Saturday, May 28, 2005

Chuck Colson Notes Biological Tensions Within Gay Gene Proponents
Someone else who couldn’t wait to herald the study as a breakthrough is Steven Pinker of Harvard. Pinker is the author of The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Like Time, Pinker begins in a major New York Times op-ed by noting that the differences in brain response don’t “prove that homosexuality is innate,” but he ends by invoking those scary religious types. Along the way, he acknowledges the obvious: “Any genetic tendency to avoid heterosexual opportunities should have been selected out long ago.”

Of course—any gene that led men to prefer men as sexual partners would have led to the extinction of its carriers. In Darwinist terms, homosexuality is “evolutionarily maladaptive.” Given this tension between evolutionary biology and the requirements of political correctness, Pinker is forced to speculate about what, if anything, could reconcile the two.

So he repeats the word perhaps over and over, and then he skates around the question of Darwinism and morality—a minefield, by the way, for Darwinists—and then, of all things, suggests a possible evolutionary cause for “homophobia.” If you’re confused, you’re not the only one. Pinker’s floundering is what happens when you are trying to please two equally jealous gods.

Ironically, such a conundrum isn’t necessary. Neuroscientists have long known that the connection between the brain and human behavior is a two-way street. The patterns observed in the in hypothalamuses of gay men are just as likely to be an effect of their sexuality as a cause of it.

Now, both the Times and Time noted this—and yet they couldn’t resist running with the “gay gene” angle. Likewise, they know that a genetic predisposition, if one exists, to behave a certain way isn’t a moral license.

Geoff, I tend to think of this as the problem of viewing human beings as clockwork angels. On the one hand, humanity is just an evolved machine, a clockworks. This is the naturalistic presupposition. But on the other hand, humanity is angelic, as in neither marrying nor being given to one another in marriage, absolutely equal in all repects and disembodied souls or abstractions. This is the liberal egalitarian presupposition. It shows that liberalism has derived to contrary benefits from Christianity that it cannot reconcile without it -- the rise of modern science which it makes exclusive as a method of truth and an ideal eschatology which it makes imminant.
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