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via joe.my.god -
I agree on scientists. As someone who has BS, MS, and PhD (as some called it, "bullshit, more shit, pile high and deep") in microbiology / biochemical engineering, I can tell you that scientists are all too human. Including myself. Also during my science education (70s, 80s), there was no lack of homophobia among the biologists, biochemists, chemists, and engineers who I was around. I think there was a greater prevalence of LGBT people in grad school, compared to the general population, when I did that. My thought is that the indentured servitude of being a grad student does not make for happy hetero family life. But then again, I always felt outside and disposable. But then again, that indentured servitude, with long chaotic hours and lack of access to "gay life" (or "real life") probably kept me out of situations, at the time, that would have kept me from living this long.
You are absolutely correct. In fact, in many species which live in groups, fertile offspring and other relatives are discouraged from breeding. Breeding occurs among the high ranking members, while the rest of the family helps to raise the next generation. "It takes a village."
It is only when those who break out to find mates and form their own groups, are allowed to breed. Meerkats, wolves, African dogs and gerbils are a few of the species which live in this manner. There are also species of birds where older siblings help to raise the newest arrivals.
In humans, having gay relatives to help raise your young is a biological advantage as well as enabling the gay person to pass on his genes through nieces and nephews.
The problem with some scientists is that they are human, so they carry their personal prejudices with them.
Dominic, I agree with what you say.
I would also add that the canard about having same-sex orientation, either exclusive or partial, being anti-evolutionary is so tiresome it's hard to read. Many social animal communities (hives) have members who are not intended or able to reproduce. Think of a bee hive - the vast majority of the bees are nonreproductive. Other eusocial species (species in which the community is the reproductive unit, rather than all individuals) include naked mole rat, Damaraland mole rat, some wasps, ants, and termites. They all evolved that way, and they don't have little Mole rats marching around saying "God hates nonreproducing mole rats".
Other than naked mole rates, I doubt that there is any other species as social as Homo sapiens, which can have literally millions of inhabitants in a single colony. So what if not all individuals reproduce? Does it matter if a few don't pump out babies when there are millions of babies to be fed?
The loss of a minority of genes from the human gene pool due to lack of 100% reproductive effectiveness has not stopped the species from overtaking the planet. If fertility was such an issue, why do we kill hundreds of millions in war and enslavement/genocide? Humans are doubtless the most fecund mammal, and certainly the most fecund primate, in the current geological era.
Back to the social species, there is evidence for reproductive advantage of genes that result in gay males. The situation for Lesbians is more complex. For gay men, there is evidence that the genetic traits of the mother, which result in greater liklihood of gay sons, make the mother more fertile. In addition, the presence of the nonreproductive son can result in more return of resources back into the family or origin, rather than the son striking out on his own for his own family - the gay brother or uncle who helps care for their nieces/nephews or siblings.
I agree that same-sex sexual activity is observed in many species, documented and displayed in videos for anyone to see. Whether that activity is exclusive, or situational, or opportunistic, doesn't matter - they do it, different species likely do it for different reasons, and all species that are here, have reproduced effectively pending the next geological or environment disaster.
Before I slam scientists, allow me to praise science. Science is simply the study of life and it can answer every question. For example, only through science will we learn about black holes, dark energy and dark matter. If we never find all of the answers to our questions about these things, it is not because science has failed us, but because we are lacking in our knowledge, equipment, and ability to research something. This just all means that it is our own human failings which sometimes keep us from knowing the answers or solutions to scientific questions. For too long, scientists have hidden facts about the sexuality of non-human animals. I have been around animals all of my life, many more species than the average person, and although bisexuality seems to exists at a higher rate than homosexuality, both exists with obvious frequency.
There was a comment made about, "Oh Fluffy is jealous of the baby." Well guess what, step away from your white jacket for a moment, Fluffy is jealous of the baby. Fluffy now understands that this other life form is getting attention and that he is getting less attention.
There was a time when some of the maniac "scientists" made claims that non-humans animals could not feel pain. While they were torturing a dog in the lab, did they not go home and say, "Sorry boy," when they stepped on Fluffy's tail, knowing that it was obvious that Fluffy feels pain?
While it is true that we humans can be quite ridiculous sometimes in assigning our cultural wants and desires on our pets, is it any less ridiculous to deny other animals with brains and nerve endings, and who live complicated lives with social activities, feelings of pain, boredom, fear, and love?
Just as slave owners and conquers deny the feelings, pain, and emotions of those people they subjugate, scientists have done that to non-human animals, and religion has done that to both non-human animals and the LGBT community. At one time scientists also bought into the ill treatment of LGBT people. The problem is not with science, it is with some of the people who work in science.
If two non-human animals of the same sex are coming together for sexual gratification (I have seen it myself), then they are engaged in homosexual activity. No one needs a committee, a dissection of the brain, or the church to give us permission to see the obvious.
So while Fluffy doesn't care if he is wearing a rainbow collar or not, he certainly may care about engaging in rainbow activities.
from BBC. The Hunt for the Gay Whale Can animals really be gay? Some biologists argue that they can, and that their experiences challenge Darwin's theories of evolution. Hermione Cockburn investigates. (I thought E O Wilson explained "gayness" with his theory of altruism. - Gary) audio stream: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01k1mwp/The_Hunt_for_the_Gay_...
Hey, just an idea. It seems to invariably come up more often than not while I'm watching/reading news stories that Republicans don't like taxes or gay people. So, call your Republican representative (if you don't have one, call any republican representative, I'm sure they will take your call) and get them to ban gay people paying taxes! 2 birds with one stone! You have reduced taxes, plus since gay people no longer have to pay taxes, politically the Republicans have sidelined the "Gay Agenda". Of course, the tax burden will shift to myself and others, but what's one more straw to support. lol! (Tongue firmly in cheek).
I used to be like that, too, Sentient. However, I felt overwhelmed. Now, I just follow them all on twitter. I am a regular on Queerty because of the snarky tone. I am like that anyway, so I fit right in there.
Shannon, I read some of the same ones as you. Usually joe.my.god, hufpo gay voices, queerty, rod 2.0, holy bullies and headless monsters, advocate, towleroad, thinkprogress lgbt, and sometimes a few others. I think that's why I need to cut back. There is a fair amount of cross pollination among these.
So you guys should totally help me out and go read and comment.
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