Homosexuality in Nature
(from Jim's July 18, 2004 Newsletter)
|The other day one of my favorite local folks
dropped by to share some of his delicious blueberries, and to chat for a bit. This time
his remark that got me going was that I knew how progressive he was on matters BUT, when
it came to gay marriages, he just couldn't take it, and surely nature doesn't put up with
things such as that.
My first impulse was to not even react, for to do so would have been to walk into the trap set by the Bush Administration, the goal of which is to stir up fear and hatred among a certain sector of the electorate, to distract them from the fact that they are being asked to vote against their own economic interests.
However, I couldn't ignore my friend's assertion that nature doesn't put up with such things as homosexuality.
For, nothing is more experimental and broad-minded than Mother Nature. When you look at the Creation you clearly see that the Creator's plan is to create diversity at all levels of reality, and to evolve that diversity to ever higher levels of sophistication -- whether it's forming galaxies from hydrogen gas, or evolving life on Earth. Moreover, just about any strategy furthering those blossomings is acceptable.
Among plants, sometimes flowers possess both male and female sex organs, sometimes they are unisexual and on different plants, sometimes unisexual and on the same plants, sometimes flowers are designed so they can't self-pollinate, other times they have to pollinate themselves, and some plants skip the sex scene altogether by reproducing vegetatively.
Among animals we find everything from the male seahorse who carries the eggs, hatches them and takes care of the young, to the "polyandrous" Spotted Sandpiper whose females may lay up to four nests in a season, each equipped with a different male incubating the eggs. Of course the common earthworm is both male and female, and some snails sometimes mate with themselves, producing offspring.
The higher up the evolutionary scale you go, the kinkier it all gets. Among communities of mice and other mammals, when population density reaches a certain high level where diseases and famine threaten, not only does homosexual behavior appear but also parents begin killing their own offspring. It's always the case that the Creator chooses the welfare of the community over that of the individual. If you'd like to review online notes of a series of university lectures dealing with parent-offspring conflict, including infanticide and the effects of high population densities on higher mammals, go to http://www-personal.umich.edu/~phyl/weektwelve.html
If you have access to a science library or can use a search engine artfully, references to technical, academic papers detailing homosexual behaviors in a wide variety of primates, from langurs to orangutans to pit-tailed macaques can be accessed at www.androphile.org/preview/Library/Articles/Werner/Werner20.24.htm
Among human populations, homosexuality occurs at a certain rate in all populations. Thus homosexuality is natural and inevitable. Data suggests that homosexuality may be at least partly genetically determined. A semi-technical paper at the University of Texas with the title "Biological Correlates of being Gay - Biological Determinism?" is available at www.utexas.edu/courses/bio301d/Topics/Gay/Text.html
In short, it's simply wrong to say that homosexual behavior is never natural.
Why would the Creator create this state of affairs among humans? I don't know, but my own experience with human gays is that, on the average, they are more sensitive, insightful and caring than the rest of us, so maybe that's enough of an answer right there.
With regard to the morality of it all, I would say that at this time when so many young people desperately need love and care, and so many gay couples want to provide stable family structures for providing that love and care, the Bush doctrine of institutionalizing laws to prevent gay couples from enjoying the kind of legal and social support non-gay families already have, is immoral.
Moreover, since the Creator has made it so that among higher mammals homosexual behavior increases in populations under stress, and humanity right now, because of overpopulation and inequitable distribution of resources, is under enormous stress, the phenomenon of gays suddenly stepping forth to demand their right to establish stable family units while not themselves contributing to even greater overpopulation, can be seen to be not only natural but also, literally, a godsend.
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