Question Of The Day

1 comment May 17th, 2005at 12:43pm Posted by Eli

Harvard cognitive science professor Steven Pinker asks, “Why didn’t evolution shape straight men to react to their gay fellows by thinking: ‘Great! More women for me!'”

Damn good question, really… His own answer boils down to something along the lines of “Because straight people find the thought of sex with their own gender icky, they automatically conclude that it must be immoral and evil as well,” which sounds like as good an explanation as any, although it probably doesn’t go far enough in the direction of backlash against any behavior outside of accepted social norms, by which I mean Wally and the Beave, not Wally and the Steve. Um, or something.

Another observation that I found intriguing:

Cultural conservatives like the talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlesinger ostensibly condemn homosexuality for another reason – that it is a “biological error.” Actually, it is she who has made the biological error. What is evolutionarily adaptive and what is morally justifiable have little to do with each other. Many laudable activities – being faithful to one’s spouse, turning the other cheek, treating every child as precious, loving thy neighbor as thyself – are “biological errors” and are rare or unknown in the natural world.

I think this is interesting more for what it says about fundamentalism than what it says about homosexuality – namely that while the New Testament advocates the vast majority of admirable but maladaptive behaviors, the fundamentalists use it as cover to let their atavistic flag fly, as they give in to their most primal and “adaptive” reptilian impulses of selfishness, hate and bloodshed. (Please note, I am specifying fundamentalists, not Christians in general, many of whom actually take the New Testament seriously.)

They may or may not realize it, but perhaps the fundamentalist extremists are acting as agents of strictly-defined biological adaptiveness, instinctively lashing out at anything and anyone that would not advance the species in a perfectly Hobbesian state of nature (See also: Afghanistan; Iraq; Sudan; Libertarian Heaven).

Or they could just be cynical, power-mad assholes. Whichever.

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Religion,Republicans,Science,Wankers

1 Comment

  • 1. oldwhitelady  |  May 17th, 2005 at 9:16 pm

    Or they could just be cynical, power-mad assholes. Whichever.

    I’ll give them the benefit of doubt. I pick this option!

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