Lunacy

Rebecca Ganetzky rganetzk at oberlin.edu
Tue Feb 11 08:07:31 EST 2003


>
>You can see an evolutionary advantage in women sharing cycles - for example
>if several women are pregnant at the same time, then if one of the mothers
>dies in childbirth there would be a foster mother available to breastfeed
>the orphan.  And generally the women would be able to support each other and
>share the childraising duties.
>
*WARNING: severe biological pickiness*
None of which is, strictly Darwinisticly an advantage, although it is 
a cultural advantage.  Strict Darwinistic evolution would mandate a 
culture in which children die if their parent is the one not fit 
enough to survive.  There *is* a Darwinistic motivation for this, 
though:
*end pickiness*
Early humans tended to be nomadic.  Because the female members of the 
pack could not move as easily when they were pregnant (and less so 
when they were getting their period) it was advantage to a pack to 
only have to stay stationary for all of the births at once, rather 
than dispersed throughout the year, because each stationary period 
made them more likely to be eaten by predators.  (And, according to 
some theories, if predators could smell blood, it was better to have 
all of the women having their period at once and minimize the amount 
of time the pack smelled of blood.)
-RDG
-- 
Rebecca D. Ganetzky
"...and do not say that a thing is impossible to understand, for 
eventually it will be understood."-Rabbi Hillel
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