April 29, 2005

God's Special Gift to Darwinists and other Non-Fundies

from - smijer

This is a special extra for Animal Friday. Professional biologists and those who have followed the on-line anti-evolution "debate", feel free to skip this post. It's subject-matter is doubtless already very familiar to you. Everyone else hang around to enjoy one of my favorite treats... the Parthenogenic Whiptail Lizard...

(Image borrowed from here)

I have been having a lengthy discussion (in comments) this week with anti-gay blogger, Jeff Blogworthy. He brought up the old "unnatural" argument for treating gays as second-class citizens, and backed it up with an "objective" analysis of the functions of various bodily organs:

1.) Homosexuality is unnatural. [...]

It is remarkable how you can find a constitutional right to sodomy in the 14th Amendment, but cannot understand the functional or biological differences between a vagina and an anus or how procreation works.

Now, I know the correlation between anti-evolutionists and anti-gay activists isn't one-to-one, but from what I've read elsewhere on his blog, this particular commentator is among those who are both anti-evolution and anti-gay. However that works out, it is always fascinating to see someone who is dedicated to not understanding nature, making pronouncements about what is or is not "natural", and asking us to respect these pronouncements as "objective". And it is always delightful to take this opportunity to put the parthenogenic Whiptails on display, as God seems to have created this organism specifically to be a thumb in the eye of folks like this.

What is so wonderful about these creatures is that not only are they homosexual by behavior, but that homosexual behavior actually enhances their reproductive capacity, and not only that, but that it is fairly well inescapable that they evolved to be this way. The fact that they routinely reproduce through virgin birth, I suppose, is the icing on the cake.

Read about their fascinating reproductive systems at one of these fine links: here, here, or here.

If you let this sink in for a moment, you will realize what it means. It means that, in order to avoid the conclusion that God looked down on the 6th Literal Day, watching these little carpet-munchers do their thing, and said, "It is Good", these folks will have to admit that such intricate and unusual behavior and reproductive systems evolved... Only those with the thickest blinders will be able to assign this to their favorite un-bounded and un-defined category: the non-scientific definition of "microevolution". These little buggers evolved so that, while one of the pair is secreting male hormones and playing the "male" part, the other one, somehow "knows" that it needs to be secreting female hormones and playing the "female" part. And then, they both "know" to switch sides & hit for the other team.

So, next time somebody tells you that you don't know how procreation works because you won't agree with them that homosexuality is "unnatural", tell them about the Whiptail & let them know that if these gals used his logic about procreation to figure out what was "unnatural", they'd probably be extinct by now.

Since it's Friday, I'll see if the Modulator can find room for it in the Ark, too.


Posted by smijer at April 29, 2005 10:58 AM

Absolutley fascinating information Smijer. I just love this kind of stuff. I really enjoyed the post.

univar.jpg Posted by Buck on April 29, 2005 11:59 AM
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I saw those on the discovery channel once. Quite odd. And, IIRC, each baby is an exact clone of its mother.

univar.jpg Posted by SayUncle on April 29, 2005 01:40 PM
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Parthenogenesis -- virgin birth. A birth not the product of heterosexual coitus.

Parthenon -- Temple of the Virgins

And so on and so forth.

Great post. Thanks Smijer!

univar.jpg Posted by Metulj on April 29, 2005 02:13 PM
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The only definition of the word "natural" that could possibly mean anything is "that which occurs in nature". Unless one is in the habit of considering the sun and stars and galaxies and such as un-natural or extra-natural, that effectively makes the definition of natural "that which occurs in the universe". That would seem to mean that each and every single thing that ever happened was completely natural. Oddly enough, that is exactly what I believe. Now, I acknowledge the existence of desirable and undesirable behavior relative to me but, self-honesty requires me to admit that no matter how undesirable a behavior may seem to me, it is completely natural.

To believe otherwise SHOULD require proof unless, one could be idiotic enough to believe that a human's curiosity is somehow unnatural. Then all you need is faith. (which I find really scary)

univar.jpg Posted by CAFKIA on April 30, 2005 03:38 PM
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