What's the evolutionary benefit of nerdiness given it's link to behavioral sterility?

In the recent past, I suppose they would have become monks, who are sworn to celibacy anyway. Otherwise, marrying for love is a relatively recent re-invention, so a lass would have found herself married to a nerd regardless. Going further back, I’d note that nerds tend to be quite intelligent, and while they might not be the clan chief, they might well be a trusted advisor to the chief - and more trusted because of their lack of sociability so they’re not going to make a play for his position - and thus a high-status male.

So Druids and Bards are the Proto-Nerds. Damn, actually that fits.


But that just gives the Geek a better shot at the women in his geek group. S/F has quite a few female fans (and a good number of which are quite attractive), D&D a small but significant number, and Goth has more females than males. In fact, some of these groups have an “in” factor where if you are a member of that in group- “geeky” as it may seem to outsiders- you can score quite nicely thank you. I admit I can’t see computer gamers getting much, as they AFAIK never meet any other real-life humans, but that’s a new type of person which might well disappear from the gene-pool after a few generations.

As far as groups that don’t breed- such as Gays, it has been shown that in animals there is a significant long term evolutionary benefit to the “uncle” factor (in wolf society this is a single male that hangs with the pack, helps hunt and even helps raise the pups, but often doesn’t get to breed).

And, as far as Nerds go, a Nerd who is a dot.com millionaire will be able to find a mate quite a bit easier than the jock now working as a grease-monkey. :smiley:

It’s never all that hard for a grease-monkey to find a mate, in fact being a grease monkey pays okay. Now the Ex-Jock that is now the Assistant manager at Wendy’s is another story. :wink:
While High-income will help in finding a mate, Low income doesn’t slow people down too much. In fact I am sure you can find the statistics fairly easy that show low income families are larger than Middle-Class and Above families.


True. I mentioned that alot of people find geekiness endearing. I find it attractive in women, and as you said alot of women find it attractive in men. So I don’t think it’ll matter much.

Do we really know how mating worked 100,000 years ago when we lived in hunter/gatherer societies? Mating in the middle ages was more of a property and financial survival transaction. I don’t know if that holds true of ancient humans.

Ironically, just last week I was speculating (for different reasons) that nerdity might be associated with a recessive gene. It does seem to fit, in some ways.

The other thing I’d like to point out here (consistent with the recessive-gene hypothesis) is that while non-nerd parents do sometimes produce nerdy children, the child of two nerd parents is almost invariably a nerd. This would tend to offset the decreased tendancy for nerds to mate in the first place.

Certainly, there’s some heriditary component to nerdiness, and I don’t think it’s inconceivable that at least part of it is genetic. Over 10% of my extended family are unambiguously nerds, for instance (a number which I would would deem is far above the population at large), and several others have nerdy tendancies. And my family has also not, by and large, had much trouble with reproducing, there being nearly a hundred of us, starting from Gramma and Grampap on down.

Thag, the guy who invented the wheel? Nerd.

Yes but as we know Og smashed him and took it to be an end table.