Gay marriage vs. “science” I pulled from my ass

Since I just ragged on a letter to the editor of a newspaper in my former home state of Maryland, I guess I should also look at an anti-gay letter from my other home state of Oklahoma, where the situation for gays is much, much worse. The scholar who wrote this particular piece of…something is Pat Rupel of Edmond, the town where I went to high school. He opposes gay marriage in the name of SCIENCE!

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg set science back about 3,000 years by…

Wait, wait, wait. I gotta stop you right there. You do realize that in Oklahoma, proposing to “set science back about 3,000 years” is a good thing to most citizens, right? I mean, we get at least one bill proposing exactly that every year in the state legislature. It’s the people who support these kinds of things that are most receptive to the whole “Legislate gay people’s lives” schtick. You need to be aware of your audience.

Anyways, continue.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg set science back about 3,000 years by comparing millions of years of anthropological and genetic evolution to the difference between whole and skim milk.

Science will never recover from Bader Ginsburg’s courtroom analogy! We might as well just take evo-devo and the Higgs boson and shove them up our asses at this point!

It says a lot about my ambivalent attitude towards the state of my birth that, when I read this, my first thought is, “At least this asshole believes in evolution.” Though I question what he thinks the term “evolution” means. I get “genetic evolution”, but what exactly is “anthropological evolution”? Is that just a fancy term for human evolution? If so, why not just say “human”?

More importantly, how does Bader Ginsberg’s analogy have any effect on any evolutionary science anywhere in the known universe?

The assumed equality of homosexual and heterosexual unions is strictly a legal invention, not a fact based on scientific research.

And what scientific research established heterosexual marriage? Last time I checked, straight marriage was just as much a legal invention as gay marriage.

In an attempt to be “tolerant,” we appear to be willing to ignore or remain ignorant of recent biological, psychological and genetic research into gender differences.

Oh, you mean the extremely controversial evolutionary psychology that is by no means established mainstream science yet?

Look, here’s the thing about gender differences:

Is there good reason to suspect that evolution resulted in behavioral/psychological differences between the genders? Probably. Evolution resulted in numerous other species with gender dimorphisms in behavior, so we have no reason to consider ourselves a magical exception.

Do we have a good grasp what those differences are in our species? Rarely. For most, we have only biases, stereotypes, and poorly reasoned evolutionary psychology. Acknowledging the reality of gender differences is not the same as having a scientific basis for specifying what exactly they are. There are very few gender differences in behavior that have anything like a solid scientific basis proving that they exist.

Should we expect these gender differences to be set-in-stone, black-and-white differences with no overlap or middle ground? Absolutely not. Evolution doesn’t work that way. There’s always variation. We should expect gender differences to be real, but we should also expect to find a lot of variation. And we sure as fuck should never act as if relationships which don’t fit the stereotype of some gender difference are somehow “unnatural”. Variation is natural. Difference is natural. If we’re going by evolution as our standard, then we should expect there to be some individuals who are different from the majority. Not all women will fit neatly into the stereotype of femininity. Not all men will fit neatly into the stereotype of masculinity. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just nature.

Additionally, not all gender differences are the result of genetics. Some are hammered into people’s heads as they grow up. Girls are discouraged from being assertive or standing up for themselves (Be a proper lady!). Boys are discouraged from being honest about when something hurts them (Take it like a man!). Is it really a genetic fact that women are passive and men are insensitive? Almost certainly not. More likely, people are just trained to act this way. It might be a psychological byproduct of the fact that men are larger and more muscular than women, so people associate the personality of toughness with those who have the stronger body, and the personality of passivity with those who have the weaker body. It might be true when averaged over the population, but that doesn’t make it a good predictor of how any particular individual should be. Nor does it mean that there’s anything wrong with the numerous individuals who don’t fit this stereotype.

Oh, wait, I was responding to a homophobe. What does he have to say at this point?

I don’t care how consenting adults get their sexual pleasure or if the legal rights enjoyed by heterosexual “unions” are given to same-sex “unions.” However, don’t expect me to park my intellect at the door of so-called tolerance or political correctness.

And here I was trying to discuss gender differences with at least some amount of nuance and sensitivity to the current political and scientific climate. What I really should have done is pull turds out of my ass labeled “political correctness” and “tolerance” and throw them at the Daily Oklahoman, so they could publish them as if they were actual opinions from an actual human being. Silly me!

Despite the groupthink of the American Pediatric Society, the scientific jury has just started deliberating on how the significant differences between male and female might affect child development.

And this is relevant to gay marriage because — LOOK! A MOOSE! *runs away*

We’ve not even begun to understand how to combine the gifts of female and male.

Someone didn’t get the talk.

Words and their associated ideas change the world.

This sentence seriously followed right after the one I quoted above. Your guess is as good as mine.

We may change the name of the “rose,” but its essence doesn’t change.

This pseudo-Shakespearean sentence followed immediately after the one I subsequently quoted. It contradicts it. No explanation is given.

Look at the impact of the technological revolution.

Again. Very next sentence. I have no idea what this motherfucker is saying at this point. We don’t know how to combine males and females, words change the world, except they don’t, look at technology. I’m starting to wonder if the author had a stroke at this point in the letter.

If our leaders can simplify millions of years of complex animal and human evolution to the difference between skim and whole milk, then we may as well believe the earth is flat, the sun revolves around the earth human activity doesn’t affect global warming or that black people aren’t citizens and therefore without legal rights…

Yes! If we accept that gays can have families, then we might as well throw out all of modern science and all the progress made in civil rights since the Civil War. All because Bader Ginsburg oversimplified things! Only a really evil, stupid person would make a sweeping judgment based on a gross oversimplification and ignorance of science! And Pat Rupel knows that the evil, stupid person doing this is none other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I mean, who else might be doing something like that?

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3 responses to “Gay marriage vs. “science” I pulled from my ass

  1. Pingback: More Oklahomans make fools of themselves | Riffing Religion

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