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This is a question Worst Person for the Job

In a week where it emerges that the new Health Secretary is a fan of the hocus-pocus that is homeopathy, tell us about people who are spectacularly out of their depth in a job. Have you ever found yourself wallowing in your own incompetence? Tell us. (Note: "Name of football manager/politician - nuff said" does not constitute an answer)

(, Thu 6 Sep 2012, 12:48)
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Todd Akin
U.S. representative of Missouri's 2nd district, and genius that thinks women can magically prevent pregnancy in cases of legitimate rape, is on two subcommittees that are part of the committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Luckily neither are biology related, but a gaffe of that calibur would suggest possibly this seat would be better filled by another. Also, I believe he does not believe in global warming. One of his two subcommittee seats? Energy and Environment.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 0:39, closed)
Yes, on the face of it it is bollocks
But it set me wondering if he might, just possibly, have a point. In an evolutionary sense it would be a good thing for females to be able to prevent undesirable males from having children with them - it would be interesting (in one sense of the word) to see a study done into whether women who have been raped (and not used any method of emergency contraception) have the same pregnancy rate you would expect from a single sexual encounter. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the rate is lower - though by how much is anyone's guess.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 0:51, closed)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_from_rape#Statistics_and_pregnancy_rates
Typically, this article is all over the place.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 2:08, closed)
A major problem with these sort of statistics, is that they tend to lump stuff together.
The potential physiological impacts of someone who is legally raped, because it's the least worst option, or because they cannot legally consent to sex, are going to be rather different to someone who is violently attacked once in the street, and put in fear of being killed.

The former may happen many times, raising the chances of pregnancy, while only being 'counted' as one 'attack'.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:42, closed)
You're just saying this in the hope they'll accept your home-made application form as top rapist, aren't you?

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 2:22, closed)
He'd be a rubbish top rapist, stuj.
absolutely no understanding of evolution for a start. makes him a mid-table rapist at best, probably flirt with relegation towards the end of the season.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 10:39, closed)
Kangaroos can chose when to let their foetuses gestate.
So when times a lean the mother doesn't need to be impregnated. She just holds onto the fertilised ova until times are more plentiful and then gestates, gives birth and suckles her young.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 2:45, closed)
Human female reproduction is, after all, known to mimic that of the marsupial. Its a well known fact
among rape apologists.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 7:42, closed)
I'm not too clear on how me stating a fact about kangaroo's breeding cycles
tars me as a "rape apologist".
EDIT: Oh and "amongst".
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 8:16, closed)
Only rapists study marsupials
It's well known in scientific circles.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:01, closed)
The world would be a better place if we could all learn to be more like the noble kangaroo.

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 7:48, closed)
Too right,
Cobber!
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 8:18, closed)
*boing*

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:03, closed)
By keeping a foetus in a bumbag?

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 13:59, closed)
Basically, you've just admitted to being a rapist here.

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 7:00, closed)
Whaa..?
How so AB?
Precisely.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 8:13, closed)
As far as nature goes the strongest, rapiest males are the most desirable.
As far as your argument goes you're wrong and you're a grotesquely ugly freak
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 7:47, closed)
That doesn't sound right
to me.

From what I can see, a typical rapist is a scrawny little fucker.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 8:46, closed)

That's not how it works.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 12:38, closed)
I don't think it was a serious post.

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 13:46, closed)
Shh, he might take it all seriously and look silly.

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 14:02, closed)

Isn't that his gimmick? (along with leaving the subject box blank)
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 21:59, closed)
Calm down Wolfie, it's only a text box
I have no idea why this bothers you so much. No, I don't tend to use the subject box - but then, I don't tend to announce what I'm about to say prior to saying it when engaging in normal conversation. It's certainly not intended to give an air of condescension, or whatever it was you said last time - in fact, I hadn't noticed at all until you pointed it out.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 22:47, closed)
Some other accounts do it too, it seems to be a "thing" for the more smug users.

(, Tue 11 Sep 2012, 0:38, closed)
This is very important news. I will try to make sure I say something in bold, in future
so as to appear less smug.

