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  Topic: Will a "Gay Gene" Refute Evolution?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,15:41   

There is new talk of a "gay gene" being profferred by "scientists."

My question is this;

Would this not represent a refutation of evolution?  Or more modestly, would this not at the minimum represent a bad mutation naturally selected?  What in evolution would justify a selection of a "gay gene?"

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,15:51   

Gay people have kids all the time.  What's the logic behind the "refutation"?

Organisms with "bad mutations" can still pass their genes on.   Evolution doesn't require that only "good mutations" get passed on.

Go return the straw from where you stole it from.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,16:11   

Quote
new talk


uh, you're a bit behind the times there, eight ball.

and no, it has nothing to do with evolutionary theory, unless you want to explore the exception proves the rule angle.

wait, why am i bothering to respond to an idiot?

forget i said anything.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,16:31   

I just thought of something. If a gay gene were to 'refute evolution', by default wouldn't that mean the gay gene was designed? And since God, WHOOPS I mean the Intelligent Designer supposedly hates gays so much, why would he design a gay gene?

It's quite a conundrum. Right up there with the Jesus-microwaving-a-burrito paradox.

(Hmm. Maybe the Intelligent Designer designed a gay gene for the same reason he put dinosaur bones on earth, to test people to see if they stayed faithful and to punish them brutally if they didn't?)

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,16:40   

Quote

wait, why am i bothering to respond to an idiot?
Lol. Yeah, I think most people are still in middle school when they realize that if they disagree with all the experts, it's probably not the experts who are wrong.

   
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,16:51   

cogzoid,

So natural selection is really a meaningless term?  And a genetic basis for "gayness" does nothing to inhibit one from being heterosexual?  

So homosexuality may have a genetic component but it plays no part in sexual orientation?

What would a "gay gene" entail?

This is the best example of drawing a conclusion and then finding the right evidence.

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,17:23   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 04 2006,21:51)
cogzoid,

So natural selection is really a meaningless term?  And a genetic basis for "gayness" does nothing to inhibit one from being heterosexual?  

So homosexuality may have a genetic component but it plays no part in sexual orientation?

What would a "gay gene" entail?

This is the best example of drawing a conclusion and then finding the right evidence.

Thordaddy, you are priceless.
Quote
So natural selection is really a meaningless term?  
Who said that? under those bloody great wads of straw there is a simple fact that you have allready been told.  Natural selection is pressure.  It's not absolute.  Simply put, Half-wits still exist.  There is pressure being put against Half wits, but clearly they exist.
Quote
And a genetic basis for "gayness" does nothing to inhibit one from being heterosexual?  

Uh according to the Ex gay ministries... (heh)
Quote

This is the best example of drawing a conclusion and then finding the right evidence.

Sorry, It fits in neatly with natural selection.  It's a poke in the eye for religion and it's half-wit pseudoscience child ID.
Just because you dont like it doesn't mean it's not true.

--------------
Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,17:34   

My half-assed hypothesis is that homosexuality increases in proportion to the level of pressure a population places upon its supporting environment.  Not so much a gay gene as, "how many offspring do we really need gene."


Since we're all in the mood for armchair science, I'd ask TD if a "god gene" will refute theology.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,17:48   

First of all, I think this whole gay gene idea is a load of crock.  Care to cite any studies to back your claim up?

But, barring that, I'm able to think abstractly and pretend that a gay gene exists.  Then ponder it's implications on our theories of science.

Quote
So natural selection is really a meaningless term?
Care to flush out your logic?  You jumped straight from "gay gene" to "natural selection is meaningless".  How do you get from A to B?

Quote
And a genetic basis for "gayness" does nothing to inhibit one from being heterosexual?
Certainly, but that doesn't stop gay people from pretending to be heterosexual.  Thousands of fathers come out of the closet every year, much to the devastation of their wives.  Did you see Brokeback Mountain?  Gay people that are "scared into the closet" will often times have families to seem normal.

Quote
So homosexuality may have a genetic component but it plays no part in sexual orientation?
There's a chance of this, yes.  Perhaps the gene is recessive (like red hair) and only shows up when the kid happens to recieve two recessive gay genes.  This is standard practice for genes and straight out of 7th grade biology texts.

Quote
What would a "gay gene" entail?
Exactly!  What would a "gay gene" entail?  Where did you hear about them?

Quote
This is the best example of drawing a conclusion and then finding the right evidence.
What?!  Who drew what conclusion?

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,18:13   

Hmmm....ok...couple of points

The Greeks were gay,really gay,crazy gay,they loved the.....
You get the point...

They had kids and a healthy society, but how?
Well the gay guys still had wives.
Seem strange?  Not really
They understood that sex created children, and since most humans want children, they had heterosexual sex.

Now, if there was a Designer, then he must have designed homosexuals.  Now, he probably used the "gay gene" to design them.  In other words...God is a gay gene designer.

Either way...it does, at first, reek of stupid...
Either Evolution let something slip in that doesnt benefit reproduction
Or a Designer designed organisms that have a difficult time reproducing.

I guess the only logic could be that the Designer preferred homosexuals...good luck selling that to the ID supporters...
But then again, from all the examples the designer sucks...

Everything aside though, there are obviously Evolutionary pathways as well as Designer pathways that could explain the presence of a "gay gene".  So its really a mute point

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,18:23   

It seems to me, Thor, that a gay gene, or for that matter a congenital development origin of gayness refutes the idea that gayness is a sin, rather than refuting evolution.

It does seem difficult for a gay gene to coincide with natural selection, but it does not seem difficult for congenital devlopmental causes to fit with evolution.

However, it has been pointed out that a small number of gay people in a group can enhance survival. People think it's all about having as many kids as you possibly can, but it isn't. It's about quality of life and raising the kids to adulthood. Hunter-gatherers and for that matter chimps, produce offspring about every 3-5 years. More than that is too much. If you look at a highly social animal  like wolves, you see that only one pair regularly produces offspring (the alpha male and female) while other relatives such as uncles and aunts help to care for and raise the pups.

More labor, hunters, and childcare is what a group of humans needs, not just everyone to pump out as many kids as they possibly can.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,20:29   

avocationist opines,

Quote
It seems to me, Thor, that a gay gene, or for that matter a congenital development origin of gayness refutes the idea that gayness is a sin, rather than refuting evolution.


I will agree with you in part.  What I see is that science is succumbing to political pressure to find a "gay gene."  The whole point is TO USE SCIENCE to refute gayness as a sin and USE SCIENCE to legitimate the behavior.  It's an example of providing the conclusion (gayness is genetic/inborn/immalleable) and finding the evidence to fit this conclusion ("gay gene").  

But what would it REALLY MEAN to find a "gay gene?"  We must find a unique "modification" in self-avowed and/or practicing homosexuals.  But then the question becomes... is this really a "gay gene" or a bad mutation?  I don't think there is evidence to suggest that homosexuality is necessary for survival... evolution's only purpose.

Quote
It does seem difficult for a gay gene to coincide with natural selection, but it does not seem difficult for congenital devlopmental causes to fit with evolution.


Again, it seems that you identify with the problems of a "gay gene" and so you simply propose the next best thing, namely, homosexuality as a congenital development.  Again, we can only conclude that homosexuality must be a congenital birth defect because it REJECTS evolution's only purpose.  What would such an admission do to undercut the argument for abortion if "homosexual" fetuses were first on the list?

Quote
However, it has been pointed out that a small number of gay people in a group can enhance survival. People think it's all about having as many kids as you possibly can, but it isn't. It's about quality of life and raising the kids to adulthood. Hunter-gatherers and for that matter chimps, produce offspring about every 3-5 years. More than that is too much. If you look at a highly social animal  like wolves, you see that only one pair regularly produces offspring (the alpha male and female) while other relatives such as uncles and aunts help to care for and raise the pups.


I think this is weak rationlization.  You seem to be saying that evolution devised a congenital birth defect that causes men to be sexaully-attracted to other men men (same for women) and NOT reproduce SO AS TO regulate life's propensity to reproduce and overpopulate themselves into extinction?  This is the nature of homosexuality?  

Quote
More labor, hunters, and childcare is what a group of humans needs, not just everyone to pump out as many kids as they possibly can.


And yet they don't, but they need not be homosexual either.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2006,20:44   

PuckSR opines,

Quote
Hmmm....ok...couple of points

The Greeks were gay,really gay,crazy gay,they loved the.....
You get the point...
 
They had kids and a healthy society, but how?
Well the gay guys still had wives.
Seem strange?  Not really
They understood that sex created children, and since most humans want children, they had heterosexual sex.

Now, if there was a Designer, then he must have designed homosexuals.  Now, he probably used the "gay gene" to design them.  In other words...God is a gay gene designer.


This is fallacious reasoning.  If one believes gayness is a chosen behavior then the "gay gene" need not exist and God need not design homosexuals.  These are merely ad hoc hypotheses.  There is no scientific evidence for either a "gay gene" or a Designer.

Quote
Either way...it does, at first, reek of stupid...
Either Evolution let something slip in that doesnt benefit reproduction
Or a Designer designed organisms that have a difficult time reproducing.

I guess the only logic could be that the Designer preferred homosexuals...good luck selling that to the ID supporters...
But then again, from all the examples the designer sucks...


Again, if homosexuality is a behavior then neither science nor ID are in trouble.  But you seem to preoccupied to see how science is being USED by certain ideologues.

Quote
Everything aside though, there are obviously Evolutionary pathways as well as Designer pathways that could explain the presence of a "gay gene".  So its really a mute point


Please provide these "pathways."

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,01:39   

I would have thought it would be worse if there is a gay gene. At the moment it is assumed to be purely psychological. Therefore people say it is a choice, and try to cure it through psychological means. If it is genetic, then they will say it is a disease, and no doubt the templeton foundation will fund research into a cure.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,01:44   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,01:44)
 There is no scientific evidence for either a "gay gene" or a Designer.

Wait a minute, I thought you were on the side of ID?  
Which as we all know, says there is scientific evidence for a designer.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,01:50   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,01:29)
Quote
However, it has been pointed out that a small number of gay people in a group can enhance survival. People think it's all about having as many kids as you possibly can, but it isn't. It's about quality of life and raising the kids to adulthood. Hunter-gatherers and for that matter chimps, produce offspring about every 3-5 years. More than that is too much. If you look at a highly social animal  like wolves, you see that only one pair regularly produces offspring (the alpha male and female) while other relatives such as uncles and aunts help to care for and raise the pups.


I think this is weak rationlization.  You seem to be saying that evolution devised a congenital birth defect that causes men to be sexaully-attracted to other men men (same for women) and NOT reproduce SO AS TO regulate life's propensity to reproduce and overpopulate themselves into extinction?  This is the nature of homosexuality?  

No, hes saying that it seems likely that the complex of genetic variations and environmental pressures that mean you end up with homosexuals, has survived in the gene pool because in family groups in which one or two members do not  necessarily have their own children, but spend time helping rear the children of their relatives, more of the children survive to adulthood and breed.  

Furthermore, what can you tell us about why men are attracted to women, and women to men?  Is it their brain structure?  Hormones?  The voice of Cupid in their ear?

  
George



Posts: 314
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,02:05   

Quote
Please provide these "pathways."


Purely hypothetically, assume that the "gay gene" is X-linked.  A man in a hunter-gatherer society with a "pink X" chromosome has a sister with one pink X and one non-pink X.  Humans live(d) in family groups with a fair degree of cooperation.  The gay man has no offspring, but his sister has children, some of which carry the pink X.  If the efforts of the gay hunter improve the likelihood of his nephews' and nieces' survival relative to those children without a childless uncle to help care for them, then this means that there is postive selection for the pink X trait.

Not that I believe there is such a thing as a "pink X" gene.  If there is a genetic basis for homosexuality, it will be a more complex multi-gene trait or the byproduct of the actions of other genes regulating hormones, sexual behaviour, etc.  I think that many if not most gays are actually bisexual in varying degrees (though I'm open to correction), rather than simply 100% gay, which suggests that homosexuality is not controlled by a single gene.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,04:18   

To actually insert just a little science into the debate ( :D )

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/sex/mg18424690.800.html

If homosexuality is an inherited trait, why do genes for it survive? Because these genes may make women more likely to reproduce.

Andrea Camperio-Ciani's team at the University of Padua, Italy, asked 98 gay and 100 straight men to fill in questionnaires about their families. They found mothers and aunts had more children if related to a gay rather than a straight man. Mothers of gay men averaged 2.7 babies, compared with 2.3 born to mothers of straight men. Aunts on the mother's side had 2 babies compared with 1.5 for maternal aunts of straight men (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004).

The team suggests that gene variations on the X chromosome make women more likely to have more children, and men more likely to be gay. "We think of a gene for male homosexuality, but it might really be a gene for sexual attraction to men," says Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist at Stanford University and a writer on sexuality.

But the "maternal effect" could at most account for only 14 per cent of the prevalence of male homosexuality, the Italian team cautions. "Our findings, if confirmed, are only one piece in a much larger puzzle on the nature of human sexuality." :D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,04:27   

And even a book review:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15721225.600.html

Jim McKnight's Straight Science? asks why, if there is a homosexual gene, should the human genome maintain a population predisposed to non-reproductive sex? McKnight argues that straight men carrying just one gay gene have a reproductive advantage. That's to say they make better fathers and their children are more likely to survive. McKnight has political nous, but—let's face it—he'll still get a kicking. Published by Routledge, £14.99, ISBN 0415157330.

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,04:48   

I'll try and dig out stuff on the effects of exposure to hormones in the womb out as well.  IIRC, the idea is that a fetus is exposed to different hormones in the womb, and exposure to the "wrong" amount of some of them at the "wrong" time will lead to the parts of the brain concerned with sexual attraction being altered to a different way.  I.E. if your a homosexual man, the part of your brain related to what you find sexually attractive has been feminised in the womb.  

Its a neat idea, and sidesteps a lot of the messy genetic wragling, by putting the causes back to the mother genetics and environmental circumstances.  Which is what people often overlook, the way these things are presented in the media or by some researchers amounts to genetic determinism, whereas in most cases the genese merely decide which football pitch you are playing on, rather than which side wins.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,05:07   

I realize it's a total waste of time to argue with certain people, but here goes anyway...

Quote
I will agree with you in part.  What I see is that science is succumbing to political pressure to find a "gay gene."  


'Political pressure'? From the mighty liberal gay lobby in Washington DC? Who on earth would THEY be?

Quote
The whole point is TO USE SCIENCE to refute gayness as a sin


'Sin' is a subjective religious construct, TD. Science cannot prove or disprove it. And no, science and religion are not the same thing.

Quote
and USE SCIENCE to legitimate the behavior.  


'Legitimate' is not a verb, TD.

Quote
But what would it REALLY MEAN to find a "gay gene?"  We must find a unique "modification" in self-avowed and/or practicing homosexuals.  But then the question becomes... is this really a "gay gene" or a bad mutation?  I don't think there is evidence to suggest that homosexuality is necessary for survival... evolution's only purpose.


"Evolution must conform to my massively oversimplified characterization of it, or it is not valid".

Where have I seen that before?

Incidentally, you seem to have edited it out, but in a previous message you went on about how disease-prone and domestic violence-prone homosexuals were, and why this was evidence we should teach children in schools that gays are bad. Two questions: (a) I think your 'higher rates of domestic violence' claim is horseshlt. Got actual proof of it, from someone other than James Dobson? And (b) should kids be taught the fact that LESBIANS are less prone to sexually transmitted diseases than heterosexuals? If not, why not?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,05:28   

Quote (MidnightVoice @ April 05 2006,09:18)
To actually insert just a little science into the debate ( :D )

...

Not read the article yet. Probably will later. Quick question before I do.

Is the fact that most people are heterosexual and therefore the more babies that a mother has, the probability of having a homosexual child increases considered?

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,05:44   

Thor,

Quote
I will agree with you in part.  What I see is that science is succumbing to political pressure to find a "gay gene."  The whole point is TO USE SCIENCE to refute gayness as a sin and USE SCIENCE to legitimate the behavior.  It's an example of providing the conclusion (gayness is genetic/inborn/immalleable) and finding the evidence to fit this conclusion ("gay gene").
There could indeed be such pressure. In that case, tho, it won't stand th test of time. But there is more than a gene. What about studies that show birth order has a role? There are also some studies showing a different brain organization, and this is what I consider the most promising. In fact, I am all but sure that this is going to turn out to be the case. The brain of the embryo gets a little different development and this changes the sexual and emotional behavior. There really is a tremendous amount of evidence that sexual behavior is brain-dependent and hormone-dependent. But again, people are complex and there could be more than one type of gayness and more than one cause. There are even more than one kind of left-handedness.

The people who are convinced homosexuality is a sin are unable to look dispassionately at the evidence. The only acceptable evidence is that it is a 'behavior." It actually rather surprises me how men can think that other men are so easily swayed away from being excited by the female body. Could you? When people say that it makes me wonder if the person making the accusation is really fully heterosexual. I don't intend this as an insult but I think you can see the logic. In a normal male, the attraction to the female is strong. If one doubts that another person has a strong hold on their heterosexuality, it might mean that it is weak in their own self.

The thing is, Thor, that research into development and behavior is showing (and feminists of a certain stripe aren't liking it I think) that male and female behaviors and inner feelings are pretty much hard wired from birth. Yet there is a tremendous overlap because actual brain development has a wide continuum of structure.

Quote

Again, it seems that you identify with the problems of a "gay gene" and so you simply propose the next best thing, namely, homosexuality as a congenital development.  Again, we can only conclude that homosexuality must be a congenital birth defect because it REJECTS evolution's only purpose.
I don't assume it is a congenital defect for any other reason than that it makes so much sense in the real world, where I live among gay people and read books about the unbelievably tiny amounts of hormone during embryonic development that it takes to influence an animal's behavior for life, and where I look at men and women and see that homosexuals, especially the more "end of spectrum" effeminate gay men and masculine gay women appear in myriad ways to not have the brains typical of their gender.

Are you aware that the male infant makes his own male brain with his testosterone? That things can interfere with his testosterone?

I am not considering this question from an abortion angle, just a truth angle.

Quote
You seem to be saying that evolution devised a congenital birth defect that causes men to be sexaully-attracted to other men men (same for women) and NOT reproduce SO AS TO regulate life's propensity to reproduce and overpopulate themselves into extinction?  This is the nature of homosexuality?  
It may or may not be part of nature's natural variation, but it might also be a mistake. Many mistakes get made during embryonic development. Lack of perfect nutrition means a child will not live up to his genetic potential. But producing variety does help in tight situations, because just a few individuals might have what it takes to survive the situation. And humans are the least instinctive and the most capable of varied behavior. Not every individual should have the goal of reproducing as fast and as early as possible. A society is stronger if there are some people with other skills and interests. We are not sea turtles whose main strategy is chucking out as many eggs as possible.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,05:57   

Quote
If there is a genetic basis for homosexuality, it will be a more complex multi-gene trait or the byproduct of the actions of other genes regulating hormones, sexual behaviour, etc.  I think that many if not most gays are actually bisexual in varying degrees (though I'm open to correction), rather than simply 100% gay, which suggests that homosexuality is not controlled by a single gene.


All this is better explained through the congenital development theory. It gives you the complex spectrum of behaviors that we actually see in real life. And any gay genes could easily fit in with it, too.

It also explains why many homosexuals have some heterosexual attraction, altho some don't seem to at all.

I came up with the idea that much homosexuality is developmental before I knew what I had read things that confirmed it, because of close observation of some gay friends I had years ago. At that time, the psychological explanations, the cold father, the overprotective mother were all the rage, and I saw that it isn't true.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,06:18   

A friend of mine, who is homosexual, has a twin brother (is that English?) who is not.
And this is easily noticeable from their manners.

My two cents.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,06:26   

Quote
A friend of mine, who is homosexual, has a twin brother (is that English?)


Yes, that's perfectly grammatical, not to worry.

Quote
who is not.
And this is easily noticeable from their manners.

My two cents.


You're talking about an identical twin, I assume?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,06:59   

whereas what I wrote was not English.

