Basic biological needs and ecological adaptations
June 22, 2014 | James Kohl
When it comes to sex will humans ever be liberated from the basic biological needs that drove our evolutionary past?
“Sex at Dawn” won the award that my book chapter in the Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality won in 2007. In his book “Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation,” Simon LeVay said this about my model:
“This model is attractive in that it solves the “binding problem” of sexual attraction. By that I mean the problem of why all the different features of men or women (visual appearance and feel of face, body, and genitals; voice quality, smell; personality and behavior, etc.) attract people as a more or less coherent package representing one sex, rather than as an arbitrary collage of male and female characteristics. If all these characteristics come to be attractive because they were experienced in association with a male- or female-specific pheromone, then they will naturally go together even in the absence of complex genetically coded instructions.”
However, LeVay quickly added a caveat that removed our 1996 model of cell type differentiation in yeasts and all other species from further consideration by sexologists. “Still, even in fruit flies, other sensory input besides pheromones — acoustic, tactile, and visual stimuli — play a role in sexual attraction, and sex specific responses to these stimuli appear to be innate rather than learned by association [36.]. We simply don’t know where the boundary between prespecified attraction and learned association lie in our own species, nor do we have compelling evidence for the primacy of one sense over another.”
The retraction of any explanation of biologically-based cause and effect (i.e., ecological variation that leads to ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms: a “…rival grand theory that promises to explain fully what we might call the ‘variability hypothesis’) may have led to Christopher Ryan’s and Cacilda Jethá’s claim that the permanently protruding/pendulous breasts of sexually mature human females resulted from mimicry of the fleshy buttocks — a ridiculous theory by Desmond Morris, which fails at every level of ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction that links food odors and pheromones to late-emerging epigenetic effects that are manifested in the sexual preferences of mature animals. See: The effects of perinatal testosterone exposure on the DNA methylome of the mouse brain are late-emerging.
Anyone who wonders why serious scientists refuse to discuss the ridiculous theories touted by evolutionary theorists, might want to read what Dobzhansky (1964) wrote: “The notion has gained some currency that the only worthwhile biology is molecular biology. All else is “bird watching” or “butterfly collecting.” Bird watching and butterfly collecting are occupations manifestly unworthy of serious scientists!” — in “Biology, molecular and organismic.”
Two generations later, serious scientist still ignore the ramblings of evolutionary theorists — except when teaching students in Israel to differentiate between the science of ecology and the “jokes” of evolutionary theorists.