Good work. Carry on. B3ta would be lost without your tireless efforts, and those of the entire TPF.
(, Tue 11 Sep 2012, 1:20, closed)
If there were a correlation I expect
It might owe just a little to the fairly well known connection between stress and failed pregnancies. I think rape counts a a bit stressful doesn't it?

Look, the guy is clearly bonkers but determined enough to inveigle himself into positions to influence policy to reflect his own theories despite evidence available. So mad and a fascist too. Not many jobs he would be ideal for, except PE teacher I suppose.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 7:54, closed)
That could well be the case
Although it seems from reading the article above that nobody can really agree whether there is an effect or not.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 9:01, closed)
What, you somehow missed the third line of that article, then?

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 10:37, closed)
He'd make a very good post-normal scientist.

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 22:00, closed)
I suggest we conduct an experiment.
Bend over.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 8:00, closed)
It would be statistically almost impossible to extract that data.
There's no such clear thing a pregnancy rate from a single sexual encounter.

Also, y'know, I'd be intrigued* as to how you'd double-blind this. Or get it past an ethics committee.

I'm also contractually obliged to point out that you don't appear to have grasped evolution as a concept very well.

*I wouldn't really, but for the purpose of debate.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 10:33, closed)
You're most probably right on all counts
What I was trying to say (slightly clumsily) was that the response "Of course it's total bollocks, everyone knows it isn't true" is not necessarily the correct one.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 15:51, closed)
Well, no.
But "of course it's total bollocks because every piece of relevant scientific and statistical data that hasn't been hijacked and misrepresented by those with a fucked up agenda strongly suggests it is bollocks" would be an acceptable way of putting it. Granted, the problem is knowing what is valid, what has been misrepresented, etc.

FWIW, from an evolutionary point of view, it's very complicated. But evolution has no "interest" (for want of a better way of putting it) in whether the woman "wants" the offspring or not. It's about propogation of genetic material, and the advancement of traits that are most suited to further propoogation of that DNA. In this case, being simplistic, there are two options. One is that rapey DNA is fundamentally no different from other DNA, because rapists are made, not born, and so there is no intrisic advantage or disadvantage long term to genetic propogation in conceiving through rape, so there would be no advantage in the female body developing a rejection mechanism over generations. The other is that rapey DNA carries a rapey gene, in which case that may convey either an advantage or disadvantage to genetic propogation.

But of course, its a fuckton more complex than that, but the most pressing question going down that route would be - how would you think that at a cellular level a body knows it's been raped? Cos that's kind of prequisite for any control mechanism theory.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:23, closed)
Looking at it from the other end.
If a sexual act is more likely to result in a child capable of reproducing than another sexual act, it's likely that it may be selected for genetically.

If the woman is more likely to lose the pregnancy, or die to being unable to hunt, or the child is likely to be killed, than if she has a partner, it is not quite unreasonable to hypothesise that 'legitimate rape' might have lower conception rates.

Simply as the womans genetic code is more likely to perpetuate itself if she can have a child in a supportive environment, as that child is more likely to reproduce.

Unfortunately, ethics committees tend to stop proper research in this area once you bring up the mention of rape.
I mean, one even called the police, when I got out my experimental apparatus.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:53, closed)
I appreciate what you're getting at
but it doesn't really work that way, for two reasons. Firstly, because the act itself has no influence, genetically, on the the offspring, unless "rape" DNA is somehow different from "normal" DNA, and also because a child less likely to reproduce once born (this is something that you've definitely got a point about, but it doesn't work quite like you've put it) is a negative genetic propagation. In other words, if the child doesn't reproduce, nothing is positively or neagatively selected for.

The only way it could work is if there was a genetic trait to either not implant or spontaneously miscarry an embryo resulting from rape. Which, I suppose you could argue might carry a genetic advantage of not wasting resources on a child less likely to reproduce if it was raised in a different environment. Except that rather bridges genetic black and white with assumption, nuture and memetics. Again, complicated but I grant you might be possible, although it relys on human traits and behaviours that have existed across a far shorter timescale than human evolution works on

But the biggest problem with that idea is that it would rely on the female body, at a cellular level, knowing the difference between "rape" and "non-rape" sperm or DNA, and that just isn't going to happen.

