“Death of the ‘gay gene'” — and of most everything else.

“Death of the ‘gay gene'” — and of most everything else. September 3, 2019

 

A DNA spiral
It’s scarcely coincidental that, if you scramble my name, “Dan,” you get “DNA.” I’m absolutely saturated with the stuff.  (Wikimedia Commons public domain)

 

Although most of us who have really thought about this issue concluded long since that genetics alone could not account for homosexuality — to say nothing of a specific “gay gene” — this is still a rather important study:

 

New York Times:  “Many Genes Influence Same-Sex Sexuality, Not a Single ‘Gay Gene’: The largest study of same-sex sexual behavior finds the genetics are complicated, and social and environmental factors are also key.”

 

Science News:  “There’s no evidence that a single ‘gay gene’ exists: Instead, a combo of small genetic factors and environmental influences affects partner choice”

 

National Review:  “Death of the ‘Gay Gene’: There isn’t one; there are many. Does it matter?”

 

In the New York Times story above, it’s striking how many people connected with or aware of the study were not sure that it should have been done or its results publicly shared.  Apparently, there is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of genetic science to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true, they might have said, are not very useful.  Is there a case to be made for what we might choose to call “sanitized science”?

 

It has, frankly, long seemed obvious to me both that (a) there is often, if perhaps not always, a genetic component to same-sex attraction and (b) that genetic factors could not possibly account for the entire phenomenon.  In one sense, this study merely confirms what already appeared to be fairly plain.

 

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Moreover, the doctrine that the Americas were settled by immigrants from Asia who traveled along the Bering Straits land bridge is now being challenged.  Apparently, things weren’t as simple as they once seemed:

 

“Stone tools may place some of the first Americans in Idaho 16,500 years ago: Artifacts add to evidence that North America’s early settlers predated an inland, ice-free path”

 

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Is a scandalous sexism rampant in palaeontological excavations?

 

“Why are fossils more often male?  Genetic sexing reveals some interesting anomalies. Dyani Lewis reports.”

 

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“Mass extinction event 2 billion years ago killed 99 percent of life on Earth, study says”

 

And then, quite a bit later:

 

“Oxygen depletion in ancient oceans caused major mass extinction”

 

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But, finally, on a more positive note:

 

“Want to live longer? You may want to ditch these drinks: Study: Artificial sweeteners linked to higher stroke risk”

 

 


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