Genetic? Not if you use your noggin.

Before I begin, let me point out that last night, IncrediIncredipete.com quietly passed half a million hits. The 500,000th hit belongs to someone in Australia. Hmm. Now who do we know that lives in Australia?

So, my genius brother emailed me yesterday with an interesting “proof” of why homosexuality cannot possibly be genetic, regardless whether you believe in Darwinism or Creationism. I thought it was good, so I’m posting it, followed by my own comments on the topic of genetic traits. Also, comments in [brackets] are my additions to his arguments.

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If homosexuality is supposedly genetic, why do we still see homosexuality today? Since homosexuals de facto cannot reproduce [assuming human cloning remains illegal], they cannot pass on their “different” genes to any next generation. With that in mind, even if we assume more people are coming out all the time and adopting a homosexual lifestyle as it becomes socially or morally acceptable, the number of gays would still be ultimately shrinking as they die off young (from disease) and (biologically) childless.

And truly any gay genes should have been eliminated in past times when homosexuality was previously acceptable, as in Rome and other parts of the ancient world. Their argument of genetic ties is kind of like saying that being born a-sexual (as a biological eunuch) is a hereditary, genetic fact of life. If it ever was, it would either been eliminated after a single generation, or it would have to be tied to frequent singular genetic mutations (occurring regularly but never being able to reproduce to pass on the mutations directly), which is biologically unheard-of and simply improbable.

So whether you look at it from God-genetics or Darwin-genetics, homosexuality simply cannot be tied to genetics.

Eat that, Darwin

The only other answer might be that homosexuality is found in certain mother’s genes, but even here there is a problem. As per the second law of thermodynamics, over time (or generations), un-useful genetic material like homosexual genes would eventually be lost because it would serve no purpose or advantage to the mother.

It has been proven that genetic material becomes increasingly less complex with each generation as information is lost in DNA production. With that, non-essential information like homosexual genes would surely be among the first to be eliminated.

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Interesting. You see, most of you already know, I’m a staunch believer that most, if not all, destructive or “alternative” lifestyles are a product of environment and experiences. I’m not going to sit here and try and tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. I’m not here to do that, but I am here to say we should call things what they are. A choice.

One example I’ve used before is the idea of the “obesity gene.” Are there some people who have diseases and disorders which make them gain and maintain extra weight? Of course. I’m not talking about those people whatsoever. But what about people who don’t have a disease causing it? Is it a genetic predisposition to overeat?

Not likely, given that obesity is a leading cause of death. It would seem that if it were a genetic trait, it would be getting more and more rare, not more and more prevalent. Call me crazy.

The same is true of drug addiction. Are people genetically predisposed, or did they just start down a bad path and can’t figure out how to change?

So, what am I saying? Well, genetic traits that are damaging or harmful to a species are always eliminated over time through natural selection. This is observable science. I do not believe for an instant that one can blame bad decision-making on genes.

Incredipete

  12 comments for “Genetic? Not if you use your noggin.

  1. October 19, 2006 at 1:25 pm

    Who gives a damn why people are homo? Why do we still have an appendix? and WHY do men have nipples? and what can be done about those poor individuals who are born less than well-equipped?

  2. October 19, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    Actually, answer those questions: it’s been proven that the appendix is actually a part of the immune system, like the tonsels. You can live without either, but your body will be more susceptible to different sicknesses. As far as nipples on men – besides the fact that girls think they are cute, they are also there because before we are born, we have the ability to become men or women. The Y chromosome initiates a hormonal bath weeks into pregnancy that causes a baby to become male, but the original potential for femaleness is not erased in the process. As far as what can be done for those other poor individuals, there is a reason why God invented pharmacists and books on tape, depending on the lack of equipment.

    All that to say, nipples, while a silly (but apparently cute) thing on men, are still attributed to biology and genetics, unlike many things we like to blame on genetics. (I’d like to blame the genetics of the woman who spilled McDonald’s coffee for making her a stupid clutz. Maybe she should have sued her mother instead of poor little McDonalds. She probably could have won.

  3. October 19, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    DK – Apparently the gay people are worried about why, because their camp is the camp constantly harping on the “we were born this way” thing.

  4. October 19, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    We all know the government is to blame for this.

  5. October 19, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    I don’t think “we are born this way” implies genetics. I think it just implies that gay people, like straight people, were born with their gender preference.

  6. Jodie
    October 19, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Ok. Can we say “recessive gene”?

    Or, as Andria so graciously pointed out, perhaps it’s some chemical or hormonal change that happens during gestation. I don’t claim to know why it happens, only that I never made any “decision” to be attracted to women.

