Homosexuality and Homophobia: In the end it is about Tolerance

Tolerance

This morning I visited Get Real Post to check on how my readers responded to my recent article on the Pacquiao vs gay community fiasco. I was pleased to see that my piece has piqued so many interests from so many people. However, I may have touched a nerve amongst some of my pro-gay readers. For that I hope they can forgive my “heresy” and appreciate my intent of questioning the seeming intolerance of the pro-gay community against those whom they label as “homophobes” and not homosexuality itself. But since the debate has shifted to the nature of homosexuality, whether it is natural or not, then please allow me to play Devil’s Advocate.

I have read some interesting and “science-based” explanations regarding homosexuality. Most of the folks who rely on science more than faith seem to argue that homosexuality is natural and there is genetic basis for it. It certainly sounds plausible that the ‘gay gene’ got passed on down to the next generations when homosexuals chose to have sex with the opposite sex. Now, let’s not even go to the question whether there is indeed a ‘gay gene’ or not. The truth is, the theory for this has not really been definitively tested and proven yet. Just October of last year, a supposedly breakthrough study on the quest for the ‘gay gene’ was met with derision from geneticists who criticized the methods presented, the validity of the results, and the coverage in the press. It appears that the whole thing was so hyped up by the media but the study doesn’t really do what it says it does. But again, just for the sake of discussion, let’s grant (without necessarily accepting yet) that there is indeed a ‘gay gene’.

So, how do we test this idea of a ‘gay gene’ and its propagation? How do we test the fascinating theories that support homosexuality’s natural status? Do these theories pass the evolution under the natural selection framework test? It seems to me that it would be a fair test to subject homosexuality under since we are trying to “scientifically validate” the claim that homosexuality is natural.

The late Harvard University Professor, Dr. Stephen Gould, who was also an evolutionary biologist (or more accurately, a comparative zoologist) and a professing Darwinian (but not necessarily a Darwinian apologist), said that Darwin did two separate things. First, he convinced the scientific world that evolution had occurred and second, he proposed the theory of natural selection as its mechanism. Fossil records are indicators that evolution has occurred. As for natural selection, Gould tells that it offers no guarantee on the rightness of principles. Gould said:

“Natural selection is a theory of local adaptation to changing environments. It proposes no perfecting principles, no guarantee of general improvement; …”

“Darwin’s independent criterion of fitness is, indeed, `improved design,’ but not `improved’ in the cosmic sense that contemporary Britain favored. To Darwin, improved meant only `better designed for immediate, local environment.’ Local environments change consistently: they get colder or hotter, wetter or drier, more grassy or more forested. Evolution by natural selection is no more than a tracking of these changing environments by differential preservation of organisms better designed to live in them: hair on a mammoth is not progressive in any cosmic sense. Natural selection can produce a trend that tempts us to think of more general progress…”

Again, as I understand it, evolution is a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. Natural selection is the mechanism behind evolution and it is a theory of local adaptation to changing environments. Local environments change consistently. The Earth has become hotter and colder throughout time. Environments have become wetter and drier, etc. The empirical data we have certainly shows how different species have adopted to the changing environments. The evolutionary history of the elephant family gives a good insight for how natural selection worked.

So in essence, evolution by natural selection tracks changing environments by differential preservation of organisms better designed to live in them.

Now, is there any empirical data that shows how the changing temperature throughout the planet’s history, for instance, has changed sexuality? Or why homosexuality emerged from the change in our planet’s historical climate? Can fossils of Australopithecus afarensis and Homo habilis and Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sapiens be correlated to the changing climates from their respective periods for us to see why homosexuality is what it is today? Do we have empirical data to show that human sexuality is directly proportional to natural selection from changing local environments? What empirical evidence do we have to show that the ‘gay gene’ favorably propagated from whatever ideal change in local environment or climate?

While we are out looking for empirical evidence for the evolutionary under the natural selection framework basis for homosexuality, let’s also look for the same for cannibalism, bestiality, and necrophilia. Hey, they do occur and there is evidence of their occurrence so they must be fair game to be deemed as natural, right? Let’s look for empirical evidence for the ‘cannibalism gene’, ‘bestiality gene’, and the ‘necrophilia gene’!

So people, can’t we see how dangerous it is to bash a belief (however antiquated and silly they may sound to us) prematurely without making sure that what we bash others with may also be flawed or at least may be inconclusive?

Ah yes, but in reality this whole controversy is not really about religious versus scientific belief, isn’t it? It really isn’t whether homosexuality is natural or not. It is really about tolerance. Both sides cannot really make any claims in holding the truth regarding homosexuality. Like I said, homosexuality and its nature are still being debated. So really, this is about how people ought to tolerate difference of beliefs. Tolerance matters when it comes to actions and ideas we don’t like or believe in. Pacquiao doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage and thinks that homosexuality is not natural. Aiza Seguerra is a strong advocate of same-sex marriage and in all likelihood, she strongly believes that homosexuality is natural. From my vantage point, Pacquiao only stated his opinion and he never tried to repress other people’s opposing opinion on the matter. (He even apologized and offered his love and prayer to those who may have been offended by his remarks.) That seems more tolerant than the actions of his bashers who spewed vitriol and words of hate directly at him (words such as ignorant, bigoted, hypocrite, and homophobe).

