California Love

Firstly, what kind of name is Perez?

I don’t think opinions on this issue should have anything to do with how you’ve been raised, but this cost her the Miss USA title*, so kudos for standing up for what she believes.

I have an honest, serious question to people who claim homosexuality is genetic, I’m really not trying to be funny. How are gays not extinct? If someone has an answer, please do let me know.

*I couldn’t care less who has the Miss USA title, but presumably she wanted it.

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11 thoughts on “California Love

  1. “Firstly, what kind of name is Perez?”

    I think it’s French, but it’s also fake. He made it up so it sounds like “Paris Hilton”. Now it’s his stage name.

    “How are gays not extinct?”

    Not all genetic traits are passed on only from the parent to the child. And many traits are recessive, meaning you can have the gene or genes for it and yet not have the traits caused by those genes manifest.

    I also heard something on the radio a while back (take this with a grain of salt, obviously) that suggested the same genes that cause a female to be more fertile may also contribute in making a male homosexual.

    Which would make a sort of sense, since overpopulation is a danger and having a certain portion of the population in a position to not procreate would help prevent that.

    1. thanks for replying,
      the perez question wasn’t a serious one, but i do have a couple more on what you’ve said:

      i realise that some traits are recessive, but surely genes that prevent procreation are always going to be a disadvantage in terms of natural selection?

      also, how intelligent does the universe have to be to encourage gay genes in order to prevent overpopulation?

  2. “i realise that some traits are recessive, but surely genes that prevent procreation are always going to be a disadvantage in terms of natural selection?”

    Natural selection works on a species-wide scale, not an individual one. As long as everyone didn’t suddenly become homosexual, the minority who are aren’t really going to keep the species as a whole from continuing to exist.

    That being said, if everyone became female or male (or we started to only give birth to one sex), then that would be detrimental to our species’ survival too. The question is…so what?

    Again, keeping the species from overpopulation is an advantage.

    “also, how intelligent does the universe have to be to encourage gay genes in order to prevent overpopulation?”

    First of all, why ‘the universe’?

    Secondly, that’s how natural selection works. Certain genes get passed on, others don’t. If the genes don’t cause any harm (like homosexuality), or create a benefit (like having a stronger immune system), they are more likely to be passed on. The ones that give benefit are obviously passed on more widely, the neutral ones less so.

    I personally don’t see why it matters. There are obviously genetic factors that contribute to homosexuality, but even if they didn’t I don’t see how it would change anything.

    1. Starting with your last point, viewing the world from a Christian perspective, believing humans were created by God, practising homosexuality looks like a violation of the natural order given to allow reproduction. So a problem arises when people claim that they can’t help being homosexual because their genes dictate their sexuality.

      Now I would not attempt to argue that genes do not affect aspects of personality, so, for example, some men will be very macho while others will be more sensitive, but I don’t believe the gender I choose to mate with is determined by my genes. (I say “mate”, not sure it counts, but that’s not important)

      “Natural selection works on a species-wide scale, not an individual one.”
      A species is usually defined as a group of individuals that are capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring. So if genes make someone homosexual, they are effectively a different species. Again, I’m really not trying to be funny here (nor am I suggesting that homosexuals are not human).

      This is where I don’t understand the theory of evolution, what you’re saying suggests that species become extinct pretty much all at once. But I thought evolution was supposed to be a very gradual process, like 1 gene at a time sort of changes, so there would be very little difference between one species and the next.

      By ‘the universe’ I mean, assuming a homosexuality gene is an evolutionary advantage for the species as a whole, how is it encouraged? because it’s clearly not an evolutionary advantage to the individual concerned.

  3. “but I don’t believe the gender I choose to mate with is determined by my genes.”

    You can believe whatever you like. The facts, however, contradict what you believe.

    “So if genes make someone homosexual, they are effectively a different species.”

    No. They still can mate with females. They just have no desire to do so.

    “what you’re saying suggests that species become extinct pretty much all at once.”

    Where do I say that?

    “how is it encouraged?”

    Not sure. If what I heard is true, and the same genes that cause a woman to be more fertile can cause a man to be homosexual, then that would explain it. But I’m not a geneticist, so I don’t know.

    “So a problem arises when people claim that they can’t help being homosexual because their genes dictate their sexuality.”

    For me, it doesn’t matter one bit. Homosexuals don’t harm me. Their actions don’t harm me. Their actions don’t even harm them (any more than straight sex harms straight people, as long as they are practicing safe sex). Them being homosexual doesn’t affect me, or anyone not involved with it, so I see no reason to be concerned about it.

  4. I think the problem is (purely on the genetic argument) that you don’t actually seem to understand the evolutionary theory, morsec0de. The idea that the human species could somehow be willing itself to control population growth is quite a nice one, in the sense that it means we’re unwillingly controlling our population. However, that is not how the theory works. The point of atheistic evolutionary theory is that the species develops so that it will be the dominant species. Also, it would not occur on a species-wide scale. The theory requires that a gene is passed on to be effective, which would seem to confuse the matter – that doesn’t make sense if the purpose of the gene was to stop population growth as it creates a paradox.

