From an evolutionary perspective, why would anyone ever be sexually exited by small children who could not possibly have started puberty?

Is it a confusion between some combination of sexual and non-sexual systems?

Is it a evolutionary imperfection?

Or is Darwinian thinking not necessarily applicable to human behaviour?

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    $\begingroup$ There are a lot of societal influences in our behaviour and also there is a lot of room, in our complex society, for developing behaviour that are side-consequence of other behavioural features that have been selected. It does not mean that "Darwinian thinking" (whatever that means) is not applicable to human behaviour but only that seeing everything as a result of selection is very misleading (and Darwin never made this mistake, hence why the term "Darwinian thinking" is misleading), maybe esp. when it comes to human behaviour. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Dec 2 '18 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ Can someone provide data on just how heritable pedophilia is? Establishing a high heredity is necessary before applying Darwinian logic. $\endgroup$ – user38945 Dec 3 '18 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ I can't imagine this is at all genetically linked, but rather a learned behavior or result of some traumatic experience in the person's own past. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Dec 10 '18 at 1:11

I am guessing on this one, and there may be some good research on it, but I do know that there can be combinations of genes acting on different behaviors, such that if you have a certain combination of 5 genes, you are a nurturing parent (which would be selected for), but when you accumulate more of these tangentially related genes past some threshold, you end up with non-selected behavior. For example, for homosexuality, which has been shown to be genetically heritable, it may be that 5 genes in a suite make you super attractive to women (thus these genes stick around), while 10 genes combine to make you gay. (Note, I am NOT equating homosexuality with pedophilia in ANY sense. Homosexuality if a healthy normal trait for humans. I am just saying that this is a theory about how suites of genes can be individually selected for while some combination of them is non-selective. Similarly, heterozygous sickle-cell genotype produces resistance to malaria, which is adaptive enough to keep the gene around, which is non-adaptive in the homozygous condition.) In answer to the other parts of your question, humans are absolutely subject to natural selection. Darwin was dead-on correct about virtually everything he said, to the point where it is frustrating for evolutionary biologists today to work in his shadow, because he pretty much got it all right in 1859. "Theory" is the strongest conclusion that science can ever come to, and people have been trying to tear down Darwin's theory for 160 years without being able to put a single dent in it.

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  • $\begingroup$ The Darwin-praising last paragraph was completely over-the-top. Darwin got heredity wrong (wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangenesis), as gametes don't form by gluing together heredity-containing particles ("gemmules") secreted from somatic cells. Francis Galton refuted it by showing that tranfusing blood (which supposedly contained the granules) between different rabbit breeds didn't alter the characteristics of their offspring. $\endgroup$ – user38945 Dec 3 '18 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ Darwin didn't get heredity "wrong". It was not understood at the time by anybody but Medel. The fact that the theory fit Mendel PERFECTLY, even before it was understood (which was the point of the modern synthesis...look it up if you need to) is how science, when you get it right, is predictive. $\endgroup$ – Karl Kjer Dec 4 '18 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for my choice of words. More accurately, Darwin got an aspect of heredity wrong (pangenesis). I didn't meant that he got all of heredity wrong. But anyway, whether pangenesis was accurate or not would not affect Mendelian inheritance, provided that organisms didn't exchange tissues. Pangenesis dealt with gamete formation, not about character dominance-recessivity. $\endgroup$ – user38945 Dec 5 '18 at 17:06

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