As a parting shot, based on what I have seen, I think that the real intolerance is coming from those accusing Pacquiao of intolerance (or homophobia, ignorance, bigotry, hypocrisy, etc.). These folks are supposed to be the “tolerant” bunch yet they are the ones who are showing refusal to respect or “tolerate” an opposing opinion. Boy, have pro-gay folks evolved into such a sophisticated bunch! I really have to hand it to them. These folks quickly realized they can use “tolerance” as a weapon to subdue even its nicest critics like Pacquiao. But I wonder how they would feel about welcoming a branch of the Westboro Baptist Church or even a mosque for Sunni Fundamentalists right next to the Chélu (a popular gay bar in Malate, Manila)? That is certainly interesting.

(Image taken from Patriot Update)

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Post Author: Hector Gamboa

Calling a spade, a spade...

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25 Comments on "Homosexuality and Homophobia: In the end it is about Tolerance"

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Ren Car
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I think you are missing the point. There is no doubt that Manny is a nice guy but what he said about gay people is abhorent. If anything else, Manny should be tolerant since he proudly proclaim that He is a man of God. To compare Gay people to animals is extremely abhorent ang blatantly ignorant. Eveb the pope would not say such thing about gay people. Manny insulted millioms of gay people. Do you realy expect them not to react with such contempt? It also does not matter whether being gay is genetically hereditary or a choice. The issue… Read more »
benign0
Admin

Actually, the same principle applies to Pacquiao’s very presence in Congress. It could be argued that the way Filipinos vote incompetent politicians into office can be described as “abhorrent”. But that opinion does not necessarily make that sector of the electorate less entitled to express their will through their vote.

Robert Haighton
Member
It seems that people are looking for excuses to make homosexuals look unnatural and so not give them the right to marry. My perception, opinion and view is this: I see that females fall in love with females. What the heck. I am not looking for evidence – scientifically or otherwise. They are just there. I easily accept it. And then they want to marry. Okay, why not. If I can as heterosexual, then you (lesbian) must also be able to marry. Do they ruin the family code? Should I mind? The individual personal rights exceeds that. I dont expect… Read more »
Pepe Rep
Guest
Thanks for this piece, Hector. The reaction to this whole kerfuffle was just amazeballs! LOL. But really, if the issue is homosexuality and its genetic origins let the biologists settle that (although, I think, psychologists and sociologists may be better equipped at this time due to the lack of supporting hard scientific (physical, biological) evidence, come on, personal experience and simplistic observations do not count). If the issue is morality of it and its distinctions (orientation vs actions/behavior), let that be a discussion within moral philosophy. And if it is about same sex marriage (which is also quite different from… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Pepe, okay lets take a lesbian couple that is not married. One of the 2 women just goes to a sperm bank (yes available in Europe, but at least in my country) and let those sperm cells be inseminated into her womb (together with her own fertilized egg cell of course). Now, I have a vivid imagination and fantasy that a gay – unmarried – couple can do something similar. All they need to do is find a woman who will carry the fertilzed cells inside her womb. So to only allow same sex relationships dont wash bec it is… Read more »
Pepe Rep
Guest
I’m not sure exactly which part of my argument you are trying to rebutt here, Rob, but I have an idea so thanks for engaging. I think the main point is that as you intimated what is “good for society”, not just according to me or you but what we can democratically agree about it. 50 years of robust studies involving fatherlessness have implied, to quote US president Obama in 2008: “We know the statistics: that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Pepe, Thanks for responding. I am not gonna say that my country is the best. I guess, most Filipinos will label my country as hell on earth (legal divorce, legal same sex marriage, legal abortion, legal euthanasia). Probably either all those surveys/studies do not apply to European/Dutch cases or the Dutch government had other reasons/motives why they allow legal same-sex marriage and to let those couples raise kids. Anyway, there was no revolt and no big protests. Probably only from the religious political parties (we only have 3 religious based political parties and those parties have not that many supporters… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
(in addition to my previous contribution) My country has a more “I” (me, myself and I)-culture. And I dont mean selfishly. I mean: “you can/will not bother me and I will not bother you” & “I dont mind what you do with your life”. I like to call that “being practical”. So in that context, giving gays and lesbians the right to marry is not bothering me at all. You are not interfering my private space. Gun ownership is interfering with my private space. So I dont think that my government will ever allow that. It also helps a great… Read more »
Pepe Rep
Guest
Well, Rob, I’m not part of those “most Filipinos” that label The Netherlands as “hell on earth”. That would be exaggerating, and I’d agree most Filipinos tend to exaggerate. I am pro-life, I am not sure of my position on euthanasia yet, however I like your decriminalisation of drug use, although my model for that is still Portugal. 😉 I’m more interested to see what is warranted by the data on same-sex marriage, after all it is a relatively new phenomenon (yet, decades of solid research on fatherlessness should cast doubt on the success of same-sex parenting despite all the… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Pepe, Is being pro-life, no ifs, no buts or …..? decriminalisation of drug use => this only applies for soft-drugs. Not for hard-drugs. For me, its too long ago what my government’s ideas were to allow gays and lesbians a civil wedding. I can only guess that the articles you mentioned were no issue at that time. Maybe they were too focused on equal human rights, I don’t know. What I do know is that to make such a (new) law, the Constitution had to be changed first. And that is a long tedious process. That’s why they come up… Read more »
Pepe Rep
Guest
Hi again Rob (I hope you don’t mind me calling you Rob or do people call you Bob? Or just Robert?) Anyway, just a little off-topic: Pro-life “no ifs and no buts” may be too strict, we also have to be expedient sometimes but exercise restraint when treating life even if we are not sure. The best part is we are already past the time when we have to choose between life of the mother or the child thanks to technology, and most mothers of “unwanted” babies no matter what circumstance will choose life anyway. With regards to drugs, yeah,… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Pepe, I really don’t mind how you address me as long as I get it that you responded to a comment of me. Otherwise I may/might not reply. However, being called Bob in my own country has never happened. Robert is common, Rob is rare. (When my niece was very young, she couldn’t pronounce the R, so she addressed me by the name of Lob instead of Rob. As you maybe probably have figured out by now, we don’t use words like Kuya, Ate and Dong). For me personally, a pregnancy as a result of rape is unacceptable (if I… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Pepe, I am not here to convert people to atheism. I am not gonna say that the Philippines have worse problems than homosexuality. That implies that homosexuality is a problem. I don’t think that homosexuality in the Philippines is a problem. They have no equal human rights. They probably don’t have the right to legally or even illegally adopt kids. So how can we describe that as a problem? But the Philippines do have serious problems. Unless of course they are okay with the current status. If they really want to get rid of those problems its really about time… Read more »
Pepe Rep
Guest
All right, it’s Robert then! Just some note on the abortion and rape: One, these are minority cases, and two, it would be better to ask the pregnant victim of rape and that’s exactly what they did back in the 1980s still to date the most recent biggest study on the subject of psychological effects of abortion with pregnant rape victims. Dr Sandra Makhorn found out that around 75-85% of these victims chose against abortion with several reasons one being that 70% of these mothers believe abortion is immoral because it is another act of violence (just like rape) perpetrated… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Re: this comment of mine I waited quite some time before actually responding because of your last few sentences in your previous response. But because of the majority of your text, I really felt the need to answer. And I certainly don’t want to have the last word. Pregnancy as a result of rape Without having any numbers, I would and will certainly agree that it must be a rare occurring “event” (pregnancy as a result of rape). And yes, I also agree with you that the victim must have the final say in whether to opt for an abortion… Read more »
Pepe Rep
Guest

