Thursday, October 6, 2016



Evolution shows alpha males arose in numerous evolutionary lineages.  They result from the selection favoring their greater reproductive success.  That can occur by dominating lesser males and driving them away from protective value or the group that includes the fertile females.  As a result they monopolize the female insemination job and pass on the genes for that behavior.  The larger, stronger, meaner males may also result from the females passing on genes that favor selection of larger males by their reproductive success in groups favored by such behavior.

Fitness of males does not need the large size if some other selective factors are operating.  Many birds have gorgeous males that put on a great display of their plumage in dances or behavior that may also speak of their health and energy, factors also associated with success,  The females that select such healthy mates also contribute to selection of such pairings if they have the expected greater reproductive success.

Primate lineages with big, strong, mean alpha males retained those features in the case of gorillas and chimpanzees to some extent.  But the value of an alpha male diminished or even may have been an unfavorable selective factor in the primate line leading to humans.  The social family and tribe groupings had selective value continuing to the present for humans.

Humans work together and accomplish many things contributing to our success.  Traces of alpha male characteristics remain and even had value before modern society evolved.  The selective value of the nuclear family that provided a small team to rear the slowly maturing young has not completely disappeared.  But God had waited long enough and finally came to us with the message to love one another as we love ourselves, a duty that is only secondary to loving God.

[references to the president-elect deleted 11/13/16]

Joe Engemann     Kalamazoo, Michigan     October 6, 2016

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