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Many societies enforce laws that favor monogamous relationships, such as marriage; laws partly predicated on the assumption that monogamous relationships are natural. However, looking at different cultures and even different species prompts the question as to whether monogamy is so natural after all.
Some evolutionary psychologists and sociologists have suggested that much of our behavior can be explained in terms of status seeking. This rather cynical explanation challenges the more idealistic reasons people typically give when explaining their own behavior to others.
Pickup artists make a number of assumptions about human nature that are Darwinist and Machiavellian in character. Critics claim that these assumptions are pseudoscientific, and that they reflect the cynicism of the pickup artists, rather than reality of human nature.
Modern civilization has only emerged over the last few thousand years. Our successes have been accompanied by risks. Our population growth has also damaged our environment, and our wondrous technology has also created terrible weapons. Cynics suggest that the very engine of our success will likely be humanity's doom.
Humans emerged in Africa about 2 million years ago. Since then, strong evolutionary pressures created several distinct species of humans. Many of these have long since died out, but our own one, Homo sapiens, became very successful using our characteristically large brains to shape our own destiny. We now have such control over our environment, that some scientists argue natural selection is no longer occurring.
Critics of the theory of evolution point to anomalies and gaps in the fossil record. Advocates of evolution say that if evolution was false, we would see vastly more contradictory fossil evidence.
Intelligent Design is the theory that God created complex life, as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Critics of teaching it in school claim that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, but a religious one.
The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy increases over time, or that a closed system moves from an ordered state to a random state. Critics of evolution suggest that life itself is prima facie proof that evolution is flawed, since the opposite appears to be happening - life has evolved from primordial soup to sophisticated creatures like ourselves. Defenders of evolution say that this objection is based on a misunderstanding of entropy.
The theory of evolution is that life evolves as organisms randomly mutate, where the ones with traits best adapted to their environment survive and reproduce their successful mutations. Soon after Charles Darwin proposed this theory in the book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, it became widely accepted by the scientific community. Its truth is central to modern biology and it remains the only scientific theory that could explain complex life without a creator.
It is a commonly held belief of evolutionists that small changes in genetic materials (mutations) will ultimately produce the presumed large changes necessary for one biological organism to change into a different kind of biological organism which is commonly called macroevolution. This belief is not valid.
The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is one of the flaws in the theory of evolution.
Ayn Rand
I am not a student of the theory of evolution and, therefore, I am neither its supporter nor its opponent. But a certain hypothesis has haunted me for years; I want to stress that it is only hypothesis. There is an enormous breach of continuity between nature and man’s consciousness, in its distinctive characteristic: his conceptual faculty.
Andrew Sullivan
Monogamy is very hard for men, straight or gay, and if one partner falters occasionally (and I don't mean regularly), sometimes discretion is perfectly acceptable. You could see Jong bridle at the thought of such dishonesty. But I think the post-seventies generation - those of us who grew up while our parents were having a sexual revolution - both appreciate the gains for sexual and emotional freedom, while being a little more aware of their potential hazards.
Robin Hanson
It seems that our distant forager ancestors ... weren’t remotely monogamous. ... Polygamy is always allowed and usually socially preferred. Co-wives either live together or one lives with a husband while the rest live in entirely different bands. On average, about 35% of men have more than one wife, and 50% of women are in a polygamous marriage (vs. 3% and 7% in modern societies).
Kamal Weerakoon
Biologically, we are wired to desire sex, to fall in love with the person we desire sex with, and for that love to develop into deep attachment. Our bodies are wired to operate best with one sexual partner for life. Both academia and pop culture assume that biblical, Christian sexual ethics are at best outdated and irrelevant, and at worst repressive and harmful. We are seen as legalist, repressed, hypocritical killjoys who spend all our time trying to stop everyone from having a good time.
The Catholic Church
Polygamy is not in accord with the moral law. [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive.
Christopher Ryan
You want an inconvenient truth? Try this one: human beings are clearly evolved for sex lives featuring multiple simultaneous sexual relationships. Men, especially, are designed by evolution to be attracted to sexual novelty and to gradually lose sexual attraction to the same partner in the absence of such novelty. The so-called Coolidge Effect is well demonstrated in social mammals of all sorts, and is old news to anyone knowledgeable about reproductive biology.

New Comments

0 Points       Capricious       25 Mar 2015     Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection? Agree
Evolution is the truth, or at least the closest thing to truth.

