Pixie Dust wrote:
Except that, as I mentioned before, everything else that comes from sex is to further increase probabilities. For instance, as you mentioned, Pair-bonding. Humans are a VERY SLOW developing species at first. Additionally, unlike nearly every other animal, we remain completely and utterly helpless and are utterly dependent on our parent for EVERYTHING during the first year of life. This is MUCH different than many other animals who are capable of moving on thier own within a few weeks after birth. This often requires 100% of the mother attention for the first year. Furthermore, the mother for the first couple of weeks will also be recovering from child birth (human childbirth is easily one of the most difficult and life threatening), thereby making her incapable of going to go get food. Therefore, humans often NEED a mate to help take care of them and to further increase the chances of a child surviving past that first year. That is why sex a verys trong pair-bonding tool.
Again, everything boils down to reproduction and the furthering of the species. This thougth can actually be applied to just about near everything most creatures do (humans are a bit of an odd species since we are capable of over-riding our own natural instincts with force of will and capable of doing things that, to an evolutionary stand point, would be straight dumb and regressing)
I agree with all that. I think we disagree on definitions.
Pair-bonding and sex are different things. BOTH evolve to make us more likely to survive to beget future generations. Just like everything else.
Not really. Evolution is not a teleological process, and it produces a lot of stuff with little or no adaptive value. Paraphrasing Gould, the evolution of the brain has also produced a lot of cognitive and behavioral sequelae, such as the ability to carry a tune or do calculus. Neither should it be assumed that extinction records poor adaptation (no one would argue that the dinosaurs were poorly adapted to their environments). Gould was one of the greatest writers and thinkers on this topic. "Spandrels" I think was his landmark statement.