That was the creepiest part:
Some fetal cells find their way through the placenta and into the mother's bloodstream. They will grow in her blood and organs, and even in her brain, for the rest of her life, making her a genetic chimera
and this is a wonderful summary of evolution:
In other words, it's just the kind of effect natural selection is renowned for: odd, hackish solutions that work to solve proximate problems
If the mother's body leaves fetal cells alone, they have can act as essentially free stem cells, helping repairs.
I forget the exact journal, but women that had like two or three kids, live longer on average than those that didn't.
(Interesting... it also shows a positive -- but lower/noisier -- effect for fathers as well, so there may be more at work than just stem cells.)
An evolutionary theory based guess is that healthy long lived individuals are more attractive in the mating arena and therefore have more children.
Can't have 3 kids if you died at age of 10.
I reposted it before seeing your comment because it has been 4 years. My how time flies.
It sounds a lot like tumor angiogenesis, doesn't it? Indeed, the fetus sounds like the alien ones in Alien. An unwanted fetus is rather like an attacker. Especially in light of conflicting selection pressure.
"The uterus is good for two things, growing babies and growing tumors."
Apparently these are extremely common, and hormonal birth control exacerbates the problem by making the body behave as if it's constantly pregnant. Both of my friends were angry about having been casually prescribed birth control pills as teens without being clearly informed of it increasing the probability of this outcome.
Since hormonal birth control is much more common in Europe than in the US, that would seem to hint that uterine fibroids are not directly linked to hormonal birth control.
On the contrary, the pill seems to help prevent them instead.
When I lived in Canada I was always surprised how much people seemed to fear the pill when it has been something completely normal in Europe for two generations already. I'm still not sure why there is this difference of attitude between the two sides of the Atlantic.
However, it takes little effort to find contradictory information on the subject via google:
"Medical practitioners believe and research has recognized the increased levels of estrogen generated by the body preparing for pregnancy and preventative medicines like birth control have a correlation between the cause and effect of uterine fibroids."
"There are two major components known for stimulating the growth of fibroids; estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills contain both of these elements causing the medical industry to take additional steps in studying the levels of estrogen and the potential rate of fibroid enlargement caused by a women’s use of prescribed birth control pills."
Considering the amount of revenue hormonal birth control generates for pharmaceutical companies, it would not surprise me in the least to discover behaviors resembling the tobacco industry's misinformation campaigns to protect those revenues.
"Contraceptive pills is identified to be the most lucrative product segment in the contraceptive drugs market, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.3%, from 2016 to 2023. The industry is majorly driven by the presence of favorable government initiatives and regulatory framework."
I recall when my wife was moved to the generic the out of pocket cost was like $8, which was under the copay. The pharmacist said that the placebo pill that is there for the last days of the cycle was more expensive than the actual drug!
Funny, this is industry-accepted programming practice too. I'm going to call it "evolutionary programming" from now on :D.
It's also factually wrong.
> Ever heard of the concept of interrupts? Basically these are functions that are executed immediately, whenever a specific condition occurs. These are one of the better ways of responding to a stimulus.
> Now, our body (the female's body) does not have interrupts.
> So what it does it set a while loop and in each while loop it checks for the presence of a fertilized egg.
We do have "interrupts". The brain floods the blood vessels with all kinds of hormones for an immediate call to action all the time. It's called the fear response. We'd be completely screwed if we had to rely on a "while loop" for that: getting run over while crossing the street would be the norm, because we'd lack the impulse to draw our attention away from our thoughts.
In theory, females could spontaneously ovulate when they have sex. Heck, in theory the brain could have evolved to decide whether or not it wants to. Nothing in Suzanne Sadedin's explanation gets in the way of this either. That would be an interesting shift in power balance - it's like the pill, but without hormonal hacks or dependency on external support.
This may be the best example of mansplaining I have ever seen: a tech guy posts a completely unsourced hypothesis as fact, but if you're a nerd with déformation professionnelle, it has a compelling narrative. A woman who is an expert in the matter (PhD in evolutionary biology!) posts a long explanation with sources, the topic is female physiology. Yet which answer is shown first?
Don't be sexist. Maybe it's because his answer is shorter and hers exceedlingly long? Or is it because people like analogies (even wrong ones) more than scientific references?
There is an important distinction between structural sexism and individual sexism. And doing something that is sexist, racist, homophobic, you name it, is not necessarily tied to intent nor to consciously believing women/ethnic minorities/LGBTQ people are worth less than straight cis-male white guys.
Mansplaining is when a man does not realise that they don't know what they are talking about and just posit their own narrative as fact. It is a result of society's gender norms training them to do so. For men to be considered "real men", telling a compelling story with confidence is more important than bing correct - the scientifically appropriate level of self-doubt and "well this is what we know, here are my sources" is not "manly".
This is Toxic Masculinity in a nutshell: societal norms for what it means to be a "real man" that are detrimental to society and all genders - there are plenty of things that guys should do to prove they are "real men" that are detrimental to them too.
His answer and the societal norms that lead him to that thought process to post that answer, are an example of a toxic norm that most people aren't even consciously aware of. The sooner we acknowledge that and fix this, the sooner we are all liberated from structural sexism and toxic masculinity (and I do mean all - I feel very inhibited by toxic masculinity as a guy, and I think all men are).
Arush's answer is an example of mansplaining. The fact that it is about menstruation makes it even more ironic. That does not make him an asshole, nor someone who believes women are inferior to men - he acknowledges Saredin's answer as excellent. It just makes him unaware of all the structurally sexist norms that he subconsciously is bound to. And the same applies to the people who voted for his answers unaware.
Well, I guess I'm not a real man then. Thanks for your mansplanation!
