Amateur Anthropology from Iowa

I really love it when someone with a lack of understanding of a scientific principle learns a little bit about it, uses what little they know to come to a silly conclusion, then treats their conclusion as fact. That could be why I’m a big fan of Karl Pilkington.

Anyway, a cracking example of this has recently emerged from Iowa. Right now, Iowa sounds like a really interesting place to live: last year gay marriage was legalised, and this of course has lead to protests from right wing groups.

Randy Crawford belongs to one of these groups. He is unsurprisingly against gay marriage, and he’s got a very interesting reason for believing gay people are “obsolete”:

“It used to be useful when we were cavemen and we needed people to guard the caves full of women and children. If I’m a guy out hunting, I want to leave someone back at the cave tending to my wife and kids, and I don’t want a normal guy having that kind of access to my wife and kids. So, in our evolution, you can see that there use to be a utility for homosexuality, but that was when we were cavemen and we aren’t cavemen anymore. So, homosexuality is obsolete.”

This is amazing. He’s got absolutely no evidence to back this up, but it makes sense in his head, so it must be true! I wonder if anyone has put him right yet?


  1. He says ‘so in our evolution …’ This implies that he’s assuming a genetic component. But do gay men reproduce? Or, at least, reproduce at the same rate as straights? Don’t thinks so. So there would be no ‘evolutionary drive’ to create gays to guard the women (i.e. to fill that niche.) Of course, ‘gay men’ could just be pretending so that they could guard the caves, etc.,etc.

    • Tom

      Well, it’s a puzzle. If homosexuality is genetic and confers a distinct disadvantage to hereditability, you’d expect it not occur. However, it does occur, so who knows. A Liv Caf Sci talk on “the evolution of homosexuality” would be fascinating!

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