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About passing the genes

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:57 pm
by Bango Skank
Are there any studies & predictions done about effects of having only one person to pass genes with (marriage)?

I mean let's think this purely on biological perspective. As far as i know the only goal of evolution is to reproduce and thus pass the genes. So in that perspective, a guy who breeds with 10 women is better (a victor in biological sense) than a guy that breeds with one (Marriage and one partner is kinda of selective breeding i think).

So i'm asking what is the net effect on population in genetic level if we compare one breeding partner vs. multiple breeding partners.

I'd appreciate if the answers were in layman's terms.

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:25 pm
by hackenslash
I don't know of any specific studies offhand, but I suspect it won't be that straightforward. The relationship strategy contains quite a few variables besides the obvious genetic diversity component - the only clear advantage to polygamy I can think of off the top of my head - that would affect whether monogamy was a useful survival strategy in evolutionary terms. In species with a slow generational turnaround and a small enough fitness coefficient, the monogamous relationship provides clear advantages in that it has a greater rate against continuance of the genetic line.

My feeling is that it's going to involve quite a large number of variables, not all of which are going to be easily amenable to study.

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:45 pm
by Dragan Glas
Greetings,

Although the idea of monogamy is a recent cultural phenomenon, there is something of a evolutionary driver:

The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity

Kindest regards,

James

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:09 am
by Sparhafoc
Bango Skank wrote:Are there any studies & predictions done about effects of having only one person to pass genes with (marriage)?

I mean let's think this purely on biological perspective. As far as i know the only goal of evolution is to reproduce and thus pass the genes. So in that perspective, a guy who breeds with 10 women is better (a victor in biological sense) than a guy that breeds with one (Marriage and one partner is kinda of selective breeding i think).

So i'm asking what is the net effect on population in genetic level if we compare one breeding partner vs. multiple breeding partners.

I'd appreciate if the answers were in layman's terms.



There's a raft of mitigating factors. Humans invest heavily into child-raising, spending 15-20 years (or more) supporting their few infants, while other species make produce millions of offspring by dispersing sperm & egg and leaving their success down to numbers and attrition.

Humans produce sperm & eggs all year round, rather than in particular seasons, which can be seen as an adaptation towards monogamy and frequent sex.

So what would be the effect on the population were humans to suddenly switch to polygamy?

Well, it's likely that fewer males would be successful breeding, as odd as that may seem, because competition for any given female would be higher. A polygamous species actually needs a different gender balance with more females than males because most males thereby are essentially outside the gene pool. So we might see, over the long term, an adaptation towards less males and more females.

We might also see females' estrous cycle become more pronounced with seasonal periods of sexual receptiveness.

In terms of the distribution of alleles in a population, less variation could be expected (although it would take a very long time) because fewer males would be contributing - the bar for passing on genes is higher.

In the very long term, we might even see a dramatic change in the human strategy of parental investment with children maturing quicker, freeing up their parents resources to make more offspring.

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:30 pm
by Sparhafoc
As chance would have it, a story on this just popped up for me...

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2017072 ... c-disaster

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:58 pm
by he_who_is_nobody
One mistake you are making this thinking that just having offspring is a plus for evolution. A species needs to have offspring that also reproduce. Thus, a measured for a successful parent is not how many children it has, but how many grandchildren it has.

As has been pointed out by others, humans have a long period of childhood in which the parents play a huge roll in making sure the child survives. If a male has sex with multiple partner, has ten or so children, but only one or two make it to adulthood, they would see less success than a male that mated with one partner, nurtured his children, and six of them made it to adulthood. The promiscuous male has more children, but in the long run fewer grandchildren, thus less over all fitness.

The field of Human Evolutionary Ecology studies this. If you like, I can find some of the papers I read about this or the titles of a few text books I used.

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:28 pm
by Bango Skank
Sparhafoc wrote:As chance would have it, a story on this just popped up for me...

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2017072 ... c-disaster


Interesting...yet sad article. And you need at least 3 wives to get in heaven? That's beyond stupid.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:One mistake you are making this thinking that just having offspring is a plus for evolution. A species needs to have offspring that also reproduce. Thus, a measured for a successful parent is not how many children it has, but how many grandchildren it has.


Yes, it was stupid mistake. I should have put more thought on this before jumping to post.

he_who_is_nobody wrote:The field of Human Evolutionary Ecology studies this. If you like, I can find some of the papers I read about this or the titles of a few text books I used.


Well, it was a bit of shower thought to be honest and i received multiple answers to my satisfy my curiosity. Are those books and papers aimed for popular audience? My understanding of evolution is not so good, so i don't get much out of them if they are academic level.

Re: About passing the genes

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:29 pm
by he_who_is_nobody
Bango Skank wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:The field of Human Evolutionary Ecology studies this. If you like, I can find some of the papers I read about this or the titles of a few text books I used.


Well, it was a bit of shower thought to be honest and i received multiple answers to my satisfy my curiosity. Are those books and papers aimed for popular audience? My understanding of evolution is not so good, so i don't get much out of them if they are academic level.


The papers are peer-reviewed articles and the text books are college level, thus they would not be much help.