Monday, September 12, 2005

The gene and homosexuality - the sequel

...continued from The gene and homosexuality.

It seems that some people simply cannot get past religion, especially Christianity. They use science as a smokescreen for supposed objectivity and to hide from their innate moral rebellion against God.


Recently, Prof George Claassen (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), science editor of Die Burger, South Africa's largest Afrikaans daily paper, started hitting out against people of "faith." He did so in these columns he authored: 'Religion is a mental virus' (Aug 19, 2005), 'Switch on the baloney detectors' (Sep 2, 2005) and most recently Being gay 'is genetic' (Sep 9, 2005).

In 'Religion is a mental virus' Claassen made use of the all-knowing Richard Dawkins and his irrefutable evidence of evolution to "refute" people of "faith!" 'Switch on the baloney detectors' "proved" that people of "faith" were just not rational! Finally, in Being gay 'is genetic' Claassen once again uses the all-mighty SCIIEENCE! to prove that being gay is genetic.

It amazes me that Prof Claassen can be so vitriolic against people of "faith" because of their so-called irrationality, when he commits the very same crime!

It is one thing to claim that gays are born that way and that science has proven it, but it is yet another thing to ACTUALLY prove it!

The two studies that Claassen uses to give us proof of the gay "gene" give us no proof at all! He uses two studies, one by LeVay in 1991 and the other by Hamer in 1993. Both of these studies appeared in the Science Journal. Both of these studies have been debunked by other scientists.


LeVay

William Byne writes of LeVay’s work that it "has not been replicated, and human neuroanatomical studies of this kind have a very poor track record for reproducibility. Indeed, procedures similar to those LeVay used to identify nuclei have previously led researchers astray."[1]

Byne continues about LeVay’s findings by writing that "[h]is inclusion of a few brains from heterosexual men with AIDS did not adequately address the fact that at the time of death, virtually all men with AIDS have decreased testosterone levels as the result of the disease itself or the side effects of particular treatments. To date, LeVay has examined the brain of only one gay man who did not die of AIDS."[2]


It is also important to note LeVay’s own admission: "It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain." (Quoted in Byrd)[3]

The biggest problem with this whole study is that it could not and did not prove whether this difference of the brain was the cause of the homosexuality or as a result of homosexuality.

Hamer, et al

The first problem with this study is that Hamer and his associates did not test whether the straight men in the families of the homosexuals also shared the genetic marker found in the homosexuals! Secondly, of the 40 pairs of homosexual brothers that Hamer tested, 7 pairs did not possess the matching DNA region called q28 found in the other 33 pairs. Hamer does not explain this difference in these 7 pairs of brothers. If q28 indeed is the homosexual marker, one would expect this marker to be present in all homosexuals. This was not the case!

Reasonable Doubt

So, as can be seen there is reasonable doubt as to whether these two studies discovered anything of value! For a more in-depth reply to the homosexual gene theory, "This is the Way God Made Me:" A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the "Gay Gene" by Brad Harrub, Ph.D. and Bert Thompson, Ph.D. and Dave Miller, Ph.D. is a good place to start.

Concerning evolution and homosexuality, I have written in my post called The gene and homosexuality that evolution is totally self-defeating if it leads to homosexuality.

End Notes
1. Byne, William (1994), "The Biological Evidence Challenged," Scientific American, 270[5]:50-55, May. p53.
2. Ibid., p53.
3. Byrd, A. Dean, Shirley E. Cox, and Jeffrey W. Robinson (2001), "Homosexuality: The Innate-Immutability Argument Finds No Basis in Science," The Salt Lake Tribune, [On-line] URL: http://www.sltrib.com/2001/may/05272001/commenta/100523.htm.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Prove to me that God exists. Prove to me that this intangible power is really there.

Personally, I believe in God, but beliefs are formed through faith and faith is trusting that something is there with out actually knowing. Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing. Just like you can't "prove" to anyone that God exists, maybe scientists can't "prove" that there is a gene linked to homosexuality.

Here's a link to an article called "The Science of Gaydar": http://nymag.com/news/features/33520/
This also does not "prove" that people are either born gay or born straight, but it's about as much "proof" as what can ever be alotted, just like the bible is they only "proof" that we can have that God exists until we die.

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