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February 11, 2007

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bls

Well, first of all, these evolutionary biology-based arguments tend always to fixate on "propagation of genes by individual entities" as the one and only motivator of human behavior - or of any sort of animal behavior.

I'm afraid this isn't true. Bees are one good counterexample; the vast, vast majority of the individuals die without mating or ever even attempting to mate.

As well, human beings are intensely social creatures; many of our behaviors are based on that aspect of our natures. For an easy example, firemen and soldiers sacrifice themselves for others. If "kinship" is the motivator here, why does the same idea somehow get cancelled out during the "monogamy vs. promiscuity" argument?

Thirdly, it completely ignores facts of human history, as well as setting up a false dichotomy. Polygamy has been completely ordinary behavior in most societies throughout history.

bls

And fourthly - ;-) - the divorce rate is sky-high these days.

If that's true in an era - the first era in history, really - when people make their marital choices freely and individually, then isn't it true that individuals aren't reliable when it comes to monogamy? The divorce rate was so low in previous eras due to social pressure; what we're seeing now is what happens when you take the pressure off.

So the alleged individual and reproduction-driven instinct to monogamy is not reliable at all, apparently; it's society (and religion) that create conditions that result in more grandchildren.

People are extremely complicated, and I often find these arguments from evolutionary biology suspect.

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