Apparently there are mirror image twins. My sister's husband is an identical twin but one is left-handed and one right.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,07:04   

Quote
Will a "Gay Gene" Refute Evolution?


Well, he hasn't refuted it yet, so I'm inclined to answer "no."  And, as a side note, I didn't even know Mike Gene was gay until I read it here.

EDIT: Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,07:12   

Quote (improvius @ April 05 2006,12:04)
Quote
Will a "Gay Gene" Refute Evolution?


Well, he hasn't refuted it yet, so I'm inclined to answer "no."  And, as a side note, I didn't even know Mike Gene was gay until I read it here.

EDIT: Not that there's anything wrong with that.

No, I think TD is referring to Big Gay Gene from South Park.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,07:16   

I thought that was Big Gay Al.  Or was Gene the name of Stan's gay dog?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,07:19   

Quote (GCT @ April 05 2006,12:16)
I thought that was Big Gay Al.  Or was Gene the name of Stan's gay dog?

Yes, it is Big Gay Al. I was making a dumb joke. Yeesh, way to wreck it...   :p

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,07:54   

Quote
There is new talk of a "gay gene" being profferred by "scientists."
Is there? Where?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
J. G. Cox



Posts: 38
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,08:32   

All traits have both genetic and environmental components; this includes behavioral traits. Sometimes, one or the other seems much more important than the other. For instance, how many heads you have is almost entirely controlled by genes, though certain environmental factors (e.g., not too little food meaning you have none and are dead, or environmental toxins which interfere with development giving you 2) could still exert some influence. Almost all traits are also influenced by more than one gene locus. That is why it is usually incorrent to speak of 'a gene' for something. What is usually meant is that a particular allele of a given gene affects the probability that a given organism will have one value of a trait versus another. Usually, there are multiple genes for which different alleles may affect the same trait.

 So, would the existence of certain alleles that increase the likelihood that their carriers are homosexual disprove evolution? First, there is the point that pretty much no one datum or result could disprove evolutionary theory at this point, but that is a topic for another thread. The basic objection would seem to be that such alleles should reduce fitness, and therefore be selected against. This is an interesting question, in fact, as that is part of why some researchers are investigating it. (Notice that they are doing actual research into an interesting evolutionary conundrum, not simply making assertions about its potential implications). Researchers search for alleles influencing homosexuality because it is extremely unlikely that this trait is entirely a consequence of environment.

 Let's assume that alleles for homosexuality do in fact reduce fitness. In an evolutionary framework, that would make such alleles a sort of genetic disease. Notice that classifying such alleles as deleterious and 'disease-causing' requires accepting an evolutionary framework. However, our definitions of disease do not correspond to what natural selection might select against. For example, brain tissue is extremely metabolically expensive; in food-limited situations, having too much brain matter could easily lead to reduced fitness, or even early death. In that case, would we declare intelligence to be a disease? Another example; I don't want to have children, which greatly reduces my fitness; am I diseased? Thus, sociological attacks against homosexuality based on it being a 'disease' i.) require acceptance of evolution, and ii.) are guilty of the same logical fallacy as social Darwinism

  Let's still assume that alleles which promote homosexuality impose a fitness cost. Why might such alleles persist? Evolutionary theory gives some indication of where to look. One mechanism which might maintain such alleles is persistent mutation of wild-type alleles into mutant type, in this case one promoting homosexuality. In instances where the mutational pathway from wild-type to a particular mutant allele is short and/or probable (e.g., a single point mutation), then selection and mutation can maintain the deleterious mutants at non-trivial frequencies in a population. Another reason why such alleles might persist is simply that natural selection hasn't eliminated them yet. Remember, natural selection is simply an adjustment of the probability distribution governing the fates of different alleles; it is not wholly deterministic. Natural selection is also a continuing process, and just because a given alleles hasn't yet achieved fixation or has not been wholly eliminated does not mean that natural selection is not acting on it.

  However, we cannot simply assume that alleles which promote homosexuality do in fact reduce fitness. This is where some of the research that others have pointed to in this thread comes in. Again, evolutionary theory tells us where we should be looking for answers. One possibility is that such alleles might increase inclusive fitness; this is also known as kin selection. Thus, having alleles which promote homosexuality might decrease one's own reproductive output, but might increase that of one's relatives. For instance, a homosexual male might contribute more to raising the offpsring of his sisters and mother than a heterosexual male, or might be less likely to be run off or killed by the dominant male in his social group (thus thus better able to help his relative reproduce). Unfortunately, this is very hard to test because i.) we cannot directly observe the ecological and social conditions under which our ancestors evolved and ii.) doing the appropriate experiments with humans would be considered highly unethical.

 Another important point is to remember that natural selection acts on the average fitness derived from having a certain trait or allele. If having alleles which promote homosexuality on average improves fitness, then we would expect to see them in a population, at least at some frequency. This ties in to research which showed the increased reproduction of female relatives of gay men. If the increase in fitness for the females is equal to or greater than the decrease in fitness for the males carrying the alleles, then such alleles would spread in the population.

  In summary, the presence of alleles which promote homosexuality would not constitue a 'problem for evolution' for two reasons. First, modern evolutionary theory predicts the presence of some deleterious alleles within a population. Second, we have no idea if such alleles are actually deleterious.

  
J. G. Cox



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,08:40   

I should also emphasize that evolutionary theory gives many potential research directions for the question at hand. Does kin selection play a role? Is homosexuality in fact deleterious? Is frequency-dependent selection occurring? Should sex ratio affect allele frequency? Could different social structures influence selection for and against such alleles? Etc.

 Intelligent design 'theory,' however,' proposes nothing. Either this 'aspect of the universe' was designed or not. If not, then we turn to evolution for explanations. If so, then we can't do any more research because we aren't allowed to know anything about the Designer. Science stops where ID begins.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,09:09   

J. G. Cox wrote:
Quote
I should also emphasize that evolutionary theory gives many potential research directions for the question at hand.

Except for the most important one: would evolutionary theory predict a "gay gene"? Or any other gene for that matter? Why must Darwinism wait for verification of an entity's existence before lauching its research program? Shouldn't evolutionary psychology or the ever-so-mathematically-cogent field of population genetics provide a predictive model for what changes are possible? But no, after real scientists make the discoveries, evos rush in, chisels in hand, and announce a new field to "tackle". It's easy to give answers when nothing's at stake.......but you get what you pay for.

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Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,09:13   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 05 2006,14:09)
J. G. Cox wrote:
Quote
I should also emphasize that evolutionary theory gives many potential research directions for the question at hand.

Except for the most important one: would evolutionary theory predict a "gay gene"? Or any other gene for that matter? Why must Darwinism wait for verification of an entity's existence before lauching its research program? Shouldn't evolutionary psychology or the ever-so-mathematically-cogent field of population genetics provide a predictive model for what changes are possible? But no, after real scientists make the discoveries, evos rush in, chisels in hand, and announce a new field to "tackle". It's easy to give answers when nothing's at stake.......but you get what you pay for.

Well, I see G.O. Paley is back, but since his mood is no better than before, his 'vacation' must not have been very restful...

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jeannot



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,09:20   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 05 2006,11:26)
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A friend of mine, who is homosexual, has a twin brother (is that English?)


Yes, that's perfectly grammatical, not to worry.

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who is not.
And this is easily noticeable from their manners.

My two cents.


You're talking about an identical twin, I assume?

Yes I am.

  
J. G. Cox



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,09:45   

Quote
Except for the most important one: would evolutionary theory predict a "gay gene"?


 No, it would not, because (as far as we know) mutations are random. Thus, just because some trait might affect fitness does not affect that probability that that trait will arise; it simply means that if it does, then the probable fate of that trait will be determined by its fitness influence.

 If you can come up with a way to predict mutations (not just differential probabilities of transitions versus transversions), then you have just scored yourself a Nobel. In any case, that would be incorporated right into evolutionary theory because evolution, like all scientific theories, is amenable to adjustment as new information is obtained.

 ID, however, seems amenable to adjustment only as the political and legal climate changes.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,12:45   

Quote
No, it would not, because (as far as we know) mutations are random. Thus, just because some trait might affect fitness does not affect that probability that that trait will arise; it simply means that if it does, then the probable fate of that trait will be determined by its fitness influence.

Well, I'm talking about the likelihood of natural selection preserving a particular mutation, not the odds of the mutation arising in the first place. So why can't evolution derive a probability distribution of this "fitness influence"?
Quote
If you can come up with a way to predict mutations (not just differential probabilities of transitions versus transversions), then you have just scored yourself a Nobel. In any case, that would be incorporated right into evolutionary theory because evolution, like all scientific theories, is amenable to adjustment as new information is obtained.

Geneticists should worry about the mutation part; it's the evos responsibility to describe the other half of the RM & NS expression. Their inability to do so is one reason why evolution gets scant attention in medical textbooks. Retrodiction only goes so far, especially when people's health is on the line.
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ID, however, seems amenable to adjustment only as the political and legal climate changes.

We were the ones who saw the value in "junk" DNA, and the danger in assuming that retroviruses randomly insert themselves in the genome. But then cleaning up after Darwin is a full time job.

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sir_toejam



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,13:53   

Quote
So why can't evolution derive a probability distribution of this "fitness influence"?


Actually, you stumbled on a very interesting current area of reseach.  short answer: they have done this, in the lab.

Wes posted some articles relating to this a month or so ago.

scroll back and check them out, or ask Wes.

as to what can be done in the field; selective pressures are extremely variable in most instances, and #### near impossible to account for every current and potential pressure on a specific trait, let alone traits that might be linked, without some serious controls in place.

It makes it very difficult to calculate exact probabilites like you want, but there are folks out there trying to do that very thing.

why don't you spend some time at your local university library and check it out.

oh wait, that's right.  Based on your past posts about the inadequacies of cladistics, I'd say your reading comprehension is not sufficient to the task.

oh well, you could always try anyway.  ####, you might learn something.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,14:31   

Quote
It makes it very difficult to calculate exact probabilites like you want, but there are folks out there trying to do that very thing.

why don't you spend some time at your local university library and check it out.

And what predictions have they made? Take your time - it's an important question.
Quote
oh wait, that's right.  Based on your past posts about the inadequacies of cladistics, I'd say your reading comprehension is not sufficient to the task.

oh well, you could always try anyway.  ####, you might learn something.

Even Mr. Brazeau conceded that several of his earlier criticisms of Arnason et al. were refuted in the literature, although this didn't prevent him from launching several more. And the fact that Arnason's work suffers from flaws does not erase the more egregious problems in the research Brazeau cited, which supports my earlier complaint of phylogenetic unreliability. But being such an expert thinker on all things fishy, I'm sure you were already aware of that. ;)

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sir_toejam



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,14:59   

Quote
Even Mr. Brazeau conceded that several of his earlier criticisms of Arnason et al. were refuted in the literature,


but not any of the ones raised by you, nor were any of the objections raised by you logical or relevant.

face it, everyone here agrees you were completely shredded there, except you of course.

that says a lot about your ability to reason.

Quote
And what predictions have they made? Take your time - it's an important question.


As usual, I'm not gonna do your work for you.  You're simply not worth more than a sidenote to any lurkers that the issue is worth investigating.

Quote
why don't you spend some time at your local university library and check it out.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,15:40   

Quote
but not any of the ones raised by you, nor were any of the objections raised by you logical or relevant.

Um, who was the one who cited, summarised, and highlighted the points in the offending study? As for your second point, the very length of the thread says something about the scientific relevance of my objections. At least it's a better indicator than "Dood, you were really shredded. 9 out of 10 hyenas agree!"  :D
Quote
As usual, I'm not gonna do your work for you.  You're simply not worth more than a sidenote to any lurkers that the issue is worth investigating.

Paley's translation for the lurkers: "I don't have a clue, dood." So does evolution predict a gay gene or not? Supporting reasoning/evidence would be nice.

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thordaddy



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,18:17   

Or, does evolution predict a collection of genes that will defy evolution?  Isn't this the nature of homosexuality?

  
avocationist



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,19:03   

Quote
No, it would not, because (as far as we know) mutations are random. Thus, just because some trait might affect fitness does not affect that probability that that trait will arise;
If you can come up with a way to predict mutations (not just differential probabilities of transitions versus transversions), then you have just scored yourself a Nobel.


And yet, it must have some logical pattern. Else, how to account for the amazing similarity between marsupial and placental animals.

  
thordaddy



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,19:37   

It seems to me that when we look at homosexuality, lesbianism, abortion, suicide and euthanasia, we see phenomenon that purposely defy evolution.  If each of these phenomenon were genetically-related then a "self-destruct" gene would seemed to have evolved at evolution's own design.

  
avocationist



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,20:04   

Chris,

Quote
The weasel program was meant to demonstrate cumulative selection not evolution.
Yes, but without deciding the end result at the beginning, blind forces might never get there.

The whole question of search space is an interesting one, because we may not really know the factors that would help to narrow down the search. When certain evolution detractors have put forth what would appear to be the search space, the possibility of a solution to this or that problem is often quite out of reach, no matter how many e coli you have working for you. Problem is, organizing factors or emergent properties all seem to change the nature of our universe. They all seem to require some fundamental intelligence.

Why do you read several evolutionary papers per week?

Quote
This may be an irreconcilable philosophical difference, sufficed to say any of the laws I described would not be any more proof of this consiouness to me than if they did not exist. Having said that I am perfectly willing to accept the existence of a god, but I would still need scientific evidence of his involvement in evolution.
Are you familiar with cosmic fine tuning? It's not just a few laws here and there. They say, for example, that the amount of matter in the universe is within one billionth of what it needs to be in order to have a stable universe. That is, the parameters are that narrow. Nature's Destiny by Denton does a good job of explaining a wide array of them.

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Having said that I am perfectly willing to accept the existence of a god, but I would still need scientific evidence of his involvement in evolution.
There is no way for God to be omnipotent or omniscient unless God is actually everywhere, and in everything. I think of evolution as an inside job, not one of an external being. It seems to me the evidence is fairly strong that random processes didn't cause this universe, or its laws, or its existence in the first place. What do you think of the information based arguments for ID?

Quote
I had this problem over at UD, the best way to look at it is that random means that the organism does not know which mutations will increase fitness.
It's too bad you guys over there have different names and I am clueless what's going on. It may be that the organism turns on a mutation feature, and in a specific area of the genome, and then suddenly gets the mutation for digesting nylon. For me, that's just too good to be true but we must also account for the organism's ability to direct itself like that in the first place.

Quote
Presumably you mean that we need an evolutionary path for every single system for it to be scientifically acceptable to infer that it did evolve?
I don't think so. Behe complains that there are none in the literature that are really any good. If we had a couple of quite good and plausible routes for some very complex systems to evolve, then the pressure would be off. It wouldn't matter that we couldn't explain each one.
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I would say that modern evolutionary theory certainly does not rule it out.
Saltation?

Quote
(homology flaw)  Why is that a flaw, have I missed something?

I'm referring to the problem that homologous organs often do not arise from the same genes, and that during development, they are often grown from different body segments or in a different order or from a different group of cells. Animal forelimbs develop from different body segments. Homology is difficult because many or most genes control widely divergent body parts. The eye color of drosphila is controlled by a gene th also controls female sex organs. Mouse coat color and mouse size are on the same gene. Chickens are subject to a detrimental mutation in a single gene that causes a wide array of malformations, some of which are unique to birds and others which are shared by other vertebrates.

No only do homologous structures in closely related species arise from different genes, but nonhomologous structures can arise from the same gene.
Quote
This may be true in some cases, but in many cases journals are so eager to publish innovative 'against the grain' work that big name journals can end up publishing bad papers.
I suspect that this greatly depends on just which grains are being rubbed.

  
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,22:14   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,23:17)
Or, does evolution predict a collection of genes that will defy evolution?  Isn't this the nature of homosexuality?

Translation:
*Fingers in ears*
"lalalllalaaaaa I cant hear you, speak louder, llaaaaaalllaalaa"

WE have already explained why your comment is utter bollocks.  Please try and understand.

  
Tim Hague



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,01:17   

Quote (J. G. Cox @ April 05 2006,13:32)
In summary, the presence of alleles which promote homosexuality would not constitue a 'problem for evolution' for two reasons. First, modern evolutionary theory predicts the presence of some deleterious alleles within a population. Second, we have no idea if such alleles are actually deleterious.

Interesting analysis J. G.

There is one additional factor that might be worth having a look at - is the human race currently under selection pressure?  In certain parts of the world it is, however in increasingly large parts of the world I would argue that millions of humans are not under any particular pressure to survive at all.  

When a species is not under selection pressure, and with technology providing the vast majority of us the ability to survive, then deleterious traits would be able to spread (not being selected against).  If there are genetic influences on sexual preference, then they would not currently be affecting the survival of the species as a whole.  

There's also nothing to stop a homosexual man popping down to the sperm bank to make a donation, and - for a double whammy - a homosexual woman deciding to have a baby and popping down to the same sperm bank.

   
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,04:28   

Quote
There is new talk of a "gay gene" being profferred by "scientists."

I repeat: Is there? Where?

I suggest this whole thread is just Thorthingy making stuff up again and chortling while a bunch of potentially productive people waste time on it.

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Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,06:04   

Quote (Russell @ April 06 2006,09:28)
Quote
There is new talk of a "gay gene" being profferred by "scientists."

I repeat: Is there? Where?

I suggest this whole thread is just Thorthingy making stuff up again and chortling while a bunch of potentially productive people waste time on it.

I think that there has been.

Thordaddy's take is that science is trying to find a natural explanation for a gay gene for political purposes. Funnily enough he is on-side with the gays with this.

They also seem to worry that a gay gene is political.

Thordaddy is scared that a gay gene would make gays be considered normal. While gays are worried that a gay gene could be used as an excuse for people to hunt for (and then practice) "cures".

Myself: Who cares what consenting adults do (provided it harms nobody else)?

All sorts of stuff here.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,06:23   

Thanks for the references. I remember the controversy surrounding Dean Hamer's work, but notice the silent dog in the debate: evolutionary theory. Why didn't Hamer take historical biology into account before offering his hypothesis? Answer: nobody knows what evolution predicts.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,06:35   

Quote
It seems to me that when we look at homosexuality, lesbianism, abortion, suicide and euthanasia, we see phenomenon that purposely defy evolution.  If each of these phenomenon were genetically-related then a "self-destruct" gene would seemed to have evolved at evolution's own design.

I agree, but I'd like to see if evolution actually makes any predictions before I hammer it with any putative inconsistencies. All of this could be avoided if evolution could provide a rigorous way to test its stories instead of leaning on other disciplines for guidance. This is why Dembski and Behe had to construct a new vocabulary before critiquing Darwin.

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avocationist



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,06:39   

Oh, sh**. My last post here (to Chris) was meant for another thread. I always keep two windows open since the reply screen is so cumbersome and hard to use. I will cut and paste it over there.

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,08:06   

Quote
(Stephen Elliott: ) I think that there has been (new talk of a "gay gene" being proffered by "scientists".

You provided a bunch of google hits, but what's the "new" talk? Anything from this millennium?

I understand, of course, that there are and have been ongoing discussions about "nature vs. nurture" on this, as on so many issues of human behavior. But my question, specifically, is what is the "new talk"? Have any new data been found? Any new research reported?

Or is it just Thorthingy perseverating on one of his compulsions?

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Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,09:09   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 06 2006,11:35)
Quote
It seems to me that when we look at homosexuality, lesbianism, abortion, suicide and euthanasia, we see phenomenon that purposely defy evolution.  If each of these phenomenon were genetically-related then a "self-destruct" gene would seemed to have evolved at evolution's own design.

I agree, but I'd like to see if evolution actually makes any predictions before I hammer it with any putative inconsistencies. All of this could be avoided if evolution could provide a rigorous way to test its stories instead of leaning on other disciplines for guidance. This is why Dembski and Behe had to construct a new vocabulary before critiquing Darwin.

Well, I guess this disproves my observation that IDC types never talk to each other at science blogs...

PS: GOP, I think you can do better than Thordaddy. Believe me.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,09:10   

GOP's like Albert Einstein compared to thordaddy.

