Gay animals 'come out' in Oslo exhibition, ABC, October 28, 2006. ...
Graphic: King penguins display at the "Against Nature?" exhibition, ABC.
Breaking what is taboo for some, the Oslo Natural History Museum is currently showing an exhibition on homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Organisers say it is the first of its kind in the world. "As homosexual people are often confronted with the argument that their way of living is against the principles of nature, we thought that ... as a scientific institution, we could at least show that this is not true," exhibition organiser Geir Soeli tells AFP. Well, one of the key "principles of nature" is that "homosexual people" (and animals) exist only because of non-"homosexual people" (and animals)!
"You can think whatever you want about homosexuals but you cannot use that argument because it is very natural, it's very common in animal kingdom," Mr Soeli adds. Just because something is "natural" does not make it right. That is the "naturalistic fallacy," i.e. "when what `ought to be' is derived from what `is' ... which reduces the question of values to that of facts." On that basis one could argue that paedophilia, rape and murder is "natural" and therefore morally permissible. The naturalistic fallacy is especially fallacious from a Christian perspective in that the Bible teaches that nature itself ("the earth") has become "corrupt in God's sight" as a consequence of human sin:
Genesis 6:11-13. 11Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
From beetles to swans and creatures considered to have a more macho image, such as lions and sperm whales, homosexual behaviour has been detected in 1,500 species. ' As eminent Harvard Psychology Professor Emeritus Jerome Kagan points out, "Anyone with a modest knowledge of animal behavior and only minimal inferential skill can find examples of animal behavior to support almost any ethical message desired" including "If you are certain that men should dominate harems of beautiful women, point to elephant seals .... Nature has enough diversity to fit almost any ethical taste":
"A rash of books published over the last twenty years has claimed-directly or indirectly-that human selfishness is to be expected, given our evolutionary history. After pointing to examples of selfish behavior in a variety of animal species, the writers imply (as if describing the animal behaviors were sufficient) that because self-interested behavior is seen throughout nature perhaps humans need not feel so ashamed of their narcissism and greed. ... The flaws in this argument are obvious. Anyone with a modest knowledge of animal behavior and only minimal inferential skill can find examples of animal behavior to support almost any ethical message desired. Those who wish to sanctify the institution of marriage can point to the pair bonding of gibbons; those who think infidelity is more natural can point to chimpanzees. If you believe that people are naturally sociable, point to baboons; if you think they are solitary, point to orangutans. If you believe sex should replace fighting, point to bonobo chimpanzees. If you want mothers to care for infants, point to rhesus monkeys; if you prefer the father to be the primary caretaker, point to titi monkeys. If you believe that surrogate care is closer to nature, point to lionesses. If you are certain that men should dominate harems of beautiful women, point to elephant seals; if you believe women should be in positions of dominance, point to elephants. Nature has enough diversity to fit almost any ethical taste." (Kagan, J., "Three Seductive Ideas," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1998, p.188)
... The exhibition, entitled "Against Nature?", displays examples of this behaviour in pictures and models. In one image, two female adult bonobo chimpanzees are having sex, oblivious to a young male who is attempting to join in. These peaceful primates - with whom humans shares 99 per cent of their genetic make-up - use sex as a stress reliever, regardless of age and gender barriers. And maybe that is why "Bonobos ... are the most threatened of the Great Apes. From some 100,000 in 1980, they are now thought to number less than 10,000. They are only found in the forests of central Democratic Republic of Congo" (BBC); whereas of humans, "As of late 2006, the world population reached 6.7 billion" (Wikipedia. My emphasis)! In The Australian, after saying that "Bonobos are bisexuals, all of them" Soeli admits that "it is unclear why homosexuality survives since it seems a genetic dead-end"! So it just shows yet again how absurd is the worldview of those who hold up the Bonobo as an example for humans to emulate!
Be it a one-off, occasional or seasonal, homosexual and bisexual contact in the animal kingdom serves different purposes. Big horn sheep "need to have sex with their own fellows just to be accepted. And by being accepted they are making up very important social relations which later give them better access to females," says Mr Soeli. Among swans and flamingos there have been cases of two females living together using sexual contact with males purely to reproduce. "One of them might have a small affair with a male, have her eggs fertilised, and the two females bring up the young birds together just as a family," adds Mr Soeli. It has been reported that in certain bird species males double up, allowing them to control a larger territory than a heterosexual couple, which in turn serves to attract more females.