Oh, shit, this is the internet. You're wrong, you fucker, and worse than Hitler, or sutin. Am I doing it right again now?
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 18:07, closed)
I appreciate that evolution is a very complex process
When I wrote the original post, I was thinking along the lines that differing mental states between having consensual sex and being raped might have an effect on hormone production, which could in turn affect the early development of the foetus.

Edit: Also that males perceived as "attractive" are likely to be superior in some way, so there might be an advantage in having children by males that a female finds attractive than those she does not.

I realize that this argument is predicated on the idea that attractive males are less likely to resort to rape, which is a whole other argument in itself.


Further edit: I feel should add (for the benefit of those people who seem to have got the wrong idea) that I'm talking in very general terms in this whole thread and I'm not really referring purely to humans, but to animals in general.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 18:41, closed)

There might be a grain of truth in it somewhere, but if you could observe any trend at all, it'd be more likely to be "fewer children brought to term" than "fewer instances of conception". You'd have to look at things like whether rape was more prevalent in less affluent areas, and if it was, factor in variables such as diet, environment, general health, and so forth. Also, you'd have to allow for the fact that rape victims may seek some sort of termination - pennyroyal tea (and other things) have reputedly been used for such purposes since Roman times, or earlier. I would imagine there are a staggering number of variables to consider.

So, at a guess - conception rates roughly the same (presuming roughly equal health in rape victims/willing partners), amount of babies born possibly a little lower. That said, I really have no idea.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 19:34, closed)
Oh, no, I understand what you're getting at, even if it could have been maybe expressed better
it's obviously a very, very difficult subject. The hormone idea is not potentially without merit - but I think there's been a lot of studies of miscarriage rates in different scenarios and there's no evidence that the rate is particularly higher in rape cases. But that's likely because while the emotions ivolved are staggeringly complex, the hormonal system is pretty simple, and a pathway that triggered loss in the case of rape would likely be triggered by by a million other traumatic scenarios and that wouldn't be a trait that would be evolutionarilly selected for. But it's massively complex and that's just me speculating. Imagine. On the INTERNET, as well.
(, Tue 11 Sep 2012, 11:03, closed)
Oh man, I thought you were one of the better qotwers.
I even championed one of your stories. I'm sad now, you utter mong.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:37, closed)
Me too
*Sniff*
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 15:53, closed)
I find that seldom is more bollocks talked then when people make unsupported nonsense claims about evolution to support their bullshit arguments

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:21, closed)
In all fairness...
I'm sure you're not giving this any real credence but instead musing about the wonders of the human body...

some bloke off of the internet doing this is one thing... but someone who is looking to become a senator, people who effectively drive America, is fucking ridiculous!

if that cunt gets into the senate, I think we'd be justifiable in implementing regime change
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:25, closed)
It's entirely feasible though.
My car will crumple and absorb energy, and deploy airbags if another vehicle hits it at high speed.

Except, if the driver who goes into me is drunk, he will just bounce off and leave no damage at all, because driving drunk is illegal.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 10:51, closed)
I've found if you're killed by a murderer it doesn't actually kill you.

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:00, closed)
mitt romney
beleives that cold fusion has been achieved. 'at the universitry of utah, or somewhere, but they cant replicate it'

no mitt.

they cant

because it never happend in the first place
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:15, closed)
I think messers Ponds & Fleischman
may feel differently.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:24, closed)
I've broken absolutely shitloads of fundamental scientific laws in my labs
that I can't replicate. We do it on an almost weekly basis. It's the fact they can't be replicated that makes the results..... wrong.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 11:37, closed)
Some of my farts
probably break the laws of physics.
(, Wed 12 Sep 2012, 14:38, closed)
Are we talking 'legitimate' murder?
You know, like what them, US soldiers do, like, Innit?
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 13:56, closed)
Seriously
Is no-one going to mention "calibur"?
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 13:38, closed)
Just as soon as we've dealt with the raping and the conceiving and
the scientific arseholery from the aforementioned 'merkin.

Maybe he spends too much time reading about King Arthur...
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 13:55, closed)
Isn't that a kind of lager?

(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 14:12, closed)
wash your fucking mouth out.
If it doesn't have booze in it, it's not a lager.
(, Mon 10 Sep 2012, 17:24, closed)

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