   
Stephen Elliott



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,09:18   

Quote (Russell @ April 06 2006,13:06)
Quote
(Stephen Elliott: ) I think that there has been (new talk of a "gay gene" being proffered by "scientists".

You provided a bunch of google hits, but what's the "new" talk? Anything from this millennium?

I understand, of course, that there are and have been ongoing discussions about "nature vs. nurture" on this, as on so many issues of human behavior. But my question, specifically, is what is the "new talk"? Have any new data been found? Any new research reported?

Or is it just Thorthingy perseverating on one of his compulsions?

Maybe I did not make myself clear. I am not claiming there is scientific evidence that there is a gay gene. I am not claiming there isn't either.

I  was trying to show the stupidity of the argument.

TD. Seems to think scientists are trying to prove a gay gene for political purposes to suport homosexuality.

Homosexuals are worried scientists are trying to prove a gay gene for political purposes in order to "cure" homosexuality.

The google list was not suposed to suport either view. Just show that people are trying to use science to fulfil a world-view. I am not talking about scientists in general here BTW.

Personaly, I do not care what makes somebody homosexual. If pushed I would guess it is biological and reinforced by culture. But I do not know.

I am fairly sure that my being atracted by the oposite sex has little to do with culture, but is just the way I am. Again, I am not certain. But I am fairly sure. Look at peadophiles. Nothing in society encourages that.

Therefore I consider a peadophile not to be criminal but a mental defect.

I reckon we do not choose who/what we atracted by. It is a mental thing that people have none or little control over.

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,10:01   

Quote
I am not claiming there is scientific evidence that there is a gay gene. I am not claiming there isn't either.
Yes, I understand what you're saying, and I'm pretty much of the same opinion.

What I don't understand is: what's new? When ThorGuy says
Quote
There is new talk of a "gay gene" being profferred by "scientists."
is he referring to the stuff you found from several years ago, or is there really anything "new" to bring to the discussion? And I want to know why the ThorGuy puts quotes around "scientists".

I suspect that trying to engage in this discussion without being clear on that is bound to be a waste of time.

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Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,10:27   

Re "Homosexuals are worried scientists are trying to prove a gay gene for political purposes in order to "cure" homosexuality."

But wouldn't proving it to be environmental also have a chance of being used that way?

Henry

  
J. G. Cox



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,10:30   

Quote
There is one additional factor that might be worth having a look at - is the human race currently under selection pressure?

  Well, there is still strong selection against mutations that cause major (fatal) developmental defects.
  My advisor brought up a good point once. In wealthy nations with declining birth rates, there is probably selection for the desire to have children. In the past, all that you needed was a libido to produce children; for instance, I don't think that most animals have a desire to produce offspring, they just want sex and offspring result from that. Now that we can have sex without producing children, many people are choosing to do just that. However, many people want lots of children also. If there are any genetic correlates to these paternal/maternal desires, then those will spread in the populations of wealthy nations.


Quote
nobody knows what evolution predicts.


If you are claiming that evolutionary theory cannot be used to predict the fitness consequences of certain mutants (and thus their probable fates), then you are wrong. We do it all the time in Ecology. Heck, I'm building a game theoretic model right now which predicts the fitnesses of different trait values for antipredator behaviors and using it to explain certain phenomena in community ecology. It can be difficult to do because such models can be hard to parameterize, but it is still done. I don't know offhand of anyone intentionally trying to predict the fitness consequences of mutations that don't yet exist, but I can't see any point in doing so either. Why predict the outcome of a certain non-existent mutation when there is very little chance that that mutation will arise in your lifetime?

  
jeannot



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(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,11:31   

What IDers must understand is that evolutionary biology doesn't make future predictions (except at a short timescale). First, they would be useless since they cannot be verified within a researcher's lifetime. Second, as J. G. said, there is far more than one evolutionary path for a given lineage. Third, we cannot predict future selective pressures (environments).

However evolutionary biology produces predictions on what we can observe or detect, like transitional fossiles, the origin of Homo in Africa (Darwin's prediction), phylogenetic trees, the trace of a chromosomal fusion in Homo...

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,07:38   

jeannot said:
Quote
What IDers must understand is that evolutionary biology doesn't make future predictions (except at a short timescale). First, they would be useless since they cannot be verified within a researcher's lifetime. Second, as J. G. said, there is far more than one evolutionary path for a given lineage. Third, we cannot predict future selective pressures (environments).

          Correct. Evolution makes retrodictions rather than predictions. But scientists need predictions in order to produce new technologies and carve out promising paths for future research. That's why evos must wait for discoveries in other fields before pursuing their own inquiries. Look how dependent modern evo "science" is on genome sequencing and developments in computer science; conversely, these disciplines have little use for evolution. Why? Because people would rather learn new things than explain old ones.
        Which brings me to another observation: the clever way in which everyone (including creationists) constucts cofferdams (in evos's case, caissons :D )  to protect his philosophy from encroaching dissonance. Let's use a neutral example: I'm a big fan a baseball and its statistics. While a player's contribution with the bat can be reliably tabulated, his glovework is tougher to measure. A statistician can record assists and putouts, but do these numbers reflect a player's skill or the quirks of the team's pitching staff? And what role does his homepark's dimensions play? The manager's mindset? This problem has bedeviled everyone in the game.
      Perhaps one can account for these factors by adding the total number of a fielder's plays, estimating the impact his team makes on these numbers (do the pitchers yield an unusually high number of ground balls? Is the outfield a bit undersized? Are the surrounding players unusually immobile, forcing the player to accept more chances?), and adjust accordingly. But one problem remains: a team is alloted a maximum of 27 outs. This constrains each player by "capping" his number of opportunities. An exceptional defensive player (Ozzie Smith or Andruw Jones in his prime) will reduce the number of hits while "hogging" more than his share of outs. Which means fewer opportunities for everyone else.
     This problem is known to just about every statistician in the game. Unfortunately, until the advent of play-by-play data, the stats guy was unable to measure the impact of this factor. So did they admit that the traditional stats were crucially flawed and wait for better metrics? If you answered "Yes", then obviously you haven't been on planet Earth for very long. Instead, they simply ignored the gaping hole in their model, or assumed that it wasn't very important. For example, Bill James wrote an essay a couple of decades ago defending the range metrics current at the time while deriding his critics as "amateur sabermetricians". Recently, however, he came out with Win Shares, a metric that avoids the age-old problem to a much greater extent. His shiny model competes with other metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Regression Analysis, which account for the precise location of every batted ball over the entire season. While flawed, each method represents a tremendous improvement over traditional statistics, and blessed with these shiny toys, the math crowd regales us with the intractable problems faced by measures of old.
      Am I implying any dishonesty here? No, it's just people being people. Humans have a need to solve problems, to make a splash, to create, and they aren't going to let inadequate methods-let alone facts- get in the way. To work, however, this process must be unconscious. There must be no acknowledgement of the incompatability of past positions, because that might compromise today's glosses. Too few transitions in the fossil record? Well, kids, geology predicts that fossilization will be rare, so evolution predicts this state of affairs. And what with soil acidity, depositional bias, continental drift...it's no surprise, and only a rube would think that intermediates would be anything other than vanishingly rare....we can even calculate this....oh look at this new discovery! OOH- and lookie here! and here! See, just as we predicted - an intermediate - no, a whole slew of them! What was it you creos were saying about the poor fossil record? And we can measure the probability of fossil preservation with much more confidence - so there! Once again, the snake sheds his skin without a moment's thought - be he evo, creo, or somewhere in the middle. So what to do? I don't know either, but I do know this: when an expert says a problem doesn't count, it just might be that it can't be counted. Look around you, you'll see this phenomenon everywhere.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,08:39   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2006,12:38)
To work, however, this process must be unconscious. There must be no acknowledgement of the incompatability of past positions, because that might compromise today's glosses.

What, praytell, is the past incompatibility that has gone unacknowledged in this case?

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,09:15   

Quote
What, praytell, is the past incompatibility that has gone unacknowledged in this case?

Originally, evos credited the stinginess of fossil-bearing strata to simple geochemical processes. Yet now that several "intermediates" have been discovered, not only are these processes ignored, there is not even an attempt to reconcile past explanations with current data. It's as if prior rationalizations have disappeared into the memory hole. Did later stratigraphic research overturn those facts? Were the facts merely wishful thinking? What is the explanation?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
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(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,09:21   

Ghost of Paley.

I assume that you do not believe evolution is true.

Why do you not state what you believe has happened? In just a few short statements if possible.

How about quick answers to:

How old is the Earth?
When did life first apear?
When did Humans apear?

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,09:21   

So, GoP would like to throw out modern science, statistics etc?  I suppose thats par for the course.  Why dont you go and pick on fluid dynamics?  Or physical chemistry?  Why the concentration on Evolutionary biology?

Heck, 20 years ago we didnt have the right equations and methods for showing how Bumble bees flew.  

GoP, if you want to argue about the geological column, I suggest you actually try and get some data on the table.  Otherwise your just handwaving.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,09:35   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2006,14:15)
Originally, evos credited the stinginess of fossil-bearing strata to simple geochemical processes. Yet now that several "intermediates" have been discovered, not only are these processes ignored, there is not even an attempt to reconcile past explanations with current data. It's as if prior rationalizations have disappeared into the memory hole. Did later stratigraphic research overturn those facts? Were the facts merely wishful thinking? What is the explanation?

They looked for and ultimately found this fossil right where they thought it would be - in an area with lots of exposed Devonian rock.  I still have no idea what you think is not reconciled.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,09:49   

Quote
So, GoP would like to throw out modern science, statistics etc?

See, this is part of what I'm talking about. My purpose was not to bash statistics, least of all baseball statistics. I was discussing the way that people process disturbing information. Instead of saying, "Yeah, that's a crippling objection for now, hopefully we'll be able to address it with future research", they use two defense mechanisms:

1) The objection is not really important, at most it's a slight gap in our knowledge
2) A smooth rationalization pops up, which is assented to by all researchers in the field, and quietly dropped when a better explanation comes along. This process appears to be large instinctive, as no mention is ever made of the switch. Just like the speaker in 1984 (heh!;)) changing the enemy's identity in midsentence, except the crowd doesn't rip up the obsolete banners and placards. If anyone does object, they're labeled a crank, rube, and whatever other terms come to mind. This label has some merit, as it usually does take an outsider to probe beneath the surface.

 Personally, I appreciate the evolution of baseball stats, and support the new metrics. I just remember that we were supposed to be at war with Eurasia, that's all.
Quote
They looked for and ultimately found this fossil right where they thought it would be - in an area with lots of exposed Devonian rock.  I still have no idea what you think is not reconciled.

See? Unconscious.  :)

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
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(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,09:57   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2006,14:49)
See?

No.  I still have no idea what you think is unreconciled.  Please explain.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,10:15   

Okay. Let me try again.

   During the Gish Era, a common objection to evolution was the scarcity of intermediate fossils (yes, I know that it's still common, but much more hay was made back then). I was an evolutionist at that time (now I'm a geocentric creationist, to answer Mr. Elliot's question), so I would hunt for responses to the creo charges. The most popular one was, "The scarcity of transitional forms is perfectly understandable, given how unlikely the fossilization process is. It's surprising how many fossils we do have". Then they would demonstrate this by describing the process in detail, all the time underlining the unlikelihood of the whole thing. Now, however, no one remarks on how surprising all these discoveries are, given the unlikelihood of the intermediates being preserved. Now, those same creo objections that were glossed over before are being dusted off and recast as significant problems that have now been solved, proving the validity of evolution. Look at the Stephen Jay Gould essay celebrating the discovery of Rhodocetus in Dinosaur in a Haystack. Would the objections have been recognised if the discoveries had not been made? I say no.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,10:30   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2006,15:15)
Now, however, no one remarks on how surprising all these discoveries are, given the unlikelihood of the intermediates being preserved.

But I thought the find was being hailed as a rare and exciting event.

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Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,10:44   

Evos,

Regarding the ability to make predictions, I'd like to know if you knew what you know now, could you go back to the dawn of the age of mammals and predict the remarkable similarity of marsupial to placental mammals, the wolf, the mouse?

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,11:11   

No, we couldn't, for the reasons I gave.

EDIT: I assume you didn't mean: "Since you know that some placental mammals and marsupials converged for several morphological traits, could you predict this if you go back before this convergence?" The answer is yes, in this case.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,11:30   

Ok, let's go back to that.

What IDers must understand is that evolutionary biology doesn't make future predictions (except at a short timescale). First, they would be useless since they cannot be verified within a researcher's lifetime. Second, as J. G. said, there is far more than one evolutionary path for a given lineage. Third, we cannot predict future selective pressures (environments).

First of all, we can eliminate #3, because you would be making your prediction upon conditions that were shaping up in Australia, i.e., the existence of suitable trees and mammals coming along to create niches for predators. I've been told over and over that science is about being able to make predictions.

Now, granted there is more than one evolutionary path. How can we account for not one but several incredibly similar outcomes? After millions of years of separation from very different early ancestors there arose these almost identical animals. The coincidence of just too out of range of my credulity meter.

I'd rather either discard the notion that they developed separately, or come up with a new facet of evolutionary theory, such as perhaps some sort of Platonic realm of ideas in which there are just so many body forms available.

the trace of a chromosomal fusion in Homo...

That was predicted?

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,11:35   

Oh, yes, that is pretty much what I meant. please elaborate.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,11:41   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ April 07 2006,14:49)
Quote
So, GoP would like to throw out modern science, statistics etc?

See, this is part of what I'm talking about. My purpose was not to bash statistics, least of all baseball statistics. I was discussing the way that people process disturbing information. Instead of saying, "Yeah, that's a crippling objection for now, hopefully we'll be able to address it with future research", they use two defense mechanisms:

1) The objection is not really important, at most it's a slight gap in our knowledge
2) A smooth rationalization pops up, which is assented to by all researchers in the field, and quietly dropped when a better explanation comes along. This process appears to be large instinctive, as no mention is ever made of the switch. Just like the speaker in 1984 (heh!;)) changing the enemy's identity in midsentence, except the crowd doesn't rip up the obsolete banners and placards. If anyone does object, they're labeled a crank, rube, and whatever other terms come to mind. This label has some merit, as it usually does take an outsider to probe beneath the surface.

 Personally, I appreciate the evolution of baseball stats, and support the new metrics. I just remember that we were supposed to be at war with Eurasia, that's all.
Quote
They looked for and ultimately found this fossil right where they thought it would be - in an area with lots of exposed Devonian rock.  I still have no idea what you think is not reconciled.

See? Unconscious.  :)

*Shrugs*

Sure, we're human here, (I think I am anyway.)  So scientists cheat, lie, indulge in wishful thinking, make up data, etc etc.  Yet somehow, things keep getting back on track, no matter what the field.  Even if it takes 30 years, new data that realigns the field is absorbed and used to make new decisions and experiments.  

I thought you were trying to show that evolution was a crock?  So far you havnt gotten anywhere.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,11:45   

Quote (avocationist @ April 07 2006,16:30)
First of all, we can eliminate #3, because you would be making your prediction upon conditions that were shaping up in Australia, i.e., the existence of suitable trees and mammals coming along to create niches for predators. I've been told over and over that science is about being able to make predictions.

Now, granted there is more than one evolutionary path. How can we account for not one but several incredibly similar outcomes? After millions of years of separation from very different early ancestors there arose these almost identical animals. The coincidence of just too out of range of my credulity meter.

I'd rather either discard the notion that they developed separately, or come up with a new facet of evolutionary theory, such as perhaps some sort of Platonic realm of ideas in which there are just so many body forms available.

[i] the trace of a chromosomal fusion in Homo...[i/]

That was predicted?

The selective pressures I mentioned rely on the selected traits, since these traits could not be predicted, these selective pressures cannot either, even if we know the precise selecting environments (which we don't).

The concergence between certain eutherians and maruspials is nowhere near incredible. This is just rough morphology, like the wings of a bat and a pterosaur. The anatomy is quite different. Are you amazed at the convergence between different reptiles or birds? Morphological convergence is certainly the results of parallel adaptations. What is your alternate theory about it?

The trace of a chromosomal fusion in Homo was not only predicted, it was investigated and detected.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,11:52   

Quote (avocationist @ April 07 2006,16:35)
Oh, yes, that is pretty much what I meant. please elaborate.

If you know an event, I assume you can go back through time before this event and predict it, provided you don't interfere with its cause.

Shall I develop?

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,12:11   

Quote
I'd rather either discard the notion that they developed separately, or come up with a new facet of evolutionary theory, such as perhaps some sort of Platonic realm of ideas in which there are just so many body forms available.


We don't need anthing as spooky as a "Platonic realm" to see why there are "just so many body forms available." In evolutionary time, nature has faced the same problems, over and over, many many times.

Eyes have evolved in many diverse lineages. Sight is a good solution to the ever-present challenge of being aware of the environment.

Check out a Mososaur, a big shark, and a dolphin. Simple hydrodynamics gives us a much better idea why that streamlined shape is a good idea for a large marine predator than any notion of Platonic forms.

So, that the adaptive radiation of a few ancestral marsupial forms in Australia led to several derived forms that are quite similar to the derived forms of a similar adaptive radiation of placental mammals is not at all surprising, and is predicted by an evolutionary model, at least in a general sense.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,12:16   

I personnaly wouldn't say the convergence between some marsupials and eutherians could be predicted with confidence, but it's definitely not surprising.
Note that I don't know about macro-evolutionary models (is there any?).

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,12:26   

I realize that the selection pressures were reasonably similar on the different continents. And while there may indeed be a limit on the number of different kinds of mammals that can arise, I still find the similarity between the marsupial and placental types uncanny.

Quote
Are you amazed at the convergence between different reptiles or birds?
Are you kidding?

Quote

If you know an event, I assume you can go back through time before this event and predict it, provided you don't interfere with its cause.
Based upon what principles would you predict the almost identical morpholigies of the marsupial and placental types?

Quote
What is your alternate theory about it?
I could speculate, but I am clueless. Actually, I threw the question out there but I haven't read up on the genetic similarities. I'd like to know more about that.

I guess I would lean to the idea that those animals were not really separated for as long as we think they were. and yet, they've got this completely different reproductive strategy.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,13:01   

Quote
Based upon what principles would you predict the almost identical morpholigies of the marsupial and placental types?

Based on the post you just quoted. (???)
Quote

I could speculate, but I am clueless. Actually, I threw the question out there but I haven't read up on the genetic similarities. I'd like to know more about that.
We don't know any particular genetic similarity between convergent marsupials and eutherians. First, we have to identify the genes responsible for a given morphology. But since these genes interact and co-evolve with others, we don't expect any genetic similarity between analogous forms.
Quote

I guess I would lean to the idea that those animals were not really separated for as long as we think they were. and yet, they've got this completely different reproductive strategy.
They were indeed separated a long time ago and we have a remarkable convergence. Yet, this is rather common in animals and even in plants.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
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(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,13:15   

So basically because "homosexuality" exists it must be due to an evolutionary pathway?  We just make this assumption because...?  Even though it seems, on its face, to contradict evolution?

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,13:22   

You're basing this too much on gross morphology, I believe, which is not the same as anatomy, by which metric, convergent marsupials and placentals have preserved their idiosyncratic differences (and I don't just mean the obvious, divergent reproductive anatomy.)

And your supposition about "not really separated as long as we think," or words to that effect, highlights one of the supreme difficulties facing the evolution-denier.

You see, no science is an island. It all has to fit in with what is understood from other disciplines, often across quite divergent areas of inquiry. You are now at the point where the conclusions of geology have to be called into question. The breakup of Gondwana and the isolation of Australia is not very much doubted in the theory of Plate Tectonics. Island biogeography, also, can tell us a lot about the capability of different types of animals' ability to traverse the open ocean between widely seperate islands.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,13:29   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 07 2006,18:15)
So basically because "homosexuality" exists it must be due to an evolutionary pathway?  We just make this assumption because...?  Even though it seems, on its face, to contradict evolution?

Like everything else that exists, homosexuality exists because it can. It also exists because the difference between gay and straight is slight enough to occur at random at a genetic level.

