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Love: Good or Bad?

  1. Mar 26, 2009 #1
    Recently I have been wondering this question. From an evolutionary stand point I dont see why it would be nessicary. All you would need would be a "sex drive" which from my experiance is not so much of a cause for love. Love can somtimes cause more harm than good. What are you are views on this?
     
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  3. Mar 26, 2009 #2

    DaveC426913

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    In a very small nutshell:

    In nature, there's pretty strong correlation between the developmental needs of the young and the pair-bonding of the parents.

    Dinosaurs laid eggs, and their offspring were independent right out of the shell. No parenting required. Higher life forms such as mammals have offspring that need lots of care before they are independent. Humans, most of all.

    This "love" thing is really pair-bonding, which encourages the continued presence of two parents in the early development of the offspring.
     
  4. Mar 26, 2009 #3
    So Monkeys are also mammals but I would doubt that they share a similar feeling of love like humans do. Monkeys also ( correct me if I am wrong) have only one parent.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2009 #4

    Evo

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    Not to mention providing food, shelter and safety for your mate and offspring.
     
  6. Mar 26, 2009 #5

    Evo

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    You should watch some documentaries on monkeys.
     
  7. Mar 26, 2009 #6
    What about the term "love" when describing some actions? Like love towards exploration. On more general note, everything capable of creating negentropy is good. I would count love as one of those things.
     
  8. Mar 26, 2009 #7
    Is this love?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM
     
  9. Mar 26, 2009 #8

    Astronuc

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    How does one determine this point.

    Love outlasts 'sex-drive'.


    My parents have been married for 52 yrs. They definitely love each other, and they are still in-love. They each have their separate interests, which they enjoy, but they also have mutual interests, which they enjoy together. Both sets of grandparents were married for more than 50 years, until one died - both grandfathers outlived the grandmothers.

    I've been with the same woman for 28 years, and officially married for nearly 27 years. I plan on being with her for long time to come.
     
  10. Mar 26, 2009 #9
    If you are not lucky enought for the person you like to like you back its not a fun situation is my point.
     
  11. Mar 26, 2009 #10

    DaveC426913

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    OK, but that's off-topic, really. The OP isn't asking for examples of love, merely its efficacy in survival.

    At least, I thought...

    Wait. What? What does this have to do with your OP? You were asking about survival and evolution.
     
  12. Mar 26, 2009 #11

    Astronuc

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    From a strictly biological standpoint, reproduction does not require love, it simply requires a man's sperm to fertilize a woman's egg, and then for the woman to carry the fetus to full term, give birth, and then support that offspring until he or she can mate and continue the cycle. In 2007 in the US, about 40% of children were born to single or unwed mothers, and then there are the married families in which about 50% or so of couples divorce, and I believe more than 50% of children live in a household without one parent or where one parent is not the biological parent.

    On the practical side of love, it provides for empathy and compassion, which provide for nuturing, stability and duration. Ideally, such love is mutual and reciprocal.

    I've been lucky many times over in this regard. :smile: I have lots of friends.
     
  13. Mar 26, 2009 #12

    DaveC426913

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    I wouild say this fact is not evolutionarily significant, and thus irrelevant.
     
  14. Mar 26, 2009 #13

    Astronuc

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    On what basis is that not evolutionarily significant? Please provide the evidence.

    Some people think it's an indication of increasing social instability. Time (several generations) and few centuries will tell.
     
  15. Mar 26, 2009 #14

    DaveC426913

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    On the basis that contemporary American events did not precede evolutionary development of pair-bonding, so how does it explain anything about its arrival?

    More to the point:

    What does any of this prove about the evolution of love? How is it even relevant?
     
  16. Mar 26, 2009 #15

    russ_watters

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    Could you explain why the last part of that does not require love? From a biological standpoint, love is the bond that provides the desire to support the offspring - as dave described in post #2. In other words, the action you list is love, by definition.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  17. Mar 26, 2009 #16

    russ_watters

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    Regarding the decline of the connection between love and procreation (in the US anyway), you can't connect it to evolution because it has happened so fast (mostly over just a handful of generations), it isn't possible for it to have evolutionary implications....yet.

    You may call it social evolution if you want, and one thing about humans is we are unique in the animal kingdom in our social evolution separating itself from biological evolution. Biological evolution may catch up with the social changes, but that'll take hundreds of years.
     
  18. Mar 26, 2009 #17

    Astronuc

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    Actually, I was referring to the love between a man and woman (the love to which I believe the OP was referring), as opposed to the love between a mother and offspring (or parent to child).

    Then again, my wife and I have a friend who is a social worker who has dealt with several mothers who basically neglected their children because they were out doing drugs. The children have been placed in foster care (which is sometimes good, sometimes not), and some ultimately adopted.
     
  19. Mar 27, 2009 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    My cat loves me.

    We are often amazed by how much animals can act like humans, but then it struck me that this only seems surprising because we see ourselves as something more than animals.
     
  20. Mar 27, 2009 #19
    In groups of animals where there are typically more females than males the males tend to mate with however many females they wish and not stick around with any one in particular. In groups where there are fewer females than males the male must stick around to protect his mate and offspring if his genetic line is to continue since the males will compete for mates and kill off offspring that is not their own.

    I've wondered what the historic male to female ratios were in areas where adultery is more accepted by the culture.
     
  21. Mar 27, 2009 #20

    DaveC426913

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    No it doesn't. It is simply lulling you into a state of complancency until the day you leave the cupboard door open to the Kibbles, when it will run between your legs on the stairs, causing you to fall to your death.
     
  22. Mar 27, 2009 #21
    Natural selection does not only preserve the necessary. It even preserves things that sometimes cause more harm than good, like the appendix. Nor is "sex drive" sufficient for success. I assume that every species that ever succeeded for a time and then died out had plenty of it. Otherwise we wouldn't have known about it.

    Appendix: But is love good or bad? I can only reach into my own experiences. For instance, my wife loves me. That's a good thing. And I love her. Good again. I also love my children who love me back (they'll show it someday, I just know they will). Good, good, good. But there are limitations. I'm not permitted to love Mrs. O'Berkowitz down the street though natural selection has been mighty good to her. I'm pretty sure my wife and her husband agree heartily on this point though they have never actually met. She shakes that thang with the best of 'em, and I have to look away. Which I failed to do quick enough last week and that's how my wife came to remark that she was going to break my neck. It brought me back to my younger days when women were ever chasing after me. Now I would gladly inform my wife that I always wanted to have it out with her man to man (so to speak.) But she has a black belt. In fact she has a score of them on the inside closet door and she knows how to use them. Bad.
     
  23. Mar 27, 2009 #22

    DaveC426913

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    So you're saying you love your neck the way it is.:wink:
     
  24. Mar 27, 2009 #23

    Ivan Seeking

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    Oh no, I see the look in her eyes. My wife used to look at me like that.
     
  25. Mar 27, 2009 #24

    Ivan Seeking

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    Please stay away from the kinky stuff.
     
  26. Mar 27, 2009 #25

    russ_watters

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    For animals that require significant child care, those two things are just two parts of the same thing. Perhaps it could be generalized to 'love of/devotion to family', but if any of those three bonds is missing, there are significant problems and the survival advantage is at least partially negated.
     
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