Friday, July 08, 2005

Polygyny in Britain...and Darwin in the service of Allah?   posted by Razib @ 7/08/2005 09:22:00 PM

This two part radio program surveys the state of polygyny (Muslim) in Britain (and to a lesser extent Pakistan). The show is broken up into a "positive" and "negative" segment. There is also a script you can read if you don't have a high speed connection. This to me was one of the most interesting assertions in light of the anti-evolutionism that seems prevelant among some Muslims:

AHR: Whatever view you take of orthodox neo-Darwinism, you have to recognise that it is always part of the survival strategy for ancient human communities to maximise the transmission of one's genetic material. And if a woman has many husbands, she doesn't produce any more children than she does if she chose just one husband. But if a man has a plurality of wives, then he can maximise the spread of his genetic material, and it's all very Darwinian and it actually does make sense as a strategy. And I do think that's the kind of default setting of the emotional make up of men and women, although of course there are many variations and it shouldn't really be regarded as an irrevocable norm. But I think that generally most of us are like that.

AHR = Abdal-Hakim Murad, I'm a bit surprised that a lecturer in Islamic Studies is familiar with Robert Trivers, but so be it.1 I only wish he would keep in mind the naturalistic fallacy.

1 - He distinguishes between microevolution and standard Neo-Darwinian "orthodoxy," but seems be a bit confused as to the general paradigm which currently does suggest that modern humans have a common ancestry.