What evolution might predict is that any gay gene that  exists would not be absolutely gay -- it would be part of a range of effects that shifts sexual orientation and there should be straight people with so-called gay genes.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,13:32   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 07 2006,18:15)
So basically because "homosexuality" exists it must be due to an evolutionary pathway?  We just make this assumption because...?  Even though it seems, on its face, to contradict evolution?

Why do you conclude that?

Because homosexuality exists, we can go back through time and predict it, like any fact or event. The evolutionary pathway is your own interpretation.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,13:36   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 07 2006,18:15)
So basically because "homosexuality" exists it must be due to an evolutionary pathway?  We just make this assumption because...?  Even though it seems, on its face, to contradict evolution?

Hey Thordaddy!

What about gay penguins?:

http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2002-06-10/591.asp

Think it's genetic with them, or are they just using their free will to make wicked 'lifestyle choices'?

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,16:12   

Quote
And your supposition about "not really separated as long as we think," or words to that effect, highlights one of the supreme difficulties facing the evolution-denier.
Gosh, I hope that's not like being a holocaust denier.

Anyway, if australia was indeed isolated that long ago then I think there ought to be some evolutionary principles to account for the similarity that occured. Just saying similar selection pressures isn't good enough.

What do you think, Paley?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,17:26   

Arden,

When you document high incidences of AIDS, STDs, drug abuse, domestic violence and early mortality amongst homosexual penguins then we'll talk.  LOL!

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,17:44   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 07 2006,22:26)
Arden,

When you document high incidences of AIDS, STDs, drug abuse, domestic violence and early mortality amongst homosexual penguins then we'll talk.  LOL!

What exactly have you provided in documentary evidence so-far?

BTW. I would grant that AIDS/STDs and therefore earlier average life expectancy, is more prevalent amongst gay males. But it is significantly reduced in gay females.

Now how about providing links to articles that back up your position?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 07 2006,17:48   

Maybe the physical aspects of gender are produced by one set of genes, and the behavoral by a different (perhaps overlapping?) set of genes? Then some regulatory mechanism would usually correlate those two sets, so evolving gayness out of a species would mean strengthening that regulation. Maybe there aren't minor changes that would do that without breaking something else?

Just thought I'd throw that idea out there, to go with somebody else's suggestion that maybe clans with a small percent of homosexuals do better than clans with fewer (or none).

Re "IIRC, the idea is that a fetus is exposed to different hormones in the womb, and exposure to the "wrong" amount of some of them at the "wrong" time will lead to the parts of the brain concerned with sexual attraction being altered to a different way."

Now that's interesing - the idea that older siblings might leave something behind in the womb that affects any later siblings? Huh.

Henry

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,05:15   

avocationist wrote:
Quote
Anyway, if australia was indeed isolated that long ago then I think there ought to be some evolutionary principles to account for the similarity that occured. Just saying similar selection pressures isn't good enough.

What do you think, Paley?

I'd have to agree that the morphological convergence between marsupial and placental mammals is a little too spooky to be accounted for by selection pressures or the cooption of regulatory genetic pathways, although this explanation might work for coarser phenomena such as convergent lifecycles. For example, how can the Darwinist explain the striking similarities between the skull and teeth of Tasmanian "wolves" and their distant placental "cousins"? And remember, scientists once considered mammalian earbones evidence for a common ancestor of the entire class, due to their intricate structure as well as the existence of a sequence of fossils that purportedly show the step-by-step modification of the earbones from the reptilian jaw. Too bad later fossils established that monotremes must have evolved their similar ear structure independently:
Quote
The three-boned middle ear was thought to have evolved only once in a common mammalian ancestor, before the separate evolution of monotremes and later of marsupials and placentals.

But the discovery of a monotreme with a single-bone middle ear changes this simple story.

A common ear

Rich is excited by the findings because they suggest this complex ear structure arose separately at least twice during evolution. And he is amazed at the similarity between the middle ears of monotremes, placentals and marsupials.

"They're so similar it's frightening," he says. "How close can convergent evolution be?"

Convergent evolution occurs where similar traits evolve among very different groups of animals as a result of exposure to similar environmental pressures. What these pressures were in this case, no one knows.

"I haven't go the foggiest," says Rich. "People haven't thought about it because it hasn't been a problem until now."

The findings also mean that palaeontologists will have to reassess the way they identify mammal fossils. To date any specimen was a mammal if it had a three-boned middle ear.

But since Rich's discovery, the classification of mammals won't be able to rely on this simple test alone.

Rich and team did not find the whole skull of the extinct monotreme. They only had a lower jaw to analyse. But this jaw showed telltale signs that the hammer and anvil were connected to it.

[all emphases due to Paley]

I would be frightened too.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,10:51   

Stephen Elliot,

That is why I have specifically said "homosexuals" (gay males).

And again I ask, given these statistics, is it wise and prudent to be teaching grade school kids the "normalcy" of the homosexual lifestyle?

Remember, I speak from an American perspective and more specifically from the state of California.  If you are going to deny that this "education" is taking place then maybe you need to do a little more research like I have.

As another point, IMHO people don't "choose" their heterosexuality because evolution DOES NOT NEED to provide such a choice.  Why would evolution devise ANY "sexual orientation" besides that which is needed for reproduction?

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,10:55   

Quote

That is why I have specifically said "homosexuals" (gay males).

Can we get thordaddy on as an Uncommon Descent contributor too? Red Reader wants a slot, maybe thor can get one. That would the bomb.

   
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,12:38   

Quote
If you are going to deny that this "education" is taking place then maybe you need to do a little more research like I have.
See, that's why I keep asking for references, citations, links... specific examples of what you think is being done wrong.

All to no avail.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,13:12   

Russell,

You can't really believe that I NEED to provide you with " references, citations, [and] links," when you could easily provide those same things and refute my claims.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,13:46   

Now, that's just really dumb. Even by your standards. You want me to provide references to education that doesn't have you all in a lather, to refute your claims that some programs are inappropriate? Geez. Do you think before you type?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,23:02   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 08 2006,18:12)
Russell,

You can't really believe that I NEED to provide you with " references, citations, [and] links," when you could easily provide those same things and refute my claims.

Bloody ####. You actually did not know why people wanted references. D'oh!

If you are going to cite suport for a claim you make, it is your responsibility to provide references. That way everyone can be sure they are using the same source.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 08 2006,23:34   

Quote (stevestory @ April 08 2006,15:55)
Quote

That is why I have specifically said "homosexuals" (gay males).

Can we get thordaddy on as an Uncommon Descent contributor too? Red Reader wants a slot, maybe thor can get one. That would the bomb.

LOL

You have my vote too, steve.
Hey thor, since the word "homosexual" excludes females in your book, does it perhaps also include heterosexuals with multiple partners- and doctors? Because if so, I might agree with you. You never know.
:D

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,01:16   

Russell,

I apologize.  I thought you were asking for statistics concerning homosexuals and their overrepresentation in various diseases and pathologies.  There seems to be a lot of denial concerning this point.  But to answer your request...

stuff

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,02:06   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 09 2006,06:16)
Russell,

I apologize.  I thought you were asking for statistics concerning homosexuals and their overrepresentation in various diseases and pathologies.  There seems to be a lot of denial concerning this point.  But to answer your request...

stuff

Thordaddy,
Considering that link is to an organisation that profits (or apears to at first glance) from trying to "cure" homosexuals. Do you consider there might be a bit of bias?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,08:12   

"stuff" indeed.

I see a whole lot of stuff there from a source that doesn't inspire much confidence in its objectivity. And - while there may be something linked to something linked to something there having to do with the issues we're talking about (morbidity and mortality) I haven't found anything except "morality" issues, a persecution complex that their position is given short shrift due to viewpoint bias, and a central notion that I find very much at odds with my perception of the data and the world around me - that a significant fraction of homosexuals can be "converted" into heterosexuals.

If there's something more specifically germane to this discussion, please point it out more specifically.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,09:43   

Russell and Stephen,

Is it your stance that homosexual advocates ARE NOT active within the public school systems in America both at the primary and secondary level?

What in those many examples of educating about homosexuality (gay lifestyle) did you disagree with?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,09:58   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 09 2006,14:43)
Russell and Stephen,

Is it your stance that homosexual advocates ARE NOT active within the public school systems in America both at the primary and secondary level?

What in those many examples of educating about homosexuality (gay lifestyle) did you disagree with?

Thordaddy,

As I live in England I cannot answer your 1st question. As for you 2nd question, I am not certain what you are asking.

That link you gave contains many links. Some to actual scientific studies (eventually). The home site however is preaching that homosexuality is an illnes that can be cured. I would not be happy having that taught as a fact.

I do not think schools should encourage homosexuality BTW. But teaching that it is evil, sinfull or a sickness is also wrong.

So lets be more specific. What would you want schools to teach?

I would want something along the lines of. "A significant % of the human population are sexually atracted to the same sex. The majority of people are atracted to the oposite sex. Nobody should have to face ridicule or discrimination because of who they are atracted to."

Would you have a problem with that Thordaddy?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,11:11   

Stephen Elliot,

Do have problems with drug and alcohol therapy?

Is there not empirical evidence for transitioning from the homosexual lifestyle?

Are American homosexuals not overrepresented in AIDS, STDs, etc.?

I don't think homosexuality has any place in education especially K-6th grade.  Good, bad or ugly.

BUT, if you are going to teach about "homosexuality" then the DETRIMENTAL and DEADLY EFFECTS due to the pratice of homosexuality should be at the FOREFRONT.  

Why are we deceiving young children about a topic that has PROVEN dangerous and deadly for a large contigent of its practitioners?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,11:11   

Quote
What in those many examples of educating about homosexuality (gay lifestyle) did you disagree with?
First of all, your "stuff" link consists of sixty-some-odd articles, among which it's hard to find any that actually deal directly with the content of school curricula. Which is what we need to see here.

Second, the general message that seems to be the theme of that website and the organization that sponsors it is that homosexuality can be "cured" - a notion for which, as I've said repeatedly, I find very little support.

Finally, to pull one specific quote out of the hundreds of pages of articles there that I find emblematic of everything I disagree with, I strongly disagree with the implicit approval accorded this guy:
Quote
Teacher Richard Thompson at West High School in Tracy, California, reportedly told students in his class that homosexuality is unnatural and allegedly told a student during a private conversation that associating with homosexuals is as sinful as being gay.


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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,11:18   

Russell,

Since you have decided to bury your head in the sand, you must unbury it.

Did you read the entire article that you linked to?  Teaching 6 year olds about two daddies.  This is what our kids go to school for?

What is "natural" about homosexuality, I ask?  What is "normal" about homosexuality?  Are these descriptions scientifically-based positions or simply ideological positions?  I see no science in your position, but mere ideology.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,12:38   

Quote
Teaching 6 year olds about two daddies.  This is what our kids go to school for?
I guess at age six, the nature of families probably is a reasonable school subject. As I recall, my kid was learning the concept of "communities" at about that point, and the concept was extended from family to town to nation, etc. I see no particular problem with that. Do some kids have two mommies or two daddies? My understanding is that, yes, they do. Should that fact be part of the "curriculum" on family? Or should it be censored? I guess I lean toward not censoring it. Is that an "ideological" position? Could be. Maybe you're right.
Quote
What is "natural" about homosexuality, I ask?  What is "normal" about homosexuality?
That reminds me of an amusing interview on the Daily Show a little over a year ago. A penguinologist explains to fake news reporter Samantha Bee about the gay penguin phenomenon. Bee responds "Just because it happens in nature doesn't make it natural".  

But seriously...  It's true that sometimes a penguin, or a bonobo, or a human experiences sexual attraction toward a fellow penguin, bonobo, or human of its own sex. It happens more than rarely, and, once again, I guess I lean toward not censoring that fact. I don't think loading it up with a lot of guilt is particularly "scientific" or otherwise helpful.

Now, if schools are teaching that it's perfectly normal and natural to experience strong sexual attraction to a penguin, or a bonobo - of either sex - then I'm right there with you with my picket sign!

Quote
Are these descriptions scientifically-based positions or simply ideological positions?
That seems to me like something of a false choice. It's not "normal" to have a AB/Rh-negative blood type. But some people do. It's not "natural" to vaccinate your kids, but I highly recommend it. Are these "scientific" opinions or ideological?

Quote
I see no science in your position, but mere ideology.
What position is that? That I don't think it's appropriate for public school teachers  to be telling kids it's sinful to associate with certain other kids?

There's another thing about your NARTH website. They seem to be really down on female homosexuality, as well as male homosexuality. And, as we've discussed here, that's probably the least risky of "lifestyles". So, if your issue is about science and health and not just ideological, you'll disapprove of that at least as much as I do.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,13:14   

Thordaddy,

Do you think that if children are taught these statistics about homosexuality (and I don't know what they teach in the US but I was certainly taught that gays get more STDs), then a large number of men will decide not to become gay after all?

Do you disagree that if we also teach these statistics, then it is also OK to say if you think you are gay this does not automatically make you a sinner or a bad person?

Do you disagree that the attraction to the opposite sex is not a choice, and a person can then decide to live as a homosexual without descending into a life of drugs and promiscuous unprotected sex.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,13:58   

Quote
I don't know what they teach in the US but I was certainly taught that gays get more STDs), then a large number of men will decide not to become gay after all?
Thordiddy might be interested to know, by the way, that I have personally taught these very statistics. (Not to high school students, but to medical students learning about infectious disease.)

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,14:09   

And let's not forget that it's important for future doctors to know which are high-risk groups for AIDS (and HBV, and HCV etc) and, more importantly, that they are going to be in one (if they follow a surgical specialty).

Like I've (pointlessly) asked thor before, I really hope that doesn't make surgeons "abnormal" in his eyes.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,14:21   

Quote
I really hope that doesn't make surgeons "abnormal" in his eyes.
Well, surgeons actually are abnormal, but that's a whole 'nother story.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,14:28   

I knew a few medical students when I was doing my degree, and in our city homosexuals were behind immigrants and students for STDs percentage-wise.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,14:47   

Quote (Russell @ April 09 2006,19:21)
Quote
I really hope that doesn't make surgeons "abnormal" in his eyes.
Well, surgeons actually are abnormal, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Hey just wait a minute now...












...H-how did you know?

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,17:49   

Quote
Thordaddy: Do have problems with drug and alcohol therapy?

Is there not empirical evidence for transitioning from the homosexual lifestyle?

Are American homosexuals not overrepresented in AIDS, STDs, etc.?

I don't think homosexuality has any place in education especially K-6th grade.  Good, bad or ugly.

BUT, if you are going to teach about "homosexuality" then the DETRIMENTAL and DEADLY EFFECTS due to the pratice of homosexuality should be at the FOREFRONT.  

Why are we deceiving young children about a topic that has PROVEN dangerous and deadly for a large contigent of its practitioners?


And African-American males ages 18-29 are also HIGHLY-OVERREPRESENTATED in the same areas.  Do you think therefore we should stop teaching children in schools that all men are created equal?  For the FOURTH F*CKING time, correlation DOES NOT imply causation.

Thordaddy, you are either the most bigoted piece of sh*t to come down the pike in months, or the most stupid, or both.  How did you manage to totally ignore the studies that show that the increased risk health and social problems of gays are CAUSED in a large part to the discrimination, social ostracism, and threats of physical violence that gays are subjected to?  Sexual orientation does not cause the health problems, PREJUDICED ASSH*LES cause the health problems.

Here is the 2002 Australian Medical Association report AGAIN.  Read the d*mn thing, then tell me what it says about discrimination and its negative effect on health.

Quote
 
1.Sexual Diversity in Society
1.1 Homosexuality is defined as the sexual and emotional attraction to members of the same sex, and has existed in most societies for as long as sexual beliefs and practices have been recorded. The proportion of the population that is not exclusively heterosexual has been estimated at between 8 and 11 percent. This figure will naturally vary depending on the definitions used to describe the continuum of sexual identity that exists in our society.

1.2 Societal attitudes towards homosexuality have had a decisive impact on the extent to which individuals have been able to express their sexual orientation. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Subsequently homosexuality was recognised as a form of sexual orientation or expression rather than a mental illness.2 This move by the medical professional was instrumental in improving the health and welfare of this population.

1.3 Strong family connections are important to the health and well being of individuals, and recently there has been greater recognition of the diversity of family structures that exist in our society. These family structures could include nuclear families, single parents, blended families from remarriages as well as gay and lesbian parents. Accurate statistics regarding the number of parents who are gay or lesbian is difficult to obtain, as this data is not routinely collected. However, the American Academy of Paediatrics states that ‘the weight of evidence gathered during several decades using diverse samples and methodologies is persuasive in demonstrating that there is no systematic difference between gay and nongay parents in emotional health, parenting skills, and attitudes towards parenting. No data have pointed to any risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with one or more gay parents.’

2. Discrimination
2.1 The term “heterosexism” has been used to describe the discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) populations. Heterosexism encompasses the belief that all people are and should be heterosexual and that alternative sexualities pose a threat to society. In this way heterosexism includes homophobia, a fear of alternative sexualities, and transphobia, a fear of alternative gender identities. It may also include a fear of intersex people who do not fit neatly into the binary categories of male and female.

2.2 Discrimination may be overt as in verbal abuse and physical violence or as covert as the silence that surrounds talking about GLBTI issues. This affects all members of society as individuals comply with gender role stereotypes in order to avoid homophobic discrimination. It is a constraint on human behavior that serves to diminish individual potential for development as well as diversity in our community.

2.3 The common experience of discrimination means that the health of GLBTI populations differs from that of the general population. This discrimination leads to health problems that are shared by this group as well as health problems specific to each subgroup. For GLBTI individuals the impact of this discrimination can lead to a poorer general health status, diminished utilization of healthcare facilities and a decreased quality of health services.

3. Shared Health Issues
3.1 Society’s acceptance of diverse sexualities and gender identities is a major factor in an individual’s successful transition through various lifestages. These significant lifestages include childhood, youth, middle age and ageing. As GLBTI people transition through these lifestages there are a number of health issues that are commonly faced.

3.2 Mental health problems are statistically over-represented in this population throughout life due to exposure to discriminatory behavior. One of the main groups affected by homophobia is same-sex attracted young people, particularly those living in rural areas where there is greater social isolation from GLBTI peers and role models. A consequence of this discrimination for GLBTI young people is that they have increased rates of homelessness, risk-taking behavior, depression, suicide and episodes of self-harm compared to their heterosexual cohorts.

3.3 The experience of violence is higher for the GLBTI community than the general population10 and a recent survey of the GLBTI community in Victoria indicated that “over 70% of respondents had been subject to an experience of public abuse in the past 5 years”. This experience may range from verbal abuse to physical attack. The experience or threat of violence has the potential to have a significant impact on an individual’s physical and mental health.

3.4 Patterns of drug and alcohol use within the GLBTI community are greater that that of the general population. The increased incidence of smoking and alcohol intake is also of concern in relation to cardiovascular risk factors. There is support for the theory linking individual patterns of drug and alcohol misuse with experiences of discrimination.  


AMA Position on Sexual Diversity and Health Issues

If you're so worried about the health issues of gays adversely affecting society, then stop being such a d*ckheaded bigot.

I apologize to the rest of the board for my strong language, but few things hit my hot button like willfully ignorant prejudice.

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,18:17   

again i ask, what do you folks get out of arguing with the mentally retarded?

just whittling knives?

what?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,21:50   

Quote (sir_toejam @ April 09 2006,23:17)
again i ask, what do you folks get out of arguing with the mentally retarded?

just whittling knives?

what?

Fair point. It is frustrating arguing with somebody who is dishonest, willfuly ignorant and bigoted.

Nevertheless, I find it dificult to see his drivel without chalenging it.  T-d aparently wants to impose, what he considers morals onto your society. In the process, he is twisting evidence to try to make it suport his views. I doubt t-d will ever learn that is probably best to form views around evidence (as much and the best available).

On a brighter note, it is unusual to learn nothing at-all when arguing with these people.

I was very surprised about that NARTH organisation. Didn't suspect there would be many people who would still try to "cure" homosexuality. Sad fact but all knowledge is better to have than be ignorant of.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,23:04   

Diseases are caused by DISCRIMINATION?