Haha! It’s okay Rob, I’ll let you have the last word on these. I pretty much laid out my case already. I am grateful to have learned new things from you! See you around here when I have the time to drop by and comment. 🙂

zaxx
Member

Intolerance-intolerant people end up becoming the very people they hate.

Grimwald
Member

A very astute observation zaxx as always…

Aeta
Guest

In the end we are all right…and we are also all wrong.

Impaler Triumphant
Guest
I agree, Pacquiao simply stated what he believes. As for facts about homosexuality among animals, well, let’s leave that for the scientific community to confirm/deny the findings, right? Why can’t some of the liberal LGBTQ people and their fans NOT accept the fact that not all people will like them? Even heterosexuals are having a hard time making people like them for who they are: poetry lovers, non-religious, cat-person, religious, likes his cereal cold, doesn’t wear tubes, likes her water on mug before coffee, hates kids, loves LeBron James, etc. With relation to the cartoon, my hope goes out to… Read more »
5434Hyden007Toro99990000
Guest
5434Hyden007Toro99990000
I still cannot understand homosexuality. Not even, in the Scientific point of view. It is an occurrence in nature. Even in plants. Some plants that supposed to be female, and bear fruits; become male. Let us all be civil to one another. There is no use shouting down the opponent on the other side of the controversy. I do not believe, it is an evolutionary process. I believe: ” it is an aberration of nature, or an aberration in our creation.” However, I do not mean that homosexuals are freaks. Unless, we have a full study on homosexuality, based on… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

5434Hyden007Toro99990000,

I don’t understand homosexuality either like I don’t understand how people are born without arms or legs. However, we have to accept all human beings for what they are as a part of our humanity.

Aeta

989Hyden007Toro78987.99
Guest
989Hyden007Toro78987.99

@Aeta:

Exactly, there are many things and phenomena in our universe, we still cannot understand. Behaviors of people, good and bad; worse and worst. Most, we cannot understand.

Why is it, there are : insane people…mentally retarded people…suicide bombers…homosexuals… religious radicals/bigots….cross dressers…serial murderers/killers…people who commit genocides…
congenital liars…nymphomaniacs…pedophiles…queers….Kleptomaniacs…kleptocrats…
people suffering from depression and paranoia, etc…we leave them, as they are, until we have the proper cognitive abilities to understand them…

d_forsaken
Guest

If the Failipinos in the Failippines social consciousness seems stuck in February 1986, every year is gonna be a rough ride.

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