of what we'll look like in 100, 200, 300, 400, 5000 years (if we live beyond any of those).
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05-01-2013, 09:04 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 07:39 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  
(05-01-2013 06:14 AM)Chas Wrote:  It's not that simple or separate. Societies also evolve.
I agree that it's not simple, but I would argue that it's seperate. Evolution, in terms of natural selection / genetic drift / mutation / climatic influence / etc. is not the same process as that involved in how societies change.

Arguing that all of Human invention is part of the evolutionary process is a dangerous path because it frees us from any responsibility for our actions :

Human sacrifice - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Burning witches - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Holocaust - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Millions dead from Communism - just evolution, nothing to worry about...

At some point several tens (hundreds ?) of thousands of years ago, we developed to a stage where we could start to question and explain what was going on around us. We started to understand, or make up explanations for things we observed. At this point we gained some control over our collective destiny and so became accountable* for our actions. This is were societal construction branched off from physical evolution. All of the concepts that we've developed since (from religions to monogamy to paganism to macro-economics to astrology to Angry Birds to whatever...) are a result of human intellect, not evolution of the species.

(*to future generations, or in terms of justifying them in relation to whatever moral standards are in effect at any given time)


Again, it is more complex and intertwined. The kinds of societies that we create affect selection which affects the kinds of societies we evolve which affects selection ...

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-01-2013, 10:07 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
Societal evolution is very real and nothing to ignore. It is something to shape and a way to influence things if you are so inclined.

Who the heck would want to live in the dark ages or middle ages?

Society has evolved by leaps and bounds, some cultures have done so more than others.

Unfortunately there are still cultures that will stone people to death.

On the other hand, we have cultures with emancipated women, gays gaining recognition in a real way, and what have you.

Societal evolution happens faster than physical evolution, and it does influence physical evolution in a very real way also.

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05-01-2013, 10:27 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(03-01-2013 11:07 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  Technically you are correct since "survival of the fittest" describes an organism that has the most offspring. Animals that mate prodigiously have low male parental investment (MPI) because their children are born relatively strong and need little to no care to survive to pass on their own genes. Chimps, our closest cousins, are good examples of this. Their offspring may be weak when compared to other animals, but they are strong enough to hold on to their mothers' bellies, as well as walk, from an early age. They develop physically much faster than human children. It is important to note that chimps live in a violent patriarchal society where the males fight for alpha status so that they can have mating rights with all of the females in a community. Newly established alphas are known to sometimes kill the offspring of their predecessors to avoid gene competition. The joint human-chimp ancestor may have lived in such a society.

However, after we parted ways, the human lineage adopted an egalitarian society, one in which males do not compete for multiple females. We started having fewer children because our ever-growing brains required more and more time to mature. Hence, we are born weaker and have longer periods of immaturity in comparison with chimps. Animals that have fewer children tend to have higher MPI because it takes two parents to care for such helpless creatures. Too much energy has been put into the child—i.e., the creation of the sperm and egg and the calories sacrificed by the mother to bring it to term—for the father to just leave to go impregnate the next female. This may sound like a common occurrence in today’s society, but you have to view the situation through the lens of deep history. Anatomically modern human males living in the semi-forested grasslands of ancient Africa couldn’t just leave their wives and move to a new city to chase younger women. There were very few humans at the time, so they had to stay in tightknit hunter-gatherer groups. They all depended on each other for survival. Monogamy as far as wedlock is concerned is a modern invention. Biological monogamy is much, much older.

It is interesting to note that Gibbons, the “lesser apes,” are monogamous because they are small and can only protect a single female, a limited number of offspring, and a small patch of territory. I think this mirrors what it was like for early humans.


I tend to disagree, because the need for 2 parents is based on the society we have. If we were still hunter/gatherers, a single parent might be successful at raising offspring. It is the fact that you need two working individuals to support having a roof over your head that makes it generally impossible for a single adult to raise a child.
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05-01-2013, 10:37 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
You can't go hunting with a baby either, lol!

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05-01-2013, 10:49 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 10:37 AM)Dom Wrote:  You can't go hunting with a baby either, lol!



Maybe you can't hunt with a baby, but you can do things like fish or gather food. Unless of course you are crazy enough to use it as bait. Tongue In the society we have though, you need to have a job to pay for permits to do those very things. It is due to society that it is almost impossible to do, not that we can't do it like monkeys do.
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05-01-2013, 11:06 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 10:27 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  It is the fact that you need two working individuals to support having a roof over your head that makes it generally impossible for a single adult to raise a child.
What about rich people? Have they evolved differently, because they do not need the salaries of two working individuals to raise a child? That's a very flimsy reason for monogamy...

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