It seems like diseases are AVOIDED BY USING DISCRIMINATION.

This is the most laughable and unscientific dogma I've come across in awhile, Mr. Aftershave.

Take your liberal talking points to an unscientific forum.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 09 2006,23:11   

Russell,

You don't believe that because something exists it is "normal" and "natural?"

Wouldn't such a stance normalize and naturalize murder, rape, pedophile, necrophilia, AIDS, leprosy, etc.?

Certainly you can distinguish between natural and supernatural?

Certainly you can distinguish between normal and abnormal?

How could you do science otherwise?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,03:13   

Quote
You don't believe that because something exists it is "normal" and "natural?" Wouldn't such a stance normalize and naturalize murder, rape, pedophile, necrophilia, AIDS, leprosy, etc.?
What I think you're saying in your inscrutable, never-answer-a-question-when-you-can-dodge-it-by-asking-another style, is that you agree with me that "natural" and "normal" are not very useful concepts in the context of sexuality and sex education.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,03:59   

Did God design the necrophiliac, homosexual rapist duck?

:D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,04:18   

Quote
Thordaddy:  Diseases are caused by DISCRIMINATION?

It seems like diseases are AVOIDED BY USING DISCRIMINATION.

This is the most laughable and unscientific dogma I've come across in awhile, Mr. Aftershave.

Take your liberal talking points to an unscientific forum.


OK, you're both bigoted and stupid.  Thanks for clearing that up

Susceptibility to diseases (including things like alcohol /drug abuse) is greatly increased for people under severe stress.

Sever stress is caused by being the victim of discrimination, social ostracism, and threats of physical violence.

Many gays are the victims of discrimination, social ostracism, and threats of physical violence.

If I used words with less syllables, would that help you understand?

I ask you again - do you thing we should stop teaching racial equality in schools because certain minorities are over-represented in health related issues?

Also, please tell us what you define to be the gay "lifestyle".  AFAIK for every confrontational gay who makes the evening news, there are a hundred other non-hetero folks leading quiet, normal lives.  These quite folks are our neighbors and friends.  They obey the laws, pay their taxes on time, worry about the economy, defend their country in the armed services, cheer the local sports teams, cry during sappy movies, love their parents, partners, and children.  Just like every other American.

Why in the world should they be ostracized and even killed for their sexuality (remember Matthew Sheppard?) because of bigoted assh*les like you?

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,04:51   

It seems like people are conflating several issues here:

1) The extent to which society should tolerate homosexual behavior

2) The origin of homosexual behavior / feeling

3) Whether or not homosexuals are more inclined to commit crime, have STDs, or engage in naughty behavior in general.

Points 2) and 3) are purely empirical, and are therefore in the domain of science. There is nothing bigoted about researching these issues, even if the researcher does not assume the liberal's null hypothesis of completely equal behavior across all groups absent discrimination from straight White Chistian males.

Point 1), however, is predicated on one's prior philosophy and is hard to shift with evidence, especially the evidence proffered by the social sciences. Religion and political philosophy create a powerful inertia that isn't going to be halted by insults and slander.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,05:54   

Ghost:

Point 3), while I suppose technically within the domain of science, is probably beyond anyone's current ability to investigate usefully. Too many independent variables too difficult to control for or factor out (and let's omit the 'naughty behavior', which belongs back in your factor 1. Surely homosexuals are going to be more inclined to engage in homosexual behavior).

But more specification would be useful. If we designate homosexual behaviors as crimes, is it honest to then turn around and say homosexuals are "more inclined to criminal behavior"? I wouldn't be comfortable calling that a "scientific investigation." Would you?

Your first question is strictly a value question, phrased poorly for lack of any baseline. Are we talking here about normative positions ("being homosexual is bad") or about cost/benefit considerations to the society? How would you go about quantifying these things?

Your post does make your position clear: Homosexual behavior is bad, it is wrong, it should not be tolerated, queers are diseased naughty criminally-inclined people, it's an insult to disagree with these positions, as would be expected from liberals. NOW, let's all be scientific and objective on this playing field.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,06:24   

Quote
1) The extent to which society should tolerate homosexual behavior
I'm very curious to know your definition of homosexual behaivour.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,06:26   

Quote
Your post does make your position clear: Homosexual behavior is bad, it is wrong, it should not be tolerated, queers are diseased naughty criminally-inclined people, it's an insult to disagree with these positions, as would be expected from liberals. NOW, let's all be scientific and objective on this playing field.

Dean, you know it's against the rules to hijack rational people's screen names.  :D

Seriously, I think you read much more in the post than was actually there. By "naughty behavior", I meant promiscuity, public indecency, soliciting minors, etc. : in other words, actions that are widely considered naughty independent of sexual orientation. Obviously, no one will agree on an all-inclusive definition; hence a vague phrase meant to elicit different images in different minds.
Quote
Your first question is strictly a value question, phrased poorly for lack of any baseline. Are we talking here about normative positions ("being homosexual is bad") or about cost/benefit considerations to the society? How would you go about quantifying these things?

Cost-benefit, with the presumption that no harm is done to society by tolerating the behavior. I have no interest in bringing the government into the bedroom. But I'm willing to listen to all sides.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,06:44   

Chris Hyland wrote:
Quote
I'm very curious to know your definition of homosexual behaivour.

Sex or sexual contact between members of the same gender. Romantic kissing, petting, and well.....you know.

Flint wrote:
Quote
But more specification would be useful. If we designate homosexual behaviors as crimes, is it honest to then turn around and say homosexuals are "more inclined to criminal behavior"? I wouldn't be comfortable calling that a "scientific investigation." Would you?

I wasn't designating homosexual behavior as criminal, but starting with the baseline assumption that homosexual acts should not be classified as criminal.
  Here's an interesting question: what role should societal condemnation play? Even if a society doesn't illegalize a certain behavior, it is still possible to make life difficult for people doing it (note: I am not saying this is a good thing, just stating a fact).

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,06:57   

Quote
Sex or sexual contact between members of the same gender. Romantic kissing, petting, and well.....you know.
Oh ok, I just thought you might be classing drugs STDs etc as typical homosexual behaivour like some other people on this thread whos name I wont mention.

Quote
Here's an interesting question: what role should societal condemnation play? Even if a society doesn't illegalize a certain behavior, it is still possible to make life difficult for people doing it (note: I am not saying this is a good thing, just stating a fact).
In many cases it is probably more effective than illegalization.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,07:46   

Ghost,

OK, I considered your questions to be leading questions, which wouldn't even be asked if they did not presume the shape of the answers if not the specifics. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

There's no question that social acceptance of any behavior largely throttles that behavior. But there's also no question but that the specific behaviors rewarded or rejected by any given society (or region) are in constant flux. Just as a typical example, if I wish I can wear my hair down to my waist and work in a corporate suit-and-tie environment and nobody thinks twice about it. Imagine 50 years ago!

Granted, social inertia is a considerable obstacle for lots of things, but fashions in morality change. Wasn't long ago when confinement was used as a pretense that the pregnant woman hadn't, like, done anything dirty. Today, marriage is pretty optional and sex taken much more for granted. Perhaps your categories of indecency or promiscuity are undergoing a similar sea change.

The point I'm trying to support here is that where there is no harm done, fashions CAN change. And by observation, fashions can change in targeted directions. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if within a generation or two society at large accepts that homosexuality exists, that homosexual couples are pretty common and do what any other couple does -- *provided* some effort is made to bring this about. Conversely, treating homosexuality as a voluntary sin, to be roundly condemned, can push in the other direction.

I personally would speculate that the cost to society of tolerating homosexual behavior would be the loss of the leverage of "superiority" that some people need, the loss of a category of people to look down on. Without addressing spirituality generally, I think it's clear that specific religious doctrines tend to be rather judgmental and petty in this way, to meet certain needs.

I find your statement about "liberal null hypothesis" and your sarcasm about "straight white Christians" to be disconcerting. What do you mean by this? My guess is that we're talking about a feedback process, where rejection of some behaviors causes the behaviors to be more aggressive, leading to more rejection. How should science investigate social dynamics absent any society?

The question "what role should societal rejection play" is qualitatively different from what role it DOES play. I have no doubt the role it does play can and will change. These things swing back and forth. What role it *should* play is entirely arbitrary.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,08:59   

Flint wrote:
Quote
There's no question that social acceptance of any behavior largely throttles that behavior. But there's also no question but that the specific behaviors rewarded or rejected by any given society (or region) are in constant flux. Just as a typical example, if I wish I can wear my hair down to my waist and work in a corporate suit-and-tie environment and nobody thinks twice about it. Imagine 50 years ago!

and
Quote
The point I'm trying to support here is that where there is no harm done, fashions CAN change.

Certainly true. And I think that some degree of social change is inevitable provided the change doesn't hurt society. Even when it does, social forces can sometimes reestablish equilibrium (consider the transition between the late '70's and the Reagan era). But what if change is wedded to identity politics? Then it's hard to measure its impact, and politically dangerous to even try. Look at the abuse hurled Thordaddy's way for daring to suggest that a disproportionate number of homosexuals engage in destructive behavior such as casual, unprotected sex. He may well be wrong, but that's an empirical issue. It doesn't necessarily make him a bigot. And if he's correct, then society has every right to question the ethos that produces the behavior. If he's wrong, better to show him why, even if you don't think he's met your burden of proof. I'm interested in the evidence.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,09:40   

Ghost:

Quote
Look at the abuse hurled Thordaddy's way for daring to suggest that a disproportionate number of homosexuals engage in destructive behavior such as casual, unprotected sex. He may well be wrong, but that's an empirical issue.

Can we say disingenuous, boys and girls?

thordaddy has generally taken a position of religious intolerance, with the usual ramifications - queers are bad, abortions are bad, etc. His assertions about destructive behavior flow from his postulates, not vice versa.

Having tried to penetrate that mindset, I've learned: thordaddy is not interested in the evidence. Even if his claims are factually incorrect, he'll make them because they fit his requirements. Which is what people are complaining about. And which DOES make him a bigot.

Quote
And if he's correct, then society has every right to question the ethos that produces the behavior.

If you do say so yourself, right? Sexual activity isn't motivated by an "ethos", it's motivated by biology. It's probably worthwhile from a social perspective to identify and hopefully neutralize any damage caused by that activity. I hope we agree that "casual, unprotected sex" is only "destructive" if it's a vector for preventable disease. In which case, it probably makes more sense to address the disease (which we can cure) rather than sexual motivation (which we can't cure, we hope!;)

We might also argue that casual, unprotected *heterosexual* activity results in unwanted pregnancies, which also can be destructive. But we have a two-pronted attack against this: condoms during sex (also good against disease), and failing any birth control, abortion afterwards. So far, I would argue that these techniques have been LESS effective than they otherwise might have, precisely because of the prevalance of the attitude thordaddy is illustrating.

So the issue isn't whether thordaddy's claims meet the burden of proof. The issue is that it's the thordaddies of the nation whose claims become self-fulfilling. He is directly part of the problem; part of the contingent that acts to *ensure* that his accusations become as true as he can make them.

Would homosexuals be more sexually responsible, if the nation's thordaddies encouraged rather than attempted to prohibit long-term committed relationships?

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,09:41   

Chris Hyland wrote:

Quote
I'm very curious to know your definition of homosexual behaivour.


Ghost of Paley wrote:

Quote
sexual contact between members of the same gender. Romantic kissing, petting, and well.....you know.



Hi Ghost,

Quick question – how do you define gender?   Is it just the physical equipment a person is born with?  Are there only two genders, male and female?  What about hermaphrodites?  What gender are they?

My point is, the natural world is not limited to our binary constructs like masculine and feminine.  In the natural world nonfatal variations in phenotype expression are not uncommon, and appear across a continuous spectrum.    Similarly, variations in sexual preference appear across a continuous spectrum, from straight to bi to gay, and all shades in between.  Sexuality is determined by a myriad of factors – biological, genetic, environmental.  Those in society who define sexuality solely based on the plumbing between one’s legs, and who demonize those who don’t fit some narrow minded ideal are doing a great injustice to us all.

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,10:14   

which brings up an interesting point;

what if we could change our gender at will?

some fish species change sex over time, some are protogynous (many wrasses, for example) and some protandrous (some groupers).

how would one classify their sexual behavior, then?

if one month a wrasse mates with a female, and the next a male, is that at any point homosexual?

what about garden snails?  they're hermaphrodites.  Are they always homosexual whenever they have sex then (heh, i guess that would be more bisexual, come to think of it)?

oh, wait it's all about the reproduction aspect, right?  

if you can reproduce with the act of having sex, it's not "gay" right?

bah!

all this crap boils down to one thing:

those that don't LIKE homosexual behavior will simply invent excuses to discriminate, just like those who invent excuses to discriminate against race.

same mental issue, same pathology, same arguments, same results.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:12   

Quote
Look at the abuse hurled Thordaddy's way for daring to suggest that a disproportionate number of homosexuals engage in destructive behavior... If he's wrong, better to show him why, even if you don't think he's met your burden of proof. I'm interested in the evidence.
I'm not sure what conversation you're having. He claims that AIDS, for instance, is overwhelmingly a disease of homosexuals. While I think that's overstating it, I agree that (male) homosexuals are at greater risk than some other groups. That's not my question. My question is: what should the role of public education be in this? Specifically:

What is being taught in school that he thinks should not be?
What is not being taught that he thinks should be?
What should science and scientists say about it that they don't?
What should science and scientists not say about it that they do?

I'm not getting very far.

Sometimes I get the sense he's complaining that science is being inappropriately ideological rather than scientific. Sometimes I get the sense that he's saying it's impossible for science not to be ideological. Sometimes I get the sense he's saying it has nothing to do with science. Sometimes I get the sense that he doesn't know what he's saying, but somehow the country's going to h#ll in a handbasket, and it's all the fault of leftists and homosexuals.

Quote
I'm interested in the evidence.
So, what conversation are you having? You're interested in the evidence for what?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:17   

sometimes i get the sense he's just a moron.

actually, more than sometimes.

sometimes i think we need more interesting topics to discuss.

sometimes i think it's a complete waste of time to argue with a rock.

sometimes i think it would be best to just ignore the ramblings of lunatics.

sometimes.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:18   

Stats

The more I wander the more I see the ideological influence upon science.

The original intent of the thread was to get a scientific perspective on "homosexuality."

I believe Russell claimed "sexual orientations" as a result of evolution.

Why would evolution create any "orientation" beyond that used to reproduce and satisfy its fundamental function?

Secondly, given the statistics above, in what manner is "homosexuality" normal and natural?

Lastly, given both the inherent danger involved in practicing homosexuality and the ambivalent nature of the "behavior," why is such a topic of early child education?

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:18   

fundies who tell you not to be gay or have premarital sex in order to avoid STDs are lying to you. HPV vaccine, anyone? They don't care about STDs. They don't want you to be gay or have premarital sex because their bible tells them it's evil. If they were honest they'd say that to your face. But they aren't, so they pretend to have a secular concern.

   
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:22   

Quote
Hi Ghost,

Quick question – how do you define gender?   Is it just the physical equipment a person is born with?  Are there only two genders, male and female?  What about hermaphrodites?  What gender are they?

Yes, I remember reading that a certain proportion of babies (3 out of 1000? can't remember) are born with ambiguous genitalia, and need surgery to "correct" the condition. And there are the transexuals of course, which sometime overlap the previous group. But you're trying to build a rule from the exceptions. Most people are pretty clearly male or female. We can't design social norms around the exceptional cases - that would be like architects designing doorways with the NBA center in mind.
Quote
what if we could change our gender at will?

some fish species change sex over time, some are protogynous (many wrasses, for example) and some protandrous (some groupers).

Well, if protandrous groupers campaign for equal rights under the law, then I'll worry about it. Man, you guys really are dancing around the issue, ain't ya?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:30   

Ghost:

Yes, I agree Occam here has gotten derailed. Gender is unambiguous and important enough for us to treat it as purely bimodal for legal purposes, without enough exceptions for that to be troublesome. Which makes me wonder why you chose Occam's response to address?

I also agree that the biology of certain fish is of dubious relevance to human society. OK?

Meanwhile, Russell focuses directly on the issue and asks very good questions. Do you have answers for them?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,11:55   

Quote
I believe Russell claimed "sexual orientations" as a result of evolution.
I don't even know what that means. It doesn't sound remotely like a claim I would make.
Quote
Secondly, given the statistics above, in what manner is "homosexuality" normal and natural?
I thought we concluded that "normal" and "natural" are not particularly useful terms in this discussion.
Quote
Lastly, given both the inherent danger involved in practicing homosexuality and the ambivalent nature of the "behavior," why is such a topic of early child education?
You have yet to show us anywhere that it is a topic of early child education. Unless you're counting "Johnny has Two Daddies" as a how-to manual on sodomy techniques. In which case, you need to get a grip.

And I'm still puzzled. Are your concerns just about health risks? Are you, in fact, OK with "Johnny has Two Mommies"? If not, why not?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,12:11   

Quote
Secondly, given the statistics above, in what manner is "homosexuality" normal and natural?
How would these stats help us answer that question? Are you saying the fact that 60% of AIDS cases among men in the US  are ascribed to homosexual activity means that that activity is not normal or natural? What are we to make of the fact that 75% of AIDS cases in women are ascribed to heterosexual activity? Does that mean heterosexual activity is abnormal and unnatural - but only for women?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,12:36   

Russell,

See, you think you can play with the numbers.  You think you can play with the words.  Your attempt is to muddy the waters and keep the issues in a state of ambiguity.

Read those stats for the US again.

Stats

Pay particular notice to the percentage of AIDS cases between men and women.

Secondly, the prevalence of AIDS amongst homosexuals isn't what defines homosexuality as "unnatural" or "abnormal."  Science at one time defined homosexuality as a pathology.  You did not know this?

If science finds a "gay gene" then we can assume this gene a product of evolution.  Hence, evolution devised "sexual orientations."  This doesn't pass the smell test given ALL the other evidence to consider.  

Why would evolution need an "orientation?"  

Isn't this tantamount to saying there is some other process to evolution?

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,12:44   

Quote
sometimes i think it's a complete waste of time to argue with a rock.

sometimes i think it would be best to just ignore the ramblings of lunatics.

sometimes.
I have no idea why you guys are arguing with this idiot. In 214 posts he's shown he has no ability to understand an argument. I don't know what your goal is.

   
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,12:52   

stevestory,

I just noticed your avatar.  You play the part perfectly.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,13:06   

Flint:
Quote
Meanwhile, Russell focuses directly on the issue and asks very good questions. Do you have answers for them?

Why not?
Quote
My question is: what should the role of public education be in this? Specifically:
What is being taught in school that he thinks should not be?

Can't really answer this since I don't know what the schools are teaching. But I don't believe that certain students should have to be run through the guilt ringer like you see in "white studies" classes. Just the facts, ma'am.
Quote
What is not being taught that he thinks should be?

I think that all the relevant hypotheses for the origin of homo/heterosexuality should be taught, from the purely biological to the socialization model.
Quote
What should science and scientists say about it that they don't?

Social scientists should be allowed to research group behavioral differences if they wish. Some do already, but not enough. For example, homosexuals commit suicide at a higher rate than heterosexuals: true or false? If a difference exists, does biology play a role? What about spousal/partner abuse? I read a study somewhere that indicated that homosexual couples (including lesbians) are more likely to have violent relationships than heterosexual ones. Has this been replicated?
Quote
What should science and scientists not say about it that they do?

That's easy. Don't assume that discrimination is the only explanation for antisocial behavior, or even an explanation at all.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,13:51   

Ghost:

Excellent ideas, as the mice agreed about putting a bell on the cat. But I would pay VERY careful attention to the experimental designs. I imagine you would too. Offhand, I can't think of any good way to isolate most antisocial behaviors to biology, or even quantify the biological component if any. I understand it's considered very poor form to assume what you're trying to check out, but I confess I could not define some of these terms without building some assumptions into the definitions. 'Antisocial'? 'Abuse'? At the margin, these are straight eye-of-the-beholder things.

