Promiscuity and immunity:
Evolution comes from “e” meaning “out,” and “volve” meaning “turn.”  Evolve means “turn out.”  Evolve means change.  Don’t tell me you don’t believe in evolution.  That would mean you don’t believe in change.  And if you never read this before, then something has changed.  By the way, don’t tell me you believe in “science” either.  Science is wrong all the time.  Every week I get a fistful of journals touting new discoveries in science.  That means that what we knew before was incomplete or just plain wrong.  Ah, well we believe in the process of science.  Well and good.  Just do have patience with other processes.  I, of course, am up to my ears in science, and sometimes I doubt the very process.  How could something as important as my issue be ignored?  I cannot fathom it.  And possibly for that reason cannot defeat it.

Anyway, evolution has been around a long time.  We have been optimized.  We are the best balance between complexity and ruggedness that untold eons of ruthless selection in unnumbered locations have been able to contrive.  Not just us humans.  All of us have been optimized, every living thing.

I have pointed out earlier that a human does not have the robust immune system of a dog or a chimpanzee.  We don’t need it.  We have monogamy.  We have had the opportunity to cut back on complexity in one area and increase our chance of excellence in other areas without fatal compromise of stability.  Trick question:  When did people invent true love?  Answer: True love invented people.

The observation has now been put on a more objective, a genetic basis.  A recent article (Evolution doi:10.1111/j.1558-2010.00989.x(2010) reviewed in Sex and Immunity NATURE vol. 464 no. 7293 April  29, 2010 page 1248) announces 15 immune defense genes in primates that have evolved faster in correlation with female promiscuity.  The correlation is weak but appears to be statistically significant.  That may not seem like a lot of genes, considering we have something like 20,000 of them, but it is probably only the iceberg’s top.  There might be other elements, control systems for instance, that are also important. 

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