Tuesday, September 12, 2023

RadioLab: Not Born That Way

Here is the latest RadioLab episode:
Born This Way?

Today, the story of an idea. An idea that some people need, others reject, and one that will, ultimately, be hard to let go of.

It traces the notion that homosexuals and other LGBTQ folks are "born that way" and that the condition is immutable. it says that the belief was crucial to winning public acceptance of same sex marriage and other privileges, but not really backed by any hard science all scientific attempts to prove it has failed. The show suggests that people will continue to recite this belief in spite of the evidence and possible harms from the belief.

Genetic research has shown a large number of human behaviors that are correlated with a large number of genes. However the idea that some single gene is responsible for some complex human behavior has been proved wrong.

In other areas, genetic determinism is considered harmful and offensive. There is a lot of evidence that Black men have innate instincts to commit violent crimes. You will not learn about that in school. Being fat and lazy is heritable, but not commonly accepted as an excuse. People do have power to change their lives.

But "born that way" is just a hoax used to advance some political goals.

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