Only a few species of mammals are monogamous, and now dueling scientific teams think they've figured out why they got that way. But their answers aren't exactly romantic.
The answers aren't even the same.
One team looked just at primates, the animal group that includes apes and monkeys. The researchers said the exclusive pairing of a male and a female evolved as a way to let fathers defend their young against being killed by other males.
The other scientific team got a different answer after examining about 2,000 species of non-human mammals. They concluded that mammals became monogamous because females had spread out geographically, and so males had to stick close by to fend off the competition.
So it's not about romance, said researcher Dieter Lukas of the University of Cambridge, lead author of the mammals study. "It's just really the best he can do." ...You can see where this narrative is going...
On the one hand, radical environmentalists will often reduce humanity to just another blip on the evolutionary chain, nothing special, nothing unique, totally dependent on natural selection. Then, on the other hand, those on the left will simultaneously hold that we are something different, so different and superior to the rest of the natural order that we can change the laws of nature to restructure the order of things to suite our individual preferences, desires, etc.
To the left, we're either brute animals or gods.