Re: Human penises, was Re

Bryant (
6 Jul 1995 20:41:52 -0600

In article <3thkop$>,
Mary Beth Williams <> wrote:
>In <3thaqn$> (Bryant) writes:
>>Would that you would, Dr. Williams. Please do tell how adaptationism
>>and sociobiology are "at odds" with general selectionist evolutionary
>Anyway, as the proponent of a feminist/PP approach to my fieldwork, I
>would just as soon lump all of that *Darwinist* stuff together and lock
>it away in some dusty old closet where it can't corrupt young and
>impressionable minds <g>... However, as I said, Dr. Rindos does not
>feel, how did he term it, that *pop-sociobiology stuff* has much
>use...In fact, he claimed that it was *excrutiatingly bad biology*...

...And could you please offer some specifics, instead of dropping names
and asserting?

>However, I will not continue to quote my correspondence with Dave until
>after I get his consent (bad etiquette, you know...) so this
>conversation will have to be continued at a later date... I would

Ah... OK.

>argue, however, that much of the *selected* traits you all have been
>jabbering about, large breasts and penii, etc., are more closely
>associate with the *australopithicine* grade of evolution, and are
>hence not unique to Homo, per se.

...Which has zero relevance to whether the selection occured or not
amongst Homo! MB, the only alternative to a nasty selectionist story for
peni size in our species is a story about drift, flow, or mutations which
were never subsequently selected upon in any way. How likely does that
seem to you?

>In addition, there is a vast difference between the
>genetic-selectionist model that sociobiology promotes, and the
>cultural-selectionist model of Dunnell and Rindos (among others)...

Indeed there is. But the latter depends upon evolved abilities in the
human mind. Unless you're pushing super-organic theory here, I think
you'll agree that the human brain is the substrate for the interactions
we refer to as cultural.

I do look forward to your posting some evidence which might back up your
various assertions about sociobiology's failings wrt selectionism. It
seems to me an odd angle of attack, perhaps one bred of unfamiliarity
with the discipline you attack.