Friday, December 23, 2016

SciAm offended by scientific evidence

Leftist and Skeptic Michael Shermer writes in SciAm:
Yet a new study published in the fall issue of the nonpeer-reviewed journal The New Atlantis by Johns Hopkins University's Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh on “Sexuality and Gender” claims that “our scientific knowledge in this area remains unsettled,” that there is no “scientific evidence for the view that sexual orientation is a fixed and innate biological property,” and that no one is “born that way.” ...

Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart articulated the logic this way: “While it is true that the seed of original sin carries with it every type of deviation, aberration, perversion, and wrongdoing, the homosexual cannot claim to have been born that way any more than the drunkard, gambler, killer, etc.”
Shermer is very much offended by this, and cites others who say there is evidence for moderate genetic influences, and that this evidence is greater than that for the most commonly hypothesized social causes.

Okay fine, but isn't that also true for the drunkard, gambler, killer, etc.? And how does this refute the above Mayer-McHugh claims? Don't all the studies imply that no one is "born that way", but rather the product of various social and nonsocial causes?

The peer-reviewed gay research overwhelmingly supports the ideology that ppl should be able to choose their genders, but not their sexual orientations. Shermer admits that publications on this subject are tainted by "the possibility of motivated reasoning and the confirmation bias".

Shermer also makes this argument:
When did you choose to become straight?

Say what?

By demographic distribution (about 95 percent of the population identifies as heterosexual), the majority of you reading this column are straight. You no more chose this sexual orientation than gays or lesbians choose theirs.
This is a poor argument. If you ask straights this question, many of them will vividly recall the moment that they decided in favor of heterosexuality.

The academics would do this study if they thought that it would help their cause.

I don't know why Shermer calls himself a skeptic, because he uncritical accepts pseudoscience all the time.

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