    On the statement you make at the beginning of your final paragraph, ‘For me…’ is a subjective statement. It seems to me that the purpose of this discussion is to come to an objective answer. The question is whether or not we should be treating the Bible as an historical document and if it fails where we can test it.

  5. “The idea that the human species could somehow be willing itself to control population growth is quite a nice one,”

    Strange. Not what I wrote.

    “The point of atheistic evolutionary theory is that the species develops so that it will be the dominant species.”

    Um…no, it’s not. Not sure where you got that from. But not from a biologist.

    1. So you think the male homosexuality genes are encouraged because they reduce the size of the population, but you think they are the same genes that make women more fertile?
      Do you see the problem with that? It only works if they have just sons. (or at least significantly more sons than daughters, as the daughters would presumably also be more fertile and have more offspring)

      Your claim that natural selection works on a species-wide scale, not on individuals, is what led me to think that you meant species become extinct in one go. I didn’t mean that whole species die off in the same instant. The impression I’ve got from every other evolutionist is that changes are very gradual, that advantageous genes are ones that allow an individual to produce more offspring, these are the genes that spread, while less effective genes eventually die out.

  6. I’m aware of at least one attempt to explain homosexuality in evolutionary biological/psychological terms. It’s often unflatteringly referred to as the ‘Gay Uncle’ theory.

    The idea’s pretty simple; organisms are driven by their genes to pass on their genes. Obviously, procreation gets 50% of your genes passed on, and looking after your progeny until his/her own sexual maturity maximises the chance of 50% of THAT 50% being passed on another time and so on. This is usually an optimal strategy, hence heterosexuality is most common even in cultures where alternatives are tolerated. BUT (so the argument goes) sometimes a better strategy is to nurture and protect other individuals with whom you share some portion of your genes. So you don’t create your own offspring, you just ensure that your nephews, nieces etc are looked after (since you share 25% of your genes with them) and increase their chances of reproducing to keep your genes in the game.

    I personally don’t believe this argument but I just thought I’d share to demonstrate that there is some thinking on this. I actually think that ‘is homosexuality genetic?’ is a badly-formed question in the first place. Human beings have all sorts of preferences for things, many of which are neutral or negative with regards to increasing reproductive success. I love falafel, books about cognitive science, and playing the guitar, and spend a lot of my time engaging with those things even though they won’t help me produce more offspring (the bad guitar playing would probably REDUCE the chances considerably!). In evolutionary terms, a waste of time, but for me… not. Maybe there’s something in my genome that codes for liking chocolate or books, but it’s probably not entirely that simple. Maybe homosexuality is in this vein too.

    Finally, to Tomcat Wheel: What exactly is an ‘atheistic evolutionary theory’? I’m not aware of this subtype of evolutionary theory, and the name sounds like a conflation of science and theology. If it is, then it’s as ridiculous as Buddhist Toxicology or Calvinist Solid-State Physics.

    Blah, big rant. Sorry.

  7. I admit that the explanation I gave on saying the purpose of evolution is to become the dominant species is somewhat vague and massively unexplained – apologies for that. What I mean by that is for that species to become one that thrives. From the perspective of bacteria, they clearly have the upper hand. They can grow most places, some can survive almost any type of environment but, from the human perspective, we clearly have the upper hand over them as we are larger, can manipulate the surrounding area we live in to accomodate us and are far more advanced in the sense that we’re sentient. I do admit that there are big gaps in what I’m saying, but the theory is too big to go into and probably far more complex than any one person can understand.

    As for the term ‘atheistic evolutionary theory’ – this does exist. You get theists (i.e. people from different faiths/believe in a deity) that believe in evolutionary theory but some of the points will be different in the beliefs – e.g. a Christian evolutionist will believe that God created the first life form, not what some scientists would call ‘random chance.’ Sorry if I left any confusion in my previous comment.

  8. For sure Tomcat; atheists, christians and followers of all religions can have opinions on evolution. *Anyone* can have an opinion on *anything*. But that’s very different from there existing different types of scientific theory on the subject such as ‘atheistic evolutionary theory’ or ‘theistic evoltionary theory’. The theory of evolution explains the diversity of life, it’s not a theory of metaphysics (so it has no stance on the existence of deities) and is agnostic to the question of life’s origin.

    There’s just ‘evolutionary theory’; and there are people who accept the evidence and believe the theory, and other people who don’t accept it and dissent from the theory.

    The theory of evolution is compatible with a belief in the existence of a deity. It is NOT compatible with some parts of the Christian tradition concerning the diversity of life (Noah’s ark and such), it’s contradictory to them. But as to a God existing or not existing (or even creating the first life form), that’s aside from evolutionary theory.

    And no worries about confusion. I regularly find it difficult to explain ideas that – in my head – seem perfectly clear; things are so often clearer in your head than on a page! 🙂

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