I agree we should examine all plausible sources of homosexual (or other than straight heterosexual) desires and impulses. So far, the only explanation I've seen unambiguously ruled out is voluntary choice.

The majority view on this thread, as I understand it (and I can't make any sense of nearly anything thordaddy says) is that sexual orientation, in and of itself, is socially neutral and unexceptional, *except* insofar as insecure people find excuses to demonize something sufficiently nonconforming as to be directly visible. But when enough people join the Forces of Rejection, this causes the otherwise neutral behavior to become polarizing. And THAT, in turn, tricks us into studying the behavior itself, rather than the REAL culprit, the engineered and unnecessary social reaction to it.

But maybe I'm misreading?

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,13:52   

Quote
...homosexuals commit suicide at a higher rate than heterosexuals...


..or that discrimination is responsible for higher suicide rates...

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,13:55   

Steve, I don't think I am arguing with him. I'm just trying to figure out what the heck he's trying to say. But you're right; that doesn't seem to be getting anywhere either. Call it a useless hobby. Like solving crossword puzzles.

Now, if you'll excuse me, back to T-diddy:
Quote
Your attempt is to muddy the waters and keep the issues in a state of ambiguity.
Quite the contrary, I assure you. I'm trying to get you to tell us what the heck you're on about. Honestly, I can't make any sense of it.
Quote
Read those stats for the US again.
Pay particular notice to the percentage of AIDS cases between men and women.
Look. Here are the stats in question (as of the end of 2002):
Quote
Approximately 40,000 new HIV infections occur each year in the United States, about 70 percent among men and 30 percent among women. Of these newly infected people, half are younger than 25 years of age.(3,4)

Of new infections among men in the United States, CDC estimates that approximately 60 percent of men were infected through homosexual sex, 25 percent through injection drug use, and 15 percent through heterosexual sex. Of newly infected men, approximately 50 percent are black, 30 percent are white, 20 percent are Hispanic, and a small percentage are members of other racial/ethnic groups.(4)

Of new infections among women in the United States, CDC estimates that approximately 75 percent of women were infected through heterosexual sex and 25 percent through injection drug use. Of newly infected women, approximately 64 percent are black, 18 percent are white, 18 percent are Hispanic, and a small percentage are members of other racial/ethnic groups.(4)


Now, what's your point? US Men get AIDS more than US women. Right. We knew that. Homosexual behavior is the largest risk factor for men, apparently being about 4 times as risky as heterosexual behavior. Right. Sounds about right. Heterosexual sex is the biggest risk factor for women: apparently being about infinitely more risky than homosexual behavior. I pointed that out to you. What is your point?

Quote
Secondly, the prevalence of AIDS amongst homosexuals isn't what defines homosexuality as "unnatural" or "abnormal."  Science at one time defined homosexuality as a pathology.
Then why did you say:
Quote
Secondly, given the statistics above, in what manner is "homosexuality" normal and natural?
Does that make any sense?

I ask you to focus your attention on the four questions I put to you earlier:
Quote
What is being taught in school that you think should  be?
What is  being taught that you think should be?
What should science and scientists say about it that they don't?
What should science and scientists not say about it that they do?


Once you've addressed those questions, I'm also curious to know:
what makes you "...believe Russell claimed 'sexual orientations' as a result of evolution" (whatever that means),  And  are you, in fact, OK with "Johnny has Two Mommies"? If not, why not?

There you go. A list of discrete, specific, concrete questions. No rhetorical flourishes, no digressions, no "attempts to muddy waters". Can you deal with that?

Paley: you come late to the conversation. It's not about the
Quote
... relevant hypotheses for the origin of homo/heterosexuality
(which I don't really see in a high school curriculum anyway), but what should or should not be taught in public school in the area of AIDS and other STDs. (At least that's what I thought we were discussing. It seems to be something of a moving target with T-diddy.)

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:01   

Flint:
Quote
I personally would speculate that the cost to society of tolerating homosexual behavior would be the loss of the leverage of "superiority" that some people need, the loss of a category of people to look down on.

Perhaps.....but maybe there's a good reason for the taboo. Most social rules have developed for a reason. Even libertine societies were not equally tolerant of all types of homosexual behavior. I'm not a big fan of wiping out a suite of sexual mores without giving some thought to the possible consequences: Free love brings free diseases, and medicine's defenses can be circumvented through microevolution. Open relationships often lead to jealousy, contempt, and homicide. Get rid of marriage, and you often reap a crop of fatherless kids just looking for trouble. All of our little countercultural experiments have had unintended consequences, often disastrous.

Russell:
Quote
What are we to make of the fact that 75% of AIDS cases in women are ascribed to heterosexual activity? Does that mean heterosexual activity is abnormal and unnatural - but only for women?

And how many of these men were living on the down low? This is one reason why it's folly to treat sexual behavior as if it exists in a vacuum. If a man's wife cheats on him with a bisexual man, and hubby gets AIDs, how is that not his problem? And with Cosmo telling women to cheat on their spouses as a step towards self-fulfillment, this possibility becomes less remote. Look at the black community - black women are much more likely to get AIDs than white women. Why is that? Because Black culture encourages the men to screw around more. Every action you take affects another human being. And it's easier to destroy a village than rebuild it.

I know that many will find this post provocative, but I can't help it. The truth is, the social conservatives make a lot of sense, and you ignore their warnings at society's peril.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:24   

Quote
The truth is, the social conservatives make a lot of sense, and you ignore their warnings at society's peril.
Yeah, like teaching evolution leads to school shootings, there's no such thing as global warming, homosexuality is just a matter of sin, rape and incest victims should be required to carry the baby to term...

Those social conservatives are just a fountain of wisdom!

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:42   

If society had a little more of this...

and a little less of this...

...school shootings would be a thing of the past.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:50   

Ghost of Paley, care to back up your assertions?

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Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:50   

talk about basing your conclusions on no data!

LOL.

besides, what's the problem with pictures of objects and people?

*snark*

hey paley, I'm laughing at you.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:58   

Ghost:

I'm with you there. My understanding is that there have been long-term stable societies where same-sex sexual relationships have not been met with hostility. My guess would be that the societies are stable because these relationships themselves can be stable. I agree that promiscuity has both medical and emotional side-effects, none of them desirable.

But this is one of those things that confuses me about the conservative opposition to same-sex marriage. I should think the implied long-term commitment would be exactly what the conservatives want to promote.

As you'd probably expect, I agree with Russell that you should not lump all social conservative policies into the same bag. Homosexuality is NOT a choice; here the social conservatives are wrong. Many homosexuals DO want a committed relationship with the same duties and privileges you enjoy, and the social conservatives are wrong to oppose this.

The social benefits of easily available abortion have been beneficial without exception or ambiguity, a win-win-win situation for the woman with an undesired pregnancy, for society in the form of the crimes not committed by those not born to commit them, and even for those aborted rather than born into an unwelcoming environment unwilling and unable to raise them properly. Add another win for getting Big Brother out of peoples' personal lives and for people not finding that an intensely personal matter is either mandatory or forbidden by parties elsewhere. I'll admit right now I can't understand the opposition to abortion; it strikes me as perversity for its own sake; the effort to make *everyone* suffer just for the satisfiaction of knowing you're causing suffering!

And you call this 'a lot of sense'? You seem to be missing something important here. Nobody is cheerleading for misery, disease, jealousy, contempt, or homicide. It's true that free-love communes solved none of these problems, and made many of them worse. But bad policies don't become good just because some 'solutions' were steps in the wrong direction.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:02   

Wow. I find it difficult to believe that in order to act morally and not shoot up kids in schools, I have to believe in one of the most bizarre sets of fantasies ever invented. And this despite that fact that atheists are WAY underrepresented in prisons.

Ghost pretends to address issues and think, but when cornered, up goes the irrationality and you can feel the floor shake from the force of his mind slamming shut. Sheesh.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:08   

Flint, perhaps what we're witnessing is projection. Perhaps he's feeling a bit guilty after that poll which found that christians were more likely to support torture than secular people.

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:09   

Quote
I agree that promiscuity has both medical and emotional side-effects, none of them desirable.



that is ENTIRELY dependent on the specific society you wish to use in your analysis.

there are many societies that have/had regarded polygamy as the norm, and have no problems with that.  Others that use promiscuity like the bonobos do, as a social binding force.

it's this specific society that has problems with the types of behaviors being discussed.

Paley, and now Flint(?) appear to be ethnocentralizing their thinking here.

why not investigate how other societies that are different from that in the US deal with these issues?

As we all struggle to figure out what works best for american society, we shouldn't ignore how others have dealt with similar things, even if the circumstances and environment are different.

perhaps sociology as a science isn't as worthless as some would contend.

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:18   

Fools! The more time you tie up GOP in this thread, the less time he as to devote to his masterstroke thread, Paley's Ghost can back up his assertions.  If not for you,  we would have an outline by now.

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Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:26   

oh, yeah, sorry.

doesn't he have some amphibious fish work to do too?

busy, busy boy.

Quote
poll which found that christians were more likely to support torture than secular people.


I'm sure Salvador was a datapoint in that poll.  speaking of which, I missed that one.  got a link?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:30   

Rats. I just realized there was a typo in my last attempt to get T-diddy to focus. That should have read:

Quote
What is being taught in school that you think should not be?
What is not being taught that you think should be?
What should science and scientists say about it that they don't?
What should science and scientists not say about it that they do?


--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:34   

Flint:
Quote
Homosexuality is NOT a choice; here the social conservatives are wrong.

You're probably correct here. I wish that good people wouldn't use such bad arguments.
Quote
But this is one of those things that confuses me about the conservative opposition to same-sex marriage. I should think the implied long-term commitment would be exactly what the conservatives want to promote.

Well, I suspect that conservatives are afraid of the camel nosing his way into the tent. They respect the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Quote
Many homosexuals DO want a committed relationship with the same duties and privileges you enjoy, and the social conservatives are wrong to oppose this.

Given that openly gay people are becoming more visible year by year, all I can say is I hope you're right. This society could use more responsible behavior.
Quote
The social benefits of easily available abortion have been beneficial without exception or ambiguity, a win-win-win situation for the woman with an undesired pregnancy, for society in the form of the crimes not committed by those not born to commit them, and even for those aborted rather than born into an unwelcoming environment unwilling and unable to raise them properly.

I'm trying to avoid an abortion debate at all costs, so let me just say that most social conservatives would not find this line of reasoning very fetching.
Quote
Nobody is cheerleading for misery, disease, jealousy, contempt, or homicide. It's true that free-love communes solved none of these problems, and made many of them worse. But bad policies don't become good just because some 'solutions' were steps in the wrong direction.

But progressives are competing against 1000's of years of social selection. Their track record doesn't inspire much confidence in the future. Did you ever see the "The Harrad Experiment"? It all looked so groovy at the time. Who could argue against such logic? Reality, that's who.
Quote
Wow. I find it difficult to believe that in order to act morally and not shoot up kids in schools, I have to believe in one of the most bizarre sets of fantasies ever invented. And this despite that fact that atheists are WAY underrepresented in prisons.

Not you, perhaps, but what about the people who need some guidance? Putting the issue of truth aside, many people need religion.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:39   

Quote
Putting the issue of truth aside, many people need religion.


do you?

why?

oh, sorry, there i go distracting you from all the other important theses you are supposed to be developing.

my apologies seven.

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:42   

Ghost of Paley said:
Quote
But you're trying to build a rule from the exceptions. Most people are pretty clearly male or female.


Maybe in their physical equipment, but most certainly NOT in their sexual orientation.  Multiple studies show that between 2-4% (not the often misquoted 10%) of people in the world identify themselves as gay or bi.  Even erring on the low end, that’s over 100 million clearly non-hetero folks.  A not insignificant number, wouldn’t you agree?

http://www.familyresearchinst.org/Default.aspx?tabid=88

Ghost of Paley said:
Quote
We can't design social norms around the exceptional cases - that would be like architects designing doorways with the NBA center in mind.


But we must design social norms to accommodate the exceptional cases.  Should we regress to a hundred years ago, when physically handicapped people were considered second class, denied civil rights, and placed in circus sideshows?  It’s not like those ‘tards such as Stephen Hawkings ever contribute to society, right?

Ghost of Paley said:
Quote
Perhaps.....but maybe there's a good reason for the taboo. Most social rules have developed for a reason. Even libertine societies were not equally tolerant of all types of homosexual behavior. I'm not a big fan of wiping out a suite of sexual mores without giving some thought to the possible consequences: Free love brings free diseases, and medicine's defenses can be circumvented through microevolution. Open relationships often lead to jealousy, contempt, and homicide. Get rid of marriage, and you often reap a crop of fatherless kids just looking for trouble. All of our little countercultural experiments have had unintended consequences, often disastrous.


You just defined homosexual behavior as “sexual contact between members of the same gender. Romantic kissing, petting, and well.....you know.”  Now you are equating accepting homosexual behavior to “wiping out sexual mores” and “free love” and “open relationships” and “end of marriage”?  How in the world can you make that logical connection?

Here’s a though experiment for you

You walk through the park and see a man and a woman making out like high school kids.  Someone tells you “They’re on their honeymoon”, so you can bet they’ll be doing that “well,,,you know” stuff at night.  You walk away smiling

A week later you find out that the woman was actually a guy in drag, and that they pretended to be a hetero couple because they weren’t allowed to marry as a same-sex couple.

Now tell me - how was society harmed by their relationship? What sexual mores got wiped out?  How did their actions condone “free love”, or “open relationships”?  Or signal an “end to marriage”?

That is not a far-fetched scenario, BTW.  Many same-sex couples are desperate to show their commitment in a legal marriage.  Last year when the mayor of SF briefly instructed City Hall to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, over 4000 couples from all over the U.S. showed up the first week alone, totally swamping the office.

Those with non-hetero orientations have never asked for special rights.  They just want the same rights guaranteed every other person under the Constitution. The right to marry the person they love.  The right to not be fired or beaten because of those they go home to at night. The right to not live in fear.  

Ghost of Paley said:
Quote
Every action you take affects another human being. And it's easier to destroy a village than rebuild it.


That’s right.  Every time ANY person of ANY orientation is unfairly discriminated against, or ostracized, or threatened, or tied to a fence post and beaten to death, we ALL are adversely affected.

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:47   

Quote
there are many societies that have/had regarded polygamy as the norm, and have no problems with that.  Others that use promiscuity like the bonobos do, as a social binding force.

it's this specific society that has problems with the types of behaviors being discussed.

Paley, and now Flint(?) appear to be ethnocentralizing their thinking here.

why not investigate how other societies that are different from that in the US deal with these issues?

We would, 'cept they keep spinning us like turnstiles as they enter the U.S. I think that tells us a lot right there. "ZOOM-ZOOM-ZOOM!" #### hippie.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:52   

was that supposed to be a joke or something?

not even worth a hyena laugh.

oh, and btw, I'm a church-burnin' Ebola boy.  not a hippie.  get with the times.

I think OA stated my position on this issue better than i could have.

I can't think of anything else worthwhile to add.

cheers

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,16:26   

sir_toejam:

Quote
there are many societies that have/had regarded polygamy as the norm, and have no problems with that.  Others that use promiscuity like the bonobos do, as a social binding force.

This is somewhat outside my knowledge. Can you provide a few links? If this is the case, then we have an actual working model of what we might wish to shoot for in some ways.

Ghost:

Quote
I'm trying to avoid an abortion debate at all costs, so let me just say that most social conservatives would not find this line of reasoning very fetching.

I understand. I don't wish to get into that debate either. I simply wanted to point out that we're not dealing here with any situation that "1000's of years of social selection" has addressed in the past. This is much more a question of what modern technology permits, fighting against a clearly irrational rejection despite the fact that the evidence accumulated in even a relatively short time has overwhelmingly discredited the conservative resistance.

Look, I understand that fools rush in, and that history, especially long history, is an excellent crucible testing what works and what does not. But different=wrong, all by itself, isn't sufficient. So I was raising one case where the conservative position has NO merits. None. Just to show that conservativism isn't necessarily based on analysis of merits. It's much more instinctive, I think.

Quote
Their track record doesn't inspire much confidence in the future. Did you ever see the "The Harrad Experiment"? It all looked so groovy at the time. Who could argue against such logic? Reality, that's who.

Yet earlier, I had thought we agreed that social realities can be distinctly flexible. That's why I asked toejam for more information. Your conservative position seems to be that new-and-different, plunked down in a conservative fundamentalist milieu, is going to fail badly. But that's not the issue; the issue is whether the social fabric is flexible enough to accommodate what might even work better, given enough time.

Occam:

As I said, I think sexuality is bimodal enough for social laws and customs to treat it as having no exceptions. This is something different from accommodating those exceptions that exist, though.

Quote
Now tell me - how was society harmed by their relationship? What sexual mores got wiped out?  How did their actions condone “free love”, or “open relationships”?  Or signal an “end to marriage”?

Here is where I wonder if Ghost is genuinely one of those hysterics who see a same-sex couple and start bellowing about how this is the end of the world. On other forums, I've run into these yahoos, and I've repeatedly asked how MY marriage is threatened, in any way they can imagine however far-fetched. The closest anyone has come is to say that if we permit such behaviors, society will abandon any sense of right and wrong and we will ALL start shooting kids in schools.

Kind of sad to see Ghost parroting that same party line.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,16:33   

Quote
This is somewhat outside my knowledge. Can you provide a few links?


cool.

hmm, it's been 20 years since i studied anthropology and sociology, but it's worth a shot.  I think i still have many of the texts even.  I remember generally that there were African and South American societies that fit what I was describing, but I have to lookup the specifics that described the relevant environmental circumstances.

Also, i recall a more recent documentary that covered how different societies deal with homosexualtiy and transgender issues.  IIRC, that was on Nat Geo not too long ago.  that shouldn't be too hard to dig up.

I'll post the links in a new thread Wednesday or Thursday, as I have a bit of work to do tommorrow.

acceptable?

and no, i won't pull a ghost on you and forget :p

cheers

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,11:26   

Flint:
Quote
This [abortion] is much more a question of what modern technology permits, fighting against a clearly irrational rejection despite the fact that the evidence accumulated in even a relatively short time has overwhelmingly discredited the conservative resistance.

Once again, I want to avoid debating the merits of abortion, but I couldn't let this slide without comment.
Quote
1.4% of abortions occur at 21 weeks or later. This works out to approximately 18,000 per year.[1]

This statistic courtesy of the the Guttmacher Institute, an organization dedicated
Quote
to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation.


Are these statistics reliable? Some insiders doubt them. Even if the statistics are valid, should we worry about late-term abortions? Yes, and here's why:
Quote
The seventh month of gestation witnesses the appearance of many new osseous (bone) formations. The developing foetus is now 305 millimetres long. Sulci and gyri (the convolutions) of the brain are much more in evidence, membranes over the pupils disappears and the eyes open. The insula (An oval region of the cerebral cortex overlying the extreme capsule, lateral to the lenticular nucleus, buried in the depth of the fissura lateralis cerebri (sylvian fissure), separated from the adjacent opercula by the circular sulcus of insula.) and the tubercula quadrigemina develop.

The seventh month is essentially characterised by rapid growth, development and organisational refinement.

By the eighth month, the foetus will be 405+ millimetres (16+ inches), from crown to heel. During this month of development the foetus will strengthen its body and the nervous system will increase its connections and receive more sensory input, and gain more motor control.

During the ninth month the foetus will reach 510 millimetres (20 inches) or more. All ossification points are in place, and further refinement of motor and other neuronal connections takes place for the ninth month foetus is usually very active.

Here's another source that gives a week-by-week development with 3D ultrasound pictures.  Medical experts agree that a fetus may experience pain by the third trimester.
This is significant because:
Quote
At 32 weeks of gestation - two months before a baby is considered fully prepared for the world, or "at term" - a fetus is behaving almost exactly as a newborn. And it continues to do so for the next 12 weeks.

