Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

July 15, 2008

Not So Monogamist Mallards

I used to admire mallard ducks. I'd heard that they are one of the very few species in the world that mates for life. You always see the little duck couples together.... swimming, waddling across the street, looking for food. They're just so CUTE, knowing that they are together forever. One of the saddest sights I've ever seen was a male mallard duck standing over the body of a female mallard who had apparently been hit by a car. You could just see and feel the sadness in the little duck.... lost, lonely. I once strived to be like the mallard duck, faithful and true for all my days.

But then I did a Google search, and found out everything I didn't want to know about monogamy. Turns out these mallards-- and the 97% of other bird species who are supposedly "monogamous"-- are NOT. Scientists did DNA samplings on the birds' offspring, and it turned out to be a classic Maury case of "momma's baby, daddy's maybe". The male birds were raising some other dude's chicks.... momma bird had been messing around on the side after all! The articles I read termed this as "social monogamy", meaning that the birds stayed together for life, building nests, raising baby birds, keeping each other company... but as far as sexual monogamy, they were not. I was so heartbroken... it just tainted my image of those mallards out there in the courtyard.

The articles went on to discuss how monogamy is not natural for the vast majority of species on earth... including homo sapiens. Another article proffered that the few animals that are monogamous are that way basically due to a chemical addiction and that they are more likely to become in danger of extinction than polygamist animals. But still, there are plenty of animals that adopt a social mate, even if they may dip out biologically. It's all about the offspring, man (reminds me of a t-shirt I saw once that said "Sex: Do it for the Kids!").... the whole goal is to produce the best offspring.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) it doesn't work that way for humans. That's because humans are one of 3 species of animals on earth that have sex for recreational purposes (the other two are bonobos (pygmy chimps) and dolphins). Sex creates positive feelings, which we equate to intimacy, which leads to jealousy, which often leads to death (ok, not often, but sometimes). For all other animals, it's strictly business... something that's gotta be done just to keep the world going around. Animals don't have fertility treatments and invitro fertilization.... so just gotta spread it around to improve their odds.

But that leaves us humans in an ugly pickle: sex = intimacy, but we're not wired for monogamy. That kinda sucks and makes things very challenging for the human race. Reminds me of Al Pacino's monologue in Devil's Advocate:

"Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha."

I'm not going to go into the whole religion thing, but I think because the structures of human interaction are so complex, yet our instincts are so simple, there had to be mechanisms put in place to make folk act right, which include religion and the child support system.

I don't think there's a point to all this besides my disillusionment with mallard ducks.... and maybe a teeny bit of sympathy for Shantiqua on the Maury show.

(originally posted May 30, 2006)

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Adventures in Divorce: Not So Monogamist Mallards

Not So Monogamist Mallards

I used to admire mallard ducks. I'd heard that they are one of the very few species in the world that mates for life. You always see the little duck couples together.... swimming, waddling across the street, looking for food. They're just so CUTE, knowing that they are together forever. One of the saddest sights I've ever seen was a male mallard duck standing over the body of a female mallard who had apparently been hit by a car. You could just see and feel the sadness in the little duck.... lost, lonely. I once strived to be like the mallard duck, faithful and true for all my days.

But then I did a Google search, and found out everything I didn't want to know about monogamy. Turns out these mallards-- and the 97% of other bird species who are supposedly "monogamous"-- are NOT. Scientists did DNA samplings on the birds' offspring, and it turned out to be a classic Maury case of "momma's baby, daddy's maybe". The male birds were raising some other dude's chicks.... momma bird had been messing around on the side after all! The articles I read termed this as "social monogamy", meaning that the birds stayed together for life, building nests, raising baby birds, keeping each other company... but as far as sexual monogamy, they were not. I was so heartbroken... it just tainted my image of those mallards out there in the courtyard.

The articles went on to discuss how monogamy is not natural for the vast majority of species on earth... including homo sapiens. Another article proffered that the few animals that are monogamous are that way basically due to a chemical addiction and that they are more likely to become in danger of extinction than polygamist animals. But still, there are plenty of animals that adopt a social mate, even if they may dip out biologically. It's all about the offspring, man (reminds me of a t-shirt I saw once that said "Sex: Do it for the Kids!").... the whole goal is to produce the best offspring.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) it doesn't work that way for humans. That's because humans are one of 3 species of animals on earth that have sex for recreational purposes (the other two are bonobos (pygmy chimps) and dolphins). Sex creates positive feelings, which we equate to intimacy, which leads to jealousy, which often leads to death (ok, not often, but sometimes). For all other animals, it's strictly business... something that's gotta be done just to keep the world going around. Animals don't have fertility treatments and invitro fertilization.... so just gotta spread it around to improve their odds.

But that leaves us humans in an ugly pickle: sex = intimacy, but we're not wired for monogamy. That kinda sucks and makes things very challenging for the human race. Reminds me of Al Pacino's monologue in Devil's Advocate:

"Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha."

I'm not going to go into the whole religion thing, but I think because the structures of human interaction are so complex, yet our instincts are so simple, there had to be mechanisms put in place to make folk act right, which include religion and the child support system.

I don't think there's a point to all this besides my disillusionment with mallard ducks.... and maybe a teeny bit of sympathy for Shantiqua on the Maury show.

(originally posted May 30, 2006)

Labels: