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Monday, March 3, 2014

An Example of the Benefit of Nonmonogamy in Nature

I am polyamorous, but not one of those polyamorists who say everyone else should be polyamorous, too. When I say I support the rights of consenting adults, that includes the freedom to be monogamous or celibate. And, as I always say, just because something is found in another species, it doesn't automatically apply to humans. With those things out of the way, I wanted to note Carl Zimmer's report at nytimes.com that flies forced into monogamy apparently lose learning ability.
Forcing male flies into monogamy has a startling effect: After a few dozen generations, the flies become worse at learning.

This discovery, published on Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, isn’t a biological excuse for men who have strayed from their significant other. Instead, it’s a tantalizing clue about why intelligence evolved.

The new study was carried out by Brian Hollis and Tadeusz J. Kawecki, biologists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. They investigated a fly species called Drosophila melanogaster that normally has a very un-monogamous way of life.
I do think it causes all sorts of problems to try to force a polyamorous person into monogamy. Human history has shown that over and over again. Also, many polyamorous people will tell you that living out polyamory has made them better people and taught them much.
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