As if overturning the common conception of infancy weren't enough, scientists are creating a startling new picture of intelligent life in the womb. Among the revelations:

By nine weeks, a developing fetus can hiccup and react to loud noises. By the end of the second trimester it can hear.
Just as adults do, the fetus experiences the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep of dreams.
The fetus savors its mother's meals, first picking up the food tastes of a culture in the womb.
Among other mental feats, the fetus can distinguish between the voice of Mom and that of a stranger, and respond to a familiar story read to it.
Even a premature baby is aware, feels, responds, and adapts to its environment.
Just because the fetus is responsive to certain stimuli doesn't mean that it should be the target of efforts to enhance development. Sensory stimulation of the fetus can in fact lead to bizarre patterns of adaptation later on.

In my opinion, there's not much to distinguish a third-trimester fetus from a newborn. Any differences are quantitative rather than qualitative.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:55   

Just one more thing. Everyone who advocates that gay marriage should be legalized is assuming that this will end the matter. But what if gays decide that marriage isn't enough (there's still all this institutionalized homophobia floating around, don't you know), so a good dose of affirmative action, set-asides, and hate-crime legislation are in order? Current promises don't mean much; after all, liberals once said that the 1964 Civil Rights Act wouldn't lead to quotas. And it didn't for a couple of years or so.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:13   

Hey Ghost,

You forgot to explain how allowing a same-sex couple to make the legal committment of marriage will lead to sexual mores getting wiped out.  Or lead to a massive wave of “free love” and “open relationships”.  Or signal an “end to marriage”.

Please provide some details, not just your idle speculation.  Inquiring minds want to know.

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:55   

Occam's Aftershave wrote:
Quote
Hey Ghost,

You forgot to explain how allowing a same-sex couple to make the legal committment of marriage will lead to sexual mores getting wiped out.  Or lead to a massive wave of “free love” and “open relationships”.  Or signal an “end to marriage”.

Please reread the original post. I actually said:
Quote
I'm not a big fan of wiping out a suite of sexual mores without giving some thought to the possible consequences: Free love brings free diseases, and medicine's defenses can be circumvented through microevolution. Open relationships often lead to jealousy, contempt, and homicide. Get rid of marriage, and you often reap a crop of fatherless kids just looking for trouble. All of our little countercultural experiments have had unintended consequences, often disastrous.

The "suite" refers to the cluster of sexual prohibitions against homosexual relations. As you can see in the passage, I never stated, or even implied, that allowing homosexual marriage by itself would unravel the social fabric. In fact, I actually implied that:
1) much of the social fabric has already been unraveled by "progressive" philosophy; and
2) heterosexuals have largely caused this.

 But homosexuals held up their end by refusing to shut down gay baths in the wake of AIDS. Consequently, the disease spread so rapidly throughout the gay population that most AIDs victims were doomed before the scientists could get a handle on the situation. Furthermore, many gays have embraced a decadent lifestyle, alienating potential allies to the cause. Look at the typical gay parade. Do these people realise how they damage their movement?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:59   

Quote
Look at the typical gay parade


spend much time watching gay pride parades, do you?

I thought you had important issues to address, like your theory of life, the universe, and everything, as well as telling us what the recent amphibious fish find "isn't"?

how is it that you have time to attend all these gay pride parades?

hmm.

oh, and I'm still laughing at you.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,16:16   

Ghost:

Quote
In my opinion, there's not much to distinguish a third-trimester fetus from a newborn. Any differences are quantitative rather than qualitative.

OK, two brief (for me, anyway) comments on this:

1) When we decide a developing human should be granted legal personhood is essentially arbitrary, just like when we declare adulthood or seniorhood. These are fairly important distinctions without any qualitative differences.

2) However, the degree to which it is not arbitrary have to do with practical considerations: unambiguous milestones, enforceability, political concerns and forces.

Personally, I'd be willing to vote for some point during pregnancy after which (1) the fetus bears enough resemblance to a newborn to have enough emotional appeal for enough people; and (2) after which the pregnant woman has had easily sufficient opportunity to change her mind and have an abortion if she wishes. BOTH these should be true, I think - to change her mind AND to have the opportunity to act accordingly.

But I can recognize that birth is a clear, obvious milestone, easy to define and enforce, which also dovetails with other legal rights (and is where we start counting toward all those subsequent magic times).

Quote
Everyone who advocates that gay marriage should be legalized is assuming that this will end the matter. But what if gays decide that marriage isn't enough (there's still all this institutionalized homophobia floating around, don't you know), so a good dose of affirmative action, set-asides, and hate-crime legislation are in order?

I genuinely don't understand what you are worried about here. Are you suggesting that these programs would be demanded EVEN IF there is no clear inequality in de facto effect?

I shouldn't need to point out that the 1954 Brown decision, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, failed to provide much effective equality. Blacks STILL could not get jobs, get into colleges, get a decent public school education, and in a thousand ways weren't on a level playing field. You seem to be saying, hey, if we let them marry, they will act uppity and demand the same opportunities you have. Terrible thing.

Quote
Furthermore, many gays have embraced a decadent lifestyle...much of the social fabric has already been unraveled

What bothers me is, you might not be kidding, you might actually *believe* this. You've already laid claim to beliefs even more peculiar. But "different from how I wish to live" is a bit more neutral than "decadent" or "unraveled". You are applying pejoratives to anything you find unfamiliar or different. Granted, I'm only 60, not yet old enough to have the perspective to see how the world is going to he11 in a handbasket like you and other old people have bemoaned for millennia. Too bad you feel the need to maintain the status quo at *someone else's* expense. But entirely typical.

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,16:28   

Ghost of Paley said:

Quote
Furthermore, many gays have embraced a decadent lifestyle, alienating potential allies to the cause. Look at the typical gay parade. Do these people realise how they damage their movement?


How many gays embrace a decadent lifestyle?  100%?  50%? 10%?  How many is "many", and how did you determine that number?

And what is a "decadent" lifestyle?  PDAs in front of some 80 year old WASP prig?  Wanting to have a committed same-sex relationship with someone you love?

You are arguing the same group stereotyping that is a hallmark of every hater who tries to justify his prejudices.

many blacks are lazy and shiftless
many hispanics are thieves
many asians can't drive
many gays live a decadent lifestyle

I just took Thordaddy to task for exactly the same thing.  He's a hopeless flaming homophobe - you at least seem a bit more sane and rational.  Do you see how your stereotyping drags you down to his level?

And did it ever occur to you that the folks celebrating their sexuality in a parade do so because it is a highly visible but non-violent means of protesting and bringing attention to the discrimination they suffer?

Good thing Rosa Parks and ML King didn't realize how they were damaging their movement by being such uppity nigg*rs, eh?

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,16:32   

OK. Here you go, T-diddy. Here is a handful of articles in what I deem respectable journals. I've excerpted some of the more relevant bits of the abstracts, just to give you an idea what each is about. But, by all means, look up the abstracts (given as links), or - if you have library access - the full articles.

This reflects the pretty much unanimous - so far as I can tell - sense of science that sexual orientation is largely biologically determined before birth, including a significant genetic component.

Do you disagree?
Do you think these studies reflect ideology rather than science?
Can you cite reputable scientific studies that reach a different conclusion?

[Please note: those are three (3) specific questions - not an invitation to go off on a  nonresponsive diversionary rant]

Arch Sex Behav. 1995 Apr;24(2):109-34.
Quote

a thesis is presented that a major type of Kinsey grades 5 and 6 male homosexuality is determined by a gene in the Xq28 region
Am J Psychiatry. 2000 Nov;157(11):1843-6.
Quote
RESULTS: All analyses demonstrated familial resemblance for sexual orientation. Resemblance was greater in the monozygotic twins than in the dizygotic twins or in the dizygotic twins plus nontwin siblings. Biometrical twin modeling suggested that sexual orientation was substantially influenced by genetic factors, but family environment may also play a role.
Hum Genet. 2005 Mar;116(4):272-8. Epub 2005 Jan 12.
Quote
Given that previously reported evidence of maternal loading of transmission of sexual orientation could indicate epigenetic factors acting on autosomal genes, maximum likelihood estimations (mlod) scores were calculated separated for maternal, paternal, and combined transmission. The highest mlod score was 3.45 at a position near D7S798 in 7q36 with approximately equivalent maternal and paternal contributions. The second highest mlod score of 1.96 was located near D8S505 in 8p12, again with equal maternal and paternal contributions. A maternal origin effect was found near marker D10S217 in 10q26, with a mlod score of 1.81 for maternal meioses and no paternal contribution.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Jun;989:105-17; discussion 144-53.
Quote
People discover rather than choose their sexual interests. The process of discovery typically begins before the onset of puberty and is associated with an increase in the secretion of sex hormones from the adrenal glands. However, the determinants of the direction of sexual interest, in the sense of preferences for the same or opposite sex, are earlier. These preferences, although not manifest until much later in development, appear to be caused by the neural organizational effects of intrauterine hormonal events. Variations in these hormonal events likely have several causes and two of these appear to have been identified for males. One cause is genetic and the other involves the sensitization of the maternal immune system to some aspect of the male fetus. It is presently unclear how these two causes relate to each other...

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2005;29(7):1057-66. Epub 2005 Apr 25.
Quote
Here, evidence is reviewed which supports the proposal that sexual orientation in humans may be laid down in neural circuitry during early foetal development. Behaviour genetic investigations provide strong evidence for a heritable component to male and female sexual orientation… [C]urrent theories have left little room for learning models of sexual orientation.


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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,16:36   

Gees, Russel!

talk about pearls before swine.

Your asking someone who can't comprehend conditional logic to actually read and cogently comment on an actual published scientific article?

blood from a stone, man.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,16:51   

Quote
talk about pearls before swine...
blood from a stone, man.
You're right, of course. But - aside from the fun of watching T-diddy try to justify his
Quote
Homosexuality, given all the current evidence, is a product of free-will and a lifestyle choice
in light of, well, current evidence - I thought other, more sentient, folks might appreciate those references, too.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:24   

Russell,

Again, all these articles start with the assumption that evolution provides for a "sexual orientation" and so the scientists simply look for the evidence whether it be a genetic factor or due to hormonal changes.

What evidence do we have that evolution provides for "sexual orientations" outside the fact that an orientiation exists?  You sound like an IDer making an argument for design.  The design exists and therefore so does the IDer.  Likewise, "homosexuality" exists and therefore it's a product of evolution.

What's the evidence, man?

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:31   

Quote
in light of, well, current evidence - I thought other, more sentient, folks might appreciate those references, too.


so start a new thread where we can discuss the specifics of these papers, epigenetics, and the future of sociobiology.

wouldn't that be more interesting than what Mr. Black Hole has to say?

how many times can you pass a pickup with a ferrari and still have fun with it?

(er, don't answer that, Seven ;) )

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:44   

Russell,

I think these quotes reflect the reality of the situation a little better, but I'm still left to wonder about the assumption behind "sexual orientation" in relation to evolutionary theory.

Quotes

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,18:45   

Here we see the Thordaddy the bigoted troll in full bloom

First the moron posts this

Quote
Thordaddy:  Homosexuality, given all the current evidence, is a product of free-will and a lifestyle choice.


Then the moron links to NARTH, a right-wing Christian anti-gay organization whose "sexual reparative therapy " for "curing" homosexuals has been denounced and condemned by virtually every professional medical and teaching association in the country, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American School Health Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association.

After all that, the moron references quotes that directly contradict his claim that homosexuality is solely the result of a freely made lifestyle choice.

wow.....just wow.

T-daddy, shouldn't you be off burning crosses, or marching with Fred Phelps somewhere?

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"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,19:53   

Occam,

I feel sorry for the liberal indoctrination you have endured because it will take many long years and much ridicule to free yourself from this ideological stance.

Those weren't quotes from Narth, but scientists in the field who study this issue.

My statement wasn't contradicted.  If one says that Occam has a "liberal" disposition that MAYBE genetically-based and because of the environment he finds himself in, his ALLEGED genetically-based "liberal" disposition manifests itself through his "liberal" activism, is this really tantamount to saying Occam didn't make any choice to become "liberal?"

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,19:57   

Quote
I feel sorry for the liberal indoctrination you have endured because it will take many long years and much ridicule to free yourself from this ideological stance.


man, sure am glad i wasn't drinking a glass of milk when i read that.

much ridicule??

do tell, sugardaddy!

serve it up!

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,02:16   

Quote
Do you disagree?
Do you think these studies reflect ideology rather than science?
Can you cite reputable scientific studies that reach a different conclusion?

[Please note: those are three (3) specific questions - not an invitation to go off on a  nonresponsive diversionary rant]
Quote
Again, all these articles start with the assumption that evolution provides for a "sexual orientation"
After you deal with my three specific questions, I'll be curious to know:
(1) what, if anything, does "evolution provides for sexual orientation" even mean?
(2) what evidence can you muster to support the notion that these articles do start with that assumption?

...but only after you address my three specific questions. Focus, T-diddy, focus!

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,04:46   

Occam's Aftershave wrote:
Quote
T-daddy, shouldn't you be off burning crosses, or marching with Fred Phelps somewhere?

Look, I understand that you're frustrated, but you won't accomplish anything by foaming at the mouth like a rabid dingo everytime someone challenges your liberal pieties. Why not let the evidence speak for itself? Live up to your handle for once.
Quote
And what is a "decadent" lifestyle?  PDAs in front of some 80 year old WASP prig?  Wanting to have a committed same-sex relationship with someone you love?

No, but having unprotected sex with strangers in the midst of a plague certainly qualifies. And here are some numbers:
Quote
Gómez found that based on reports of the previous year, most sex behavior that might spread HIV did not differ significantly between African-Americans, whites and Latinos. But whites, for example, most often identified themselves as gay and reported a larger number of male sex partners than did Latinos and African Americans. Whites also were more likely to have oral insertive sex with men who were HIV negative or whose HIV status was unknown.

African-American men were more likely than either whites or Latinos to also report sex with women, to identify themselves as bisexual, and to be uncomfortable with their same-sex behavior. When recalling encounters within the past three months, African Americans and Latinos reported higher rates of unprotected anal intercourse with a partner whose HIV status was negative or unknown. Interviews suggested that both groups are less likely to consider oral sex as a substitute for penetrative sex.

The survey showed that 47 HIV positive men across all ethnic groups reported unprotected anal insertive sex with a partner though they knew his HIV status was negative.

In one-on-one interviews with each man, surveyors pulled out the context: "These encounters usually were rare, and there were very few men who did not consider it an issue to have sex with a man whom they might infect," Gómez said.

Often an HIV negative partner was willing, or even demanded to take the risk, she said. Even more often, drugs, alcohol or other factors limited the men's perceived sense of control over their behavior.

Gómez said a more worrisome statistic was that more than half the HIV positive men (132) had sex with partners whose HIV status was unknown.

[all emphases mine, of course]


Thordaddy, do you think I'll get any rational responses to this? Eric and Flint, maybe. The rest, I'm not so sure.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:16   

Quote
 
Look at the typical gay parade

Quote
spend much time watching gay pride parades, do you?


Ahhhh...a member of the Concrete Crew, I see.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:23   

Ghost of Paley,

Well the study you provided is definately better conducted than Thordaddy's NARTH ones.

There is no condoning a HIV+ person having unprotected sex with someone they know (or it is possible) to be negative.

But that is the bahaviour of individuals. I believe this has also happened in heterosexual sexual encounters.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:38   

Stephen Elliot:
Quote
There is no condoning a HIV+ person having unprotected sex with someone they know (or it is possible) to be negative.

But that is the bahaviour of individuals. I believe this has also happened in heterosexual sexual encounters.

Certainly. And this behavior may be even more common among heterosexuals (the statistics for straight teens are depressing enough). But the majority of surveyed gay men engaging in sociopathic behavior? I just can't endorse a culture that leads to such irresponsible acts. But watch the excuses roll in.........

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:48   

And don't forget, AIDS started out as a heterosexual disease, and in many parts of the world is still prediminantly heterosexually transmitted

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:52   

Quote
Thordaddy, do you think I'll get any rational responses to this? Eric and Flint, maybe. The rest, I'm not so sure.
So, T-diddy is your arbiter of "rational"?  Wow.

I wonder what a rational response would look like?

(A). Irresponsible homosexual behavior is a big problem: therefore we should impress high-school kids who might be homosexually-oriented that they should just be heterosexual instead.

(B). Irresponsible sexual behavior is a big problem: therefore we should teach kids to not even think about sex until they marry (and then make sure they only marry other virgins!;) otherwise they're just asking for trouble.

©. Kids should learn about all the behaviors associated with AIDS and STDs, and steps that can be taken to avoid them.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:55   

I'm not sure I'm quite grasping the distinction between decadent and irresponsible. I confess that since the advent of AIDS, I too have had unprotected sex with women not known to be HIV negative. I grant this is of dubious responsibility. Am I therefore decadent, or simply lonely?

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,06:14   

Midnight Voice
Quote
And don't forget, AIDS started out as a heterosexual disease, and in many parts of the world is still prediminantly heterosexually transmitted


Yep. There are pockets of the straight community that also behave recklessly. But you're proving my point: AIDs may not discriminate, but it does seem to target Africans, drug-users, and gay men. Doesn't this indicate where most prevention efforts should be directed? And an ounce of clear thinking is worth a pound of cure.

Flint:
Quote
I'm not sure I'm quite grasping the distinction between decadent and irresponsible.

Well, one often leads to the other.
Quote
I confess that since the advent of AIDS, I too have had unprotected sex with women not known to be HIV negative.

Then you engaged in reckless behavior. But please keep in mind that AIDs is much more common in gay communities, and has been for decades. There is no excuse for a gay man to be unaware of the risks. Also, anal sex is more likely to spread the disease than vaginal sex, all other things being equal. Plus, many of the men continued to have unprotected sex even when they knew they were HIV positive. That's just pure sociopathy. By the way, the study is saying that the majority of gay HIV + men are being irresponsible, not the majority of gay men overall. Sorry for the mistake.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,07:52   

Ghost, in a few words: What do you think the survey you linked shows about the homosexual "lifestyle" and how it relates to AIDS?
(Be so kind as to define this lifestyle, too)


I am eagerly waiting for your interpretation of the results.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,08:10   

Quote
Why not let the evidence speak for itself?


I thought we were supposed to learn from your shining example?

Quote
And an ounce of clear thinking is worth a pound of cure.


LOL.  two great statements in the same post!

physician, heal thyself.

I'm still laughing at you.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,08:12   

Ghost:

Quote
Plus, many of the men continued to have unprotected sex even when they knew they were HIV positive. That's just pure sociopathy.

One thing leads to another, I guess. You're correct, this behavior is reprehensible. But I doubt being homosexual predisposes an individual to be more likely to do it. I have no doubt that if YOU were aware you had some STD, no amount of temptation could influence you to take such a risk. I wish I could say the same for myself, but I can't.

Quote
By the way, the study is saying that the majority of gay HIV + men are being irresponsible, not the majority of gay men overall. Sorry for the mistake.

Probably moot. I would hate to be faced with the prospect of introspecting whether the knowledge that I had HIV would influence my sexual practices. I would certainly like to think so, but I'm also very thankful that I'm not faced with the decision in Real Life. And again, I doubt that the gender of the object of my interests would have much to do with my behavior.

Quote
AIDs may not discriminate, but it does seem to target Africans, drug-users, and gay men. Doesn't this indicate where most prevention efforts should be directed?

If I may say so, this locution begs to be misinterpreted. AIDS itself doesnt 'target' anyone. This disease could have originated in (let's say) Indiana, and it would appear to 'target' Hoosiers, at least for the most part, for some period of time. Are Hoosiers therefore 'more decadent' than the rest of the nation? This is the kind of implication that makes you look bigoted.

Granted, prevention should be targeted where a disease is most prevalent. But that's pretty straightforward..

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:13   

Flint:
Quote
One thing leads to another, I guess. You're correct, this behavior is reprehensible. But I doubt being homosexual predisposes an individual to be more likely to do it.

I doubt that gay people are biologically predisposed to immoral behavior either. But for whatever reason, they engage in said behavior at an alarming rate. And since I don't buy the "discrimination made me do it" angle, that leaves culture as the leading candidate.
Quote
If I may say so, this locution begs to be misinterpreted. AIDS itself doesnt 'target' anyone. This disease could have originated in (let's say) Indiana, and it would appear to 'target' Hoosiers, at least for the most part, for some period of time.

