If you ever care to see what stupid looks like in front of a keyboard, just hang around the Topix forum for a while. It's, to say the least, unnerving.
I wonder how a race of homosexuals would do in regards with natural selection and the survival of the fittest? Not too many babies will come if you don't procreate in a natural way.
It seems they would be doomed by Darwin if not by the Bible.
--Obaminable Zombie, Brookfield, CT
But I hear this a lot from rabid evangelicals, things like "If evolution were true, homosexuality would have been weeded out ages ago!" and "Homosexuals are proof evolution isn't true!" Never minding that religion just proves that sometimes evolution goes in reverse (socially speaking), it seems we must delve into the world of evolution and natural selection once more in an attempt to educate the ignorant masses (assuming it is possible to educate strict adherents to doctrine as opposed to lovers of knowledge...)
I suppose we must first start out by defining the two differing types of homosexuality (and I don't mean "lesbians" and "gay men"):
- the sexual activity between two individuals of the same gender, and
- the innate sexual preference for one's own gender.
Back in the day (Yesteryear, Yonder, and Yore), both the scientific community and the church (at odds even then) were both of the mistaken conclusion that homosexuality was a purely human characteristic and trait--that is, the church took the stance that "No dumb animal is drawn to this evil"; Greek society and other enlightened cultures were said to have stated that "All irrational animals merely copulate, but we rational ones are superior in this regard to all other animals. We discovered homosexual intercourse. Men under the sway of women are no better than dumb animals" (Source.). Such was the ignorance of all mankind.
Of course, today we know that homosexuality (the act) is indeed abundant--nay, the norm--in most animal communities, least of all our closest living cousins the primates! Over 450 species of vertebrates have been documented and observed engaging in homosexual behavior (Source and Source); thus, we have at least established that not only is homosexuality present in a great deal of the animal kingdom from which we are a product, but indeed established as a naturally occurring act (for if it is observed in nature, how could it possibly be labeled "unnatural"? It can't!)
Of course, human homosexuality is neither new nor "unnatural" and has been documented in almost every single culture we have discovered (of course, making no statement on how homosexuality was perceived in that culture, just that it has been documented), one must ask how the seeming paradox of evolution and natural selection has kept the "dead-end reproductively" homosexual perpetually throughout most (if not all) species might seem to be easily answered on the surface: "If evolution were true, the non-reproducing homosexual traits would have been naturally selected out of the population in short order, thus eradicating it from the gene pool, thus proving it is a CHOICE, not inherent."
If only life were so simple. Take, for example, sickle-cell anemia. It is a disease passed on through the genes of humans to this day, and continues to be fatal if undiagnosed and treated. Sickle cell anemia is only inherited when BOTH parents pass on the gene to the child. Both parents could have no trace of the disease (being as they each only have ONE copy of the gene), but if their child gets one recessive copy from each, that person has the disease. However, if the child only gets ONE of the sickle cell genes from one parent, and the normal gene from the other parent, that child will exhibit no signs, and thus, the disease will continue to be carried throughout the genome unnoticed and undiagnosed. Even people with sickle-cell anemia have children, after all, another way this seemingly useless and anti-naturally selective trait is passed on to future generations. Thus, something seemingly undesirable can continue with a species forever, as long as the species can continue to procreate.
Add to the fact that societal stigmas (human society and culture, if you will) have long (in European circles, at least) stigmatized the homosexual, many a homosexual has indeed gotten married and sired children (both men and women) against their natural inclinations--indeed, this is still all-too-frequent in today's world, in which a homosexual person is made to hide their natural inclinations for one more socially acceptable to the mob, thus ensuring that, even if homosexuality could only be passed on by a "full blown" homosexual, societal norms of the reining culture are thus ensuring that the inclination of same-sex attraction continues in the human population--in fact, such a cultural stance ensures that homosexual tendencies will be expanded, not neutralized or eradicated.
However, these examples and scenarios, in regards to both the "sickle cell anemia" passing of gay traits and the "hide it from society" passing of gay traits, assumes that homosexuality is an undesirable trait that continues to thrive in the population.
More recent studies have shown that perhaps homosexuality is a necessary, even beneficial, trait of animal and human populations. From societal and social gains (Source) to the naturally selective plus that a woman who gives birth to homosexual children generally HAS more children (greater species propagation; Source) to more adults being on hand to raise children (Source), homosexuality in a species could be either a side affect of other choices in natural selection and evolution (the number of children a woman can bear greatly enhances the chances of homosexual children) or it could be a direct result of the mating habits of our ancestors (a male reducing the copulations and gene dispersal of other males as in polygamy or "herding" of females for one sole male), or it may even be something entirely different that we haven't explored yet. The fact is, science is learning new and fascinating things about what it means to be human every day. From our eating habits, our sleeping patterns, to our choices in sexual partners, all of these are the result of years of evolution both at the fundamental genetic level and the greater perpetuation of the species level.
To make off-the-cuff, ill-educated remarks like "Homosexuality would have been gotten rid of if evolution were true" does nothing to further understanding of either the human condition or the individual, and does both a great disservice, not to mention the disservice to science in general.
So all of this to say what? That we are still learning how we, as a species, fit into the growing body of knowledge we call reality. While it might be easy to vilify the things we don't understand and regulate it to the "undesirable" column, that could be the very thing that could undo us as a species. After all, who is to say that "straight sex" is the only type of copulation that will keep us from going off the deep end? It could very well be that homosexuality is the saving grace of our species.
Or, it could just very well mean that there's nothing like a nice piece of ass, no matter who's ass it happens to be. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that, my friends, is the driving force behind natural selection.
Nothing could be more natural, after all.