Because if so, there is a - perfectly reasonable - misunderstanding of my intent here. Read what I wrote again, more closely: all it is describing is a societal norm that I would like to get rid of. If you think you don't act that way, great!
This is not an accusation, it would be a perfectly understandable response (I get defensive all the time when my GF points things out to me).
At no point am I talking about you, nor saying that you are "not a real man". At no point am I saying that you are a bad person if you do or do not act this way. I'm sorry that you feel defensive, but there really is no need to. I'm not accusing you, nor would I blame you or any man for having toxic masculine behaviours. It's not your fault to be raised in a society with those norms, after all.
If you have the time, please watch Why Are You So Angry? by Innuendo Studios. It also goes into how societal norms about good and evil train us to think things are about us and personal attacks when they aren't (the video highlights gamergate, but the process is not gender specific).
But the short version is: people tend to get very defensive about topics like sustainability, feminism, racism, animal rights, etcetera, because it makes them question whether they are good people or not. But ultimately, that is a self-centered response. Whether or not one's actions make them a good person is ultimately less important than whether or not what they do is the right thing to do.
I had a similar experience when I refused to drink alcohol as a student: I don't mind others enjoying it, I just happen to not like it. Yet a lot of my friends in college felt like I was judging them.
Click on "View Upvoters" in each answer. His has 98. Hers has 21432.
I don't know WTF is Quora basing their raking on; apparently it's an algorithm that combines a bunch of factors: https://www.quora.com/How-does-the-ranking-of-answers-on-Quo...
The wallet-controlling part I'm guessing.
It's my impression that after implantation, this process is the same in humans as in other placental mammals. Thus menstruation might be more properly understood to be about flushing unimplanted zygotes rather than aborting unhealthy embryos.
You're underselling this flaw, because it's fatal. A major issue with a lot of pop science is this exactly: the author is much too confident in connecting disparate ideas (because it serves good storytelling and increases trust in the author), when in actuality it's very dangerous to assign intent to things like evolution. For example, a common statement you hear is "evolution caused..." Evolution doesn't have a will or do anything deliberately, nor does it always tend towards the best way to do something or a beneficial mutation. The author also engaged in this flaw by giving fetuses wills (similar to how some writers anthropomorphize animals including primates). So while the doctor goes on in the whole post comparing different species and their different gestational evolution, at the end of the day, it's just a theory that combines different points.
Edit: Downboats? Berry?! Not on my HN!
Sounds like the author tries to address your point.
> The trophoblast, which is a collection of cells that invades the maternal endometrium to gain access to nutrition for the fetus, proliferates rapidly and forms a network of branching processes which cover the entire embryo and invade and destroy the maternal tissues. With this physiologic destructive process, the maternal blood vessels of the endometrium are opened, with the result that the spaces in the trophoblastic network are filled with maternal blood; these spaces communicate freely with one another and become greatly distended and form the intervillous space from which the fetus gains nutrition.
2. Sibling cannibalism
Sand tiger sharks have the most ghoulish fix for hungry babies: The fetuses devour each other in-utero until there’s just one pup remaining in each of their twin wombs. This uterine bloodbath is thought to have developed because a litter of sand tiger pups usually has multiple fathers — and each dad is engaged in a proxy war for his genes to take the upper hand. The “winning” fetus gets all the nutrients from its siblings and a roomy womb to develop into an unusually big baby, over 1 meter (3 feet) long at birth. Being born large and well-developed helps these newborn predators survive in a hostile ocean.
Nope. They did the brain, testis, spleen, liver, and kidneys.
Such eye-opening and fascinating analogy.
Common methods of block quoting on HN is prefixing with ">" and possibly using asterisks to italicize the text, and possibly wrapping it in quotation marks.
However, "Selfish" genes can do some rather unequivocally selfless things. E.g. symbiosis.
Even if you mean altruism though, a gene for altruistic behavior can still be selfish. For example, if Gene X causes an organism to sacrifice something for another organism that carries also carries Gene X, the gene will be promoting its own survival.
You seem to be arguing completely based on the title of the book, which itself makes clear that the title is provocative but not entirely accurate, which makes me think you have not read it.
E.g. when given choice, humans tend to help each other much more than a selfish gene model would behave, i.e. help people and strangers you have no connection with.
It's difficult to defend a book's premise from someone who hasn't read it and just wants to debate the meaning of the title.
But I don't want to debate its title, instead its reductionist view of people nothing more as vehicles for the immortal DNA.
Anyway here is the part that I was referencing:
The self-selecting process predicted by the selfish-gene model
becomes quickly skewed when correlations in reproduction
exist which give rise to less than complete mixing of alleles
in the gene pool. This may occur through several mechanisms,
including mate selection and partial geographic isolation.
The gene-centered view, Dr. Bar-Yam points out, can be
applied directly only to populations in which sexual
reproduction causes complete allelic mixing. (Such
populations are called "panmictic" in biology.)
Many organisms are part of populations that do not
satisfy this condition. Thus, the gene-centered view and
the concept of the "selfish gene" does not describe the
dynamics of evolution, Dr. Bar-Yam concludes.
>But I don't want to debate its title, instead its reductionist view of people nothing more as vehicles for the immortal DNA.
The problem is that the book does not expound this reductionist view; it is only your conception of the book (likely based on the title) that does.
We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly
programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.
This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.
Cherry picking quotes out of the context of an entire book can get you to any conclusion you want to come to, especially if you don't know the rest of the contents of the book.
I encourage you to read the book before taking a side that you read an article about.
EDIT: Started reading it:
The replicators that survived were the ones that built survival machines for themselves to live in...
We are all survival machines for the same kind of replicator—molecules called DNA—but there are many...
Doesn't that suggest that's reason for higher primates? Or are you disagreeing with the author of that post?
The likelihood of this happening is extremely low of course.