Bad wording. I meant that these population groups have much higher levels of the disease. Certainly, some of it is due to the difficulty of transmitting the virus through vaginal sex (less tearing, etc.). But that's only part of it, and doesn't explain the African heterosexual rate. Or the African-American het rate for that matter. Perhaps black men are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior? Doesn't seem likely, but who knows.
Quote
This is the kind of implication that makes you look bigoted.

I let the liberals worry about bigotry. I'm more concerned with the evidence.
Quote
Granted, prevention should be targeted where a disease is most prevalent. But that's pretty straightforward..

Unless society denies that certain behaviors/cultures are more likely to lead to the disease. Or a Marxist media tries to hide the truth. Thank God for scientific journals and the internet.

Faid said:
Quote
Ghost, in a few words: What do you think the survey you linked shows about the homosexual "lifestyle" and how it relates to AIDS?
(Be so kind as to define this lifestyle, too)

Male homosexuality -> more likely to engage in promiscuous sex -> lack of concern for a sexual partner's welfare -> sociopathic behavior

This is just my hypothesis, but at least it attempts to explain the evidence, and it also accounts for the correlation between loose morality and violence evidenced in the overall community (high homicide rate during the 20's and 70's in America, etc.)

Sir Wiggles:
Quote
I thought we were supposed to learn from your shining example?

How could you, you don't even know who I am. But consult your local Baptist for a map to the moral life. Or take a dose of this.....

......and call me in the morning.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:26   

All the evidence I've read so far only goes as far as saying that there MAY BE a genetic component to a homosexual predisposition with the environment being that which manifests this predisposition.

So, if we are teaching young American school children that homosexuality is a normal "sexual orientation" while study after study shows incredible risk in engaging in homosexual acts, what exactly is the public school system trying to accomplish given what we know about the science?

If one's environment is critical in manifesting a homosexual predisposition then it should be clear that we are teaching young children to engage in dangerous and deadly behaviors.

This to me is outrageous and with friends like this, who needs enemies.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:26   

At a guess, I would consider the likelyhood of condoms being normal practice for gay sex. The absolute impossibility of conception would have made condom use unlikely before AIDS (and its causes) was well known.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:41   

Stephen,

Homosexuals (gay males) are estimated to be about 1-2% of the American population.  About 60% of new AIDS infections are contracted through homosexual sex (anal sex).  This is an incredible overrepresentation.

Again, if the homosexual act is indistinguishable from the homosexual then how can we teach young children about the "normalcy" of homosexuality?  

If science tells us that one's environment plays a major role in manifesting a possible genetic homosexual predisposition, aren't we in fact teaching young children to engage in dangerous and deadly behaviors with our non-discrimination and tolerance policies?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:50   

Re "But that's only part of it, and doesn't explain the African heterosexual rate."

Didn't the disease start in Africa?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:53   

I would hope that all kids are taught about the use of contraception at an apropriate age. Particularly the use of condoms and safe sex to combat STDs.

It would be wrong to teach people that it is incorect/sinful to be atracted to certain people. The various risks and countermeasures would be an apropriate lesson.

Gay guys should use condoms to reduce odds of STDs.
Heterosexuals should use condoms for the same reason and consider other aditional contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Gay chicks are probably relatively risk-free.

Of course this would be inapropriate to teach young children. Rather, for older kids/young adults.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,10:33   

Ghost:

Quote
I doubt that gay people are biologically predisposed to immoral behavior either. But for whatever reason, they engage in said behavior at an alarming rate. And since I don't buy the "discrimination made me do it" angle, that leaves culture as the leading candidate.

Your implications can be subtle, you know? First, you imply that gay behavior is immoral, but of course morality is quite arbitrary. Dubbing some behavior YOU don't like as "immoral" doesn't mean it IS immoral, or that this is "evidence". It just means you don't like it and you're trying to justify your preferences with pejorative terms. Naughty naughty.

Second, you imply that gay people have more sex, or maybe you mean sex with more different partners, or whatever your notion of "immoral" covers here. I don't know if this is helpful. My own experience, admittedly anecdotal, is that SOME people have sex with a great many partners and are always on the make, while others are comfortably monogomous. Since I met my current spouse about 18 years ago, I haven't been tempted by anyone else. I'm not that unusual.

In other words, I'm saying there's good cause to think that promiscuity is much more correlated with individual preferences than with membership in some particular group like the gay community. Do you know differently?

And this leaves "culture as the leading candidate" without visible means of support. I'm not sure there is an identifiable "promiscuity" culture, or a "loose women" culture, or a "skirt-chaser" culture. Is there?

Quote
I meant that these population groups have much higher levels of the disease. Certainly, some of it is due to the difficulty of transmitting the virus through vaginal sex (less tearing, etc.). But that's only part of it, and doesn't explain the African heterosexual rate. Or the African-American het rate for that matter. Perhaps black men are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior? Doesn't seem likely, but who knows.

With all due respect, you seem to be struggling very hard to notice the obvious, and not quite seeing it. I'm not going to claim that African cultures generally are more broadly promiscuous; data on these matters are very hard to collect reliably. What is NOT hard to collect are data on levels of Africal public and private health availability. In Nigeria (to pick someplace pretty much at random) how hard is it to be tested and/or treated for HIV? How difficult is it to buy condoms? How likely are people to seek this sort of help? What is the ratio of doctors to population?

Quote
Unless society denies that certain behaviors/cultures are more likely to lead to the disease. Or a Marxist media tries to hide the truth.

Giggle. Uh, right. Certainly the US media have not denied that HIV has been most prevalent in gay communities. But I do think it's just Bad Luck that HIV got its start in those communities, because there IS a great deal of hostility toward them nationwide, much of it religion-oriented. If HIV had by chance begun in upper class circles, we'd have seen a LOT more attention paid a LOT sooner.

Unless you are going to argue that upper class adolescents and young adults have a lot less sex, as opposed to a lot more ability to keep the side-effects under wraps.

Quote
Male homosexuality -> more likely to engage in promiscuous sex -> lack of concern for a sexual partner's welfare -> sociopathic behavior

But perhaps this sequence is an artifact of something you'd rather not consider? I can see how male homosexuals may be more promiscuous - the threat of unwanted pregnancy is not there, and the male sexual response is a lot easier to trigger. I very very seriously doubt that homosexuals' concern for a partner's welfare are biologically distinct from anyone else. This claim falls squarely into the "niggers are lazy" category, somewhere someone shouldn't go who makes as big a deal of "the evidence" as you do.

Back in the distant past, I was once informed AFTER sex, by a nice white woman I met in the church choir, that she had an STD. But she wasn't about to let me know until she got what she wanted. At least she told me! Was she a sociopath, or just self-centered? Or is this self-centered behavior when you or I do it, and sociopathic when homosexuals do it, because we are just weak, whereas THEY are *depraved*?

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,10:33   

Quote
Male homosexuality -> more likely to engage in promiscuous sex -> lack of concern for a sexual partner's welfare -> sociopathic behavior

This is just my hypothesis, but at least it attempts to explain the evidence, and it also accounts for the correlation between loose morality and violence evidenced in the overall community (high homicide rate during the 20's and 70's in America, etc.)


Well, since this is your hypothesis, and it does not originate from this survey (and I agree), can you tell me, in your words, what makes you think that the first correlation in your hypothesis (Male homosexuality -> more likely to engage in promiscuous sex) is valid?
Please do not use the high occurence of STDs as evidence, as this is the relation we're trying to establish- and that would be circular reasoning, worthy only of trolldaddy.
So, why do you think that a homosexual is inevitably (or even dominantly) prone to promiscuous sex and disregard for their sexual partner's safety, as well as their own? At least more than a heterosexual person would, under the same circumstances? And what evidence do you have to support this claim that homosexuals are prone to sociopathy?

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,10:39   

Faid:

Quote
can you tell me, in your words, what makes you think that the first correlation in your hypothesis (Male homosexuality -> more likely to engage in promiscuous sex) is valid?

I suggested a couple of possibilities, and so I'm willing to grant this for the sake of argument. But the rest of the sequence I can't find any case for that doesn't rest on foregone conclusions.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,10:49   

Flint,
Actually, I do believe that a large percent of homosexuals may engage in what Ghost describes as sociopathic behavior", although I seriously doubt that it's as large as that of sexually active teenagers, f.e. -or even young bachelor heterosexual adults, for that matter.
I just believe that the reasons for this are not related with homosexuality itself, but rather with the very act of discrimination against it.
But I'm interested in what Ghost has to say.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,11:02   

Faid:

Quote
I just believe that the reasons for this are not related with homosexuality itself, but rather with the very act of discrimination against it.

I'm also interested in what you are saying. Are you implying that "sexually active teenagers, or even young bachelor heterosexual adults" do more of this stuff than homosexuals because they are *even more* discriminated against? Really?

I just don't see discrimination relating to sexual behavior in any direct or even indirect way I can see. So your claim confuses me.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,11:19   

Faid:
Quote
Well, since this is your hypothesis, and it does not originate from this survey (and I agree), can you tell me, in your words, what makes you think that the first correlation in your hypothesis (Male homosexuality -> more likely to engage in promiscuous sex) is valid?

Other than common sense, you mean? O.K.
Quote
A monograph from The Medical Institute for Sexual Health a nonprofit
medical/educational organization concerned with the twin epidemics of
nonmarital pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases reveals the
following information.
[....]
Homosexual men, on average, become sexually active approximately three
years earlier than do heterosexual men. In general, homosexual men tend
to have significantly more lifetime sexual partners than do
heterosexual men.

Or try this one:
Quote
An exhaustive study in The New England Journal of Medicine, medical literature's only study reporting on homosexuals who kept sexual "diaries," indicated the average homosexual ingests the fecal material of 23 different men each year. The same study indicated the number of annual sexual partners averaged nearly 100. Homosexuals averaged, per year, fellating 106 different men and swallowing 50 of their seminal ejaculations, and 72 penile penetrations of the anus. (Corey, L, and Holmes, K.K., "Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis A in Homosexual Men," New England Journal of Medicine, 1980, vol 302: 435-438; as quoted in "Homosexuality and Civil Rights," Tony Marco, 1992).

A study by McKusick, et al., of 655 San Francisco homosexuals reported that only 24 percent of the sample claimed to have been "monogamous" during the past year, and of this 24 percent, 5 percent drank urine, 7 percent engag-ed in sex involving insertion of a fist in their rectums, 33 percent ingested feces, 53 percent swallowed semen and 59 percent received semen in their rectums in the month just previous to the survey ("AIDS and Sexual Behavior Reported by Homosexual Men in San Francisco," American Journal of Public Health, December 1985, 75: 493-496; quoted in "Homosexuality and Civil Rights," Tony Marco, 1992).

Quote
AIDS research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that the typical homosexual interviewed claimed to have had more than 500 different sexual partners in a lifetime. Considered by themselves, the AIDS victims in this study averaged more than 1,100 lifetime sexual partners. Some reported as many as 20,000. Studies reported by A-P. Bell, M.S. Weinberg and S.K. Hammersmith in the book "Sexual Preference" (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1981) indicated that only 3 percent of homosexuals had fewer than 10 lifetime sexual partners. Only about 2 percent could be classified as either monogamous or semi-monogamous (from "Homosexuality and Civil Rights," Tony Marco, 1992).


And what of our Sapphic sisters, you might ask?

Quote
Lesbians show similar patterns of high venereal disease incidence relative to the general population. They are 19 times more likely to have had syphilis, twice as likely to have had genital warts, four times as likely to have had scabies, seven times more likely to have had infection from vaginal contact, 29 times more likely to have had oral infection from vaginal contact and 12 times more likely to have had an oral infection from penile contact ("Medical Aspects of Homosexuality," Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality, 1985, Jaffe and Keewhan, et al.; quoted in "Homosexuality and Civil Rights," Tony Marco, 1992).

Since these (admittedly biased) sites quote actual studies, I think the claim rests on your shoulders now.

Flint:
Quote
With all due respect, you seem to be struggling very hard to notice the obvious, and not quite seeing it. I'm not going to claim that African cultures generally are more broadly promiscuous; data on these matters are very hard to collect reliably.

I think one of my sources provides an explanation.
Quote
Back in the distant past, I was once informed AFTER sex, by a nice white woman I met in the church choir, that she had an STD. But she wasn't about to let me know until she got what she wanted. At least she told me! Was she a sociopath, or just self-centered? Or is this self-centered behavior when you or I do it, and sociopathic when homosexuals do it, because we are just weak, whereas THEY are *depraved*?

If the STD was very serious, then yes, she qualifies as a sociopath. If it was treatable or nonserious, then she was just a jerk. Not that the tramp has my sympathy.
Quote
In other words, I'm saying there's good cause to think that promiscuity is much more correlated with individual preferences than with membership in some particular group like the gay community. Do you know differently?

Yes, and the above explains why.
Quote
And this leaves "culture as the leading candidate" without visible means of support. I'm not sure there is an identifiable "promiscuity" culture, or a "loose women" culture, or a "skirt-chaser" culture. Is there?

No, I'm sure phrases like "Hitting bitches" and "wearing a tramp stamp" are products of my fevered imagination. Do you know what a "rainbow party" is? Some say it's just an urban legend, but no one finds its existence implausible. Why is that, you think?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,11:20   

No the reasons are different for teenagers (they mostly have to do with the feeling of invulnerability that comes with that age, in my opinion). When talking about homosexuals, it is possible that the fact they're treated as outcasts makes some among them feel and behave as such, making them reckless and with a knee-jerk reaction to any rules set in the society that makes them feel unwanted.
That, however, is not representative of homosexuals in general, and as a matter of fact it's something to be expected, to a degree, in any social group that's been discriminated against.
Unfortunately, to the minds of people like thordaddy, the exception becomes the rule.
But the main issue remains: Regarding safety from STDs, There is absolutely no difference between a reckless homosexual and a reckless heterosexual; The only issue with male homosexuals is the higher percentage of practicing anal sex, that can make them more vulnerable. But, like I've said before, that only means a homosexual should be more aware and careful; claiming that this makes them "abnormal" is like claiming that surgeons are freaks, because they have a greater chance of getting infected with STDs than other doctors.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,11:49   

Quote
All the evidence I've read so far only goes as far as saying that there MAY BE a genetic component to a homosexual predisposition with the environment being that which manifests this predisposition.
You could have said there “MAY BE” a genetic component even before you collected any evidence! In light of the evidence, you’d have to say “there most probably is”.  What evidence (data, studies, publications) are you referring to when you talk about “the environment being that which manifests this predisposition”? I get the impression that’s your way of rephrasing “personal choice”  which – it’s my impression – has very little to do with it.

Quote
So, if we are teaching young American school children that homosexuality is a normal "sexual orientation" while study after study shows incredible risk in engaging in homosexual acts, what exactly is the public school system trying to accomplish given what we know about the science?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: What is being taught that shouldn’t be? Should kids be taught that homosexuality is “abnormal”? Would that solve your problem? If you just report to them the percentage of homosexuals and heterosexuals in the population, would that get your point across? Or is it really important to you that the word “abnormal” be used?  As for “incredible risk” – it’s elevated relative to other groups. But “incredible”? Would it not be wise to talk about all risky behaviors – about which you can do something, rather than sexual orientation, about which you can’t (except in NARTH fantasyland, of course).

Quote
If one's environment is critical in manifesting a homosexual predisposition…
a huge and highly dubious “if”…
Quote
then it should be clear that we are teaching young children to engage in dangerous and deadly behaviors.
See, here’s where some specifics would really come in handy. What young children? Are you talking about 6-year olds learning that “Johnny has two daddies” again? Are you talking about not trying to warn high-school kids against being homosexual? What are you talking  about???

Quote
This to me is outrageous and with friends like this, who needs enemies.
What is outrageous? You think we’re killing gay kids with kindness for not insisting they be straight?
Quote
Homosexuals (gay males) are estimated to be about 1-2% of the American population.
Estimated by whom?
Quote
About 60% of new AIDS infections are contracted through homosexual sex (anal sex).
No, about 60% of the cases among men, i.e. about 60% of 70%, or about 42% of the total.  

Quote
Again, if the homosexual act is indistinguishable from the homosexual then how can we teach young children about the "normalcy" of homosexuality?
Did you notice that this sentence makes no sense at all? There isn’t even a part of this sentence that makes sense.

Quote
If science tells us that one's environment plays a major role in manifesting a possible genetic homosexual predisposition…
which, so far as I can see, it isn’t…
Quote
aren't we in fact teaching young children to engage in dangerous and deadly behaviors with our non-discrimination and tolerance policies?
Huh? You think what gay kids need is the “tough love” of discrimination and intolerance – so they’ll become heterosexual, and therefore at lower risk for HIV?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,12:01   

Faid:

I remain unconvinced. If we trust Ghost's information (and I'm not rejecting it reflexively), it tells us that gays are generally more promiscuous than heterosexuals. But it doesn't tell us that discrimination explains this in the case of gays, whereas other factors explain it in the case of different groups or categories.

Perhaps the simple impossibility of conception explains a great deal of this behavior. I always ask of myself: If I were single, if I had access to a great many partners, if I weren't in danger of becoming a parent, if I were young, healthy and randy, what posture might I adopt? I can't guarantee I wouldn't feel "Why not?" and just go for it. If I were aware of serious and prevalent disease, if I noticed a lot of those in my cohort becoming sick and dying, I'd probably take precautions. Most of the time.

This still leaves what I consider an important issue: any relatively different value placed by individuals on a committed relationship. So Ghost's statistics indicate that even "mostly monogamous" relationships are rare in the gay community. Of course, I've seen statistics indicating that no more than 10% of heterosexual married couples anonymously claim neither partner had sex outside the marriage since they married.

The implication here is that humans aren't particularly faithful, sexually speaking. Humans like variety and novelty. Whether gays like it MORE than straights, I wouldn't know how to assess.

Ghost:

I'm fairly certain that access to useful medical attention of all kinds (condoms, doctors, even correct information) is MUCH more difficult in sub-Saharan Africa, yet I notice you simply tuned out the main point I made. Is it any wonder you have trouble seeing this?

Quote
If the STD was very serious, then yes, she qualifies as a sociopath. If it was treatable or nonserious, then she was just a jerk. Not that the tramp has my sympathy.

Well, let's just say you and I have VERY different levels of tolerance and forgiveness. I admit I have problems trying to hold others to standards I'm not sure if I meet myself. My house may not be entirely glass, but it does have windows.

Quote
No, I'm sure phrases like "Hitting bitches" and "wearing a tramp stamp" are products of my fevered imagination.

You aren't answering what I asked, though. Maybe I phrased it poorly. I agree these people exist. I was asking whether they *as a group* represented a distinct subculture, with all that entails. To me, these are simply the far ends of bell curves. In general, we think of heterosexuals and homosexuals as being fairly bimodal; not a lot of crossover (though there is some), whereas the descriptions you put forth here seem to refer to *relative proclivities*, along a fairly continuous spectrum where lines are drawn much more arbitrarily. Sex with N partners a year where N rises toward one end of the curve, and you can pick a number beyond which you consider immoral. To me, this is qualitatively different.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,12:03   

I'm sorry Ghost, but these are not just biased sites that cite studies. They are biased sites that cite studies by biased organizations (check out the "Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality", or the "Medical Institute for Sexual Health", and see for yourself). Also, they quote a 1992 biased book that in turn refers (not quotes) to two articles from journals of the 80's, claiming that they indicate this behavior. I could not find these articles, except as a reference in other biased sites. So, sorry, but it's still in your shoulders ,I fear- After all, it shouldn't be that hard to find an objective comparative study of sexual behavior in homo- and heterosexual adults... I actually believe you'll find a lot, if you look past your bookmarks.
You don't have to, however: I,m interested, as I said before, to know why you think this is so. I wanted to know more about this "common sense" bit: The reasons (obvious in your mind, I see) that homosexuals are more prone to disregard for their personal and their partners safety.
Can you elaborate?

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A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."