1 Point       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
No, because it isn’t science.

If you want to teach in RE class (for Americans reading this: Religious Education (RE) is a mandatory class in some British schools intended to teach about various types of religion [whether RE should exist is a separate question]) that some people believe it, then fine, but it has no place whatsoever in a science classroom.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Is the theory of evolution falsified by fossil evidence? Disagree
Can’t really say it any better than the Richard Dawkins quote above.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Does evolution violate the second law of thermodynamics? Disagree
This idea is based entirely on a misunderstanding.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection? Agree
All the evidence says that evolution is true.

1 Point       Nashhinton       23 Jan 2013     Is the theory of evolution falsified by fossil evidence? Disagree
Creationists are clueless.

1 Point       Radio Gaga       19 Apr 2012     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
"I don't get it."
That's understandable.
Like :-)

I have to debate about this topic in school (in English and not in science) and I don`t find many arguments for Intelligent Science.
My personal belief is that Intelligence Design should not be taught in science class because seperation of Church and State is an achievement made just two centuries ago. There`s no reason to condemn it now.
I don`t think Intelligence Design is a proper scientific theory. Darwin has some arguments which sound more convincing and logical to me.

1 Point       Hagster69       19 Jan 2012     Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection? Agree
We can see evolution in a very short space of time. When we develope an insecticide to kill off the billions of mosquitos in a swarm, a few with a slightly different genetic makeup survive. These then breed passing down these genes to build another swarm, within days/months, with the mutated genes making them immune to that insecticide, therefore survival of the fittest rule applies.

1 Point       Nashhinton       21 Nov 2011     Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class? Disagree
Intelligent design is mainly a form of religious creationism, and if it were taught in public schools (which are government owned institutions) it would violate the separation of church and state found in the first amendment of the united states constitution.

1 Point       Nashhinton       19 Nov 2011     Is monogamy natural for humans? Mostly Disagree
I'm mixed on this issue. I believe that monogamous relationships are more beneficial for the cooperation of the partners. I don't really believe in legalized polygamy because I believe that women are more likely to be highly inclusive and men more protective, so this will cause strife amongst the different partners. However, I will allow anybody to have multiple partners if they desire to participate in multiple sexual relationships. But I will always oppose legalized polygamy or polygyny. Also, I don't believe it's "natural" to have a monogamous relationship because other species of animals have multiple partners. So overall, I disagree that monogamy is "natural". To me it's just a way for humans to build social constructs.

1 Point       Hans Kieftenburg       05 Nov 2011     Does evolution violate the second law of thermodynamics? Disagree
The Second Law should not be confused with the terms disorder and chaos, and with molecules itself. Entropy is about dispersal of energy, chaos and disorder are layman’s terms which just creates a way of thinking about the Second Law by many people that is very incorrect and let them draw very incorrect conclusions.
Entropy is about the ways of energy distribution among all available microstates (translational, rotational and vibrational states). There is no use in using examples using matter (molecules), because it is energy you have to look at, as formulated in dS = dE/T.
If one really want’s to know what entropy is, find some chemistry sites describing entropy.

Further we have isolated, closed and open systems in thermodynamics. A closed system can transfer energy(heat) with its surroundings, but no matter. And be sure that the Second Law is always at work no matter what system you talk about, it's just that you need to have some boundary if you want to calculate the entropy increase.

0 Points       Nashhinton       09 Oct 2011     Is humanity likely doomed to destroy itself? Mostly Agree
Benja, it's been proven by studies that optimistic people are more productive and are more likely to tackle problems with courage(1)(2). Pessimistic people are usually the kind of people who aren't willing to help humanity, because they sit around the house and sulk everyday while wasting their life away.

I strongly doubt that pessimists are aiding in progressing humanity further.

Being a realist/optimist is the best way of looking at the world-in my opinion.

1. M. Scheier, C. Carver, M. Bridges. "Optimism, Pessimism, and Psychological Well-Being." Optimism & Pessimism: Implications for Theory, Research, and Practice. Ed. E. Chang. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001: 189-216.


Evolution Question Index

Is the theory of evolution falsified by fossil evidence?
Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection?
Is monogamy natural for humans?
Is the model of human nature used by pickup artists accurate?
Is status seeking a good explanation for much of our behavior?
Does evolution violate the second law of thermodynamics?
Is humanity likely doomed to destroy itself?
Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class?
Have humans stopped evolving genetically?