The point is the same simplistic argument that: 1) humans are animals; 2) some animals exhibit homosexual behaviour; 3) therefore it is morally permissible for humans to exhibit homosexual behaviour; could be (and have been) applied by some evolutionary psychologists to rape because "forced copulation" occurs in "Flies and ducks":
"Thornhill and Palmer employ three lines of evidence to support the direct-selection hypothesis. First, they maintain that rape occurs as an adaptive phenomenon in other species, and thus could have evolved by the same route in humans. In scorpion flies, Thornhill's own research organism, males have an abdominal clamp that apparently evolved to help them forcibly restrain females who resist their courtship. Several other species also seem to show forced copulation, although whether it increases the male's reproduction is not known. But surely it is absurd to assume that rape may be a reproductive strategy in humans because it is a reproductive strategy in flies or ducks. Flies and ducks do not create, and live in, a culture, as humans do; and human culture guarantees that there will be many meaningless parallels between the behavior of humans and of other species. Like dandelion seeds, we parachute, but we do so for recreational reasons, not for reproductive reasons. The simple-minded extrapolation from a handful of animal species is no proof that human rape is a direct adaptation." (Coyne, J.A., "The fairy tales of evolutionary psychology." Review of "A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion," by Randy Thornhill & Craig T. Palmer, MIT Press, 2000. The New Republic, March 4, 2000)
While the images displayed at the Natural History Museum wash over passing school children, the exhibition has sparked consternation in conservative Christians. A Lutheran priest said he hoped the organisers would "burn in hell," and a Pentecostal priest lashed out at the exhibition, saying taxpayers' money used for it would have been better spent helping the animals correct "their perversions and deviances". ...
If Christianity is true (which it is) then it is the Lutheran priest who was right, but not just for the organisers of this exhibition, because in what must be the ultimate "inconvenient truth," Jesus Himself (who was and is God in human form - Mat 1:23; Jn 1:1,14; 8:58-59; 10:32-33; 20:27-28; Acts 20:28; Php 2:5-6, Col 2:9; Rom 9:5; Tit 2:13; etc), taught that those who reject His atoning death for their sin will, as this priest put it, "burn in hell" (Mat 5:22,29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; 25:41-46; Lk 16:23, etc), although Jesus also taught that there were degrees of judgment (Mat. 11:20-24). And those who put on such an animal exhibition to teach "passing school children" that a "homosexual ... way of living" for humans is morally normative, will be required to give an account to God for their particular actions (Mat 16:27; Rom 2:6; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:12, etc), as the Bible (both Old and New Testament) makes it quite clear that human homosexual practices are particularly detestable in God's sight (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9).
Oslo gay animal show draws crowds, BBC, 19 October 2006 ... There has been some hostility to the exhibition. An American commentator said it was an example of "propaganda invading the scientific world". Petter Bockman, a zoologist who helped put the show together, admitted that "there is a political motive". ... The "political motive" being presumably to convert others (including children) to their Epicurean hedonistic (and anti-Christian) worldview?
It is interesting, by the way, that the persistence (indeed the very existence!) of homosexuality is a major problem for (if not a falsification of) Darwinism, because if Darwin's theory of natural selection were true, then if anything should have been "rigidly destroyed" by natural selection, it would have been homosexuality:
"If variations which are useful to their possessors in the struggle for life `do occur, can we doubt (remembering that many more individuals are born than can possibly survive), that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed.' This is from The Origin of Species, pp. 80-81. Exactly the same words occur in all the editions. Since this passage expresses the essential idea of natural selection, no further evidence is needed to show that [this] proposition ... is a Darwinian one. But is it true? In particular, may we really feel sure that every attribute in the least degree injurious to its possessors would be rigidly destroyed by natural selection? On the contrary, the proposition is (saving Darwin's reverence) ridiculous. Any educated person can easily think of a hundred characteristics, commonly occurring in our species, which are not only ‘in the least degree’ injurious to their possessors, but seriously or even extremely injurious to them, which have not been ‘rigidly destroyed’, and concerning which there is not the smallest evidence that they are in the process of being destroyed. ... What becomes, then, of the terrifying giant named Natural Selection, which can never sleep, can never fail to detect an attribute which is, even in the least degree, injurious to its possessors in the struggle for life, and can never fail to punish such an attribute with rigid destruction? Why, just that, like so much else in Darwinism, it is an obvious fairytale .... " (Stove, D.C., "So You Think You Are a Darwinian?," The Royal Institute of Philosophy, Philosophy, Vol. 69, 1994, pp.267-277. Emphasis original)
It is therefore interesting (and instructive) to read the following example, at the end of an article about this exhibition, of the intellectual contortions that Darwinists have to perform to try to explain "Why this behaviour might be favoured by natural selection":
All creatures great and small, The Economist, October 26, 2006. ... Why this behaviour might be favoured by natural selection, though, is a difficult question to answer. In an attempt to do so, the exhibition picks on gay flamingos. Two males raising a chick after one of them had a one-night stand (of sorts) with a female are able to hold a larger territory than male-female partnerships. This suggests a chick with two dads could get more food and therefore have a better chance of survival. But explanations are harder when gay animals (such as some humans and, apparently, some killer whales) never try to mate with the opposite sex. Theoretically, there are several possible ways homosexuality could have evolved. One is that homosexuals assist in the upbringing of their relatives so much that they pass on more of their genes this way than by having children themselves. Another suggestion assumes the genes that confer homosexuality in males are different from those that confer it in females. For the theory to work, these genes would have to confer some extra reproductive advantage to their straight carriers. This way, genes that increase the chances of one sex surviving and reproducing might not be discarded through the generations even though they inhibit making babies when they occur in the opposite sex. But testing these theories is hard, so nobody knows if they are true. Taking lessons on sexuality from the birds and the bees itself requires first accepting something not taught ubiquitously outside Norway-that evolution occurs by natural selection.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 8:6-12. 6After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.