    When you can recall for everyone the day you got up and said to yourself “I think I will like girls, and not guys” then we can discuss how sexual preference is a “choice”.

    And by the way, I have never been camping. So there.

  7. October 19, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Ahh, Jodie. I knew I could count on you for comment on this entry!

    I never meant to imply I thought it was a “choice.” My intention was to convey my belief that it is NOT in fact a conscious choice, but rather a product of environment and experiences.

  8. Jodie
    October 19, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    I still have to disagree with you. I don’t remember mom holding lesbian lessons after school. And I certainly did not grow up in a gay-friendly environment, nor did most gay and lesbian people (an assumption of course, but if we did we wouldn’t hear about kids like Matt Shepard).

  9. Wen
    October 19, 2006 at 8:41 pm

    Most of my gay friends will vehemently deny that homosexuality is genetic. Most of them believe that it is a nurture/nature issue. Interestingly, there is a theory
    that links prenatal hormones with sexual orientation ( here ). It’s an interesting premise, one that would make being homosexual as destructive or “alternative” as it would being left handed.

    I will argue your statement regarding homosexuality that: ” genetic traits that are damaging or harmful to a species are always eliminated over time through natural selection” as simply being a pat answer backed merely by anecdotal evidence. Your brother’s “proof” (or argument) that homosexuality cannot be genetic is supported more by confirmation bias (the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions) rather than hard scientific fact.

    What does that mean? Well, I think it means that your arm might be just the tiniest bit tired from strirring the pot, mister.

    I would like to know why you consider homosexuality destructive from a personal point of view, rather than a pseudo “proof”.

  10. Jodie
    October 19, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    imagine if I was queer AND left-handed!!!!
    and you think I’m strange now.

  11. October 20, 2006 at 10:06 am

    Wen, I think that biologically speaking, if the point of a species is to reproduce and sustain itself, then homosexuality is an unuseful trait, at a minimum.

    From a Biblical perspective (if that’s your thing), it’s specifically prohibited. If you read through the Biblical books of the law, you’ll notice some very interesting things. People were prohibited from doing things that would introduce and spread disease…. i.e. sex with numerous people (syphilis, herpes, chlamydia), same sex sex (aids, hepatitis), eating pork (strichinosis), being intimate with a woman on her period (blood borne pathogens), and the list goes on.

    Perhaps if we looked, just for the fun of a thought experiment, at the Bible as a list of guidelines for living a healthier life, we would find that following the Bible’s rules would indeed result in less disease and death in the world. My guess is, it would be a slam-dunk.

  12. October 20, 2006 at 10:32 am

    I don’t think you’re strange at all, my friend. My point was primarily based in the fact that not a single study attempting to link same-sex attraction with biology has been conclusive or repeatable. Not one. Now, I think that we are all products of our environment. Alcoholics may not have alcoholic parents or be raised around alcohol, but the broken homes, abuse, stress, and hardships they endure (all environmental factors) can lead to their addiction. I’m not saying alcoholics are strange either. I’m just saying that by linking things like alcoholism, shyness, or homosexuality to biology, we are essentially saying that people have no choice in how they respond to their environment. Alcoholics can overcome their addiction. Shy people can choose to overcome their fears and become great public speakers. And homosexuals who are unhappy with their attractions can choose another path. If you don’t believe me, just talk to the hundreds of former homosexuals who talk about their decision to walk away, several of whom are also close friends.
    Don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t think homosexuals are evil. I don’t think I am better than anyone else. We all have struggles that were thrust upon us without a conscious choice. So my message is: I care about you. Join me in truly becoming who we want to become (and I am so far away). Change is possible. But more than that, know that I am not judging you when I say that. If you choose to embrace those attractions, that truly is your choice. But those feelings are not set in stone if you want something else, just as feelings of anger, disgust, joy, and love can all be overcome if we so choose. We all just have to decide if the destination our paths are leading towards will be acceptable 30 years from now. We may be content at the moment, but can we honestly expect it to last? Are the choices we make today leading towards a fulfilled life when we are 60 years old? If not, my argument is that we cannot blame our difficult life on genetics. We can blame our parents, our teachers, our trash man, if we cannot take responsibiltiy for our own choices, but not genetics. That right is reserved for the physically and mentally disabled.
    Hate me, call me whatever names you want. But if you do so, know that I do accept you; I would gladly be your friend and you would never hear another word about this out of me. So if you think I am closed-minded, consider your own mind before you pass judgment on me. All I’m saying is that there is a choice.
    Wow, that was long, but thanks for listening all. I probably should have just posted this on my own site because of its length…

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