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Old 01-09-2007, 06:01 AM   #16
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Many "christian" (in quotes) people consider homosexuality to be an abomination and a choice and are very strong in their opinions. I personally don't think someone chooses to be different and be ostracized by many people for preferring people of the same gender.

It's one of those topics that will probably never be resolved satisfactorily.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:38 AM   #17
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who cares. i dont care if sexuality is bought from the shop and charged GST.


your example is flawed, by the way, a_wanderer.
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:50 AM   #18
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How so? If hormone levels for the developing foetus act as the environmental control during development then we could take two genetically identical individuals and end up with different sexual preferences.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
How so? If hormone levels for the developing foetus act as the environmental control during development then we could take two genetically identical individuals and end up with different sexual preferences.
Except those hormone levels are often determined by genetic factors--in either the mother or the child--and, in the case of twins, it is not unheard of for one twin to "hog all the resources" at the expense of the other.

While neither case falls under simple Mendellian genetics, which is what most people assume covers "all" genetics (incorrect), neither instance is environmental either and sufficiently explains away your rather terse answer here.

If we were to use your logic that "hormones" are not genetic, however, then, frankly, all sexuality and gender is "environmental," as all fetuses in the first trimester have *both* male and female sex organs, regardless of the your sex chromosomes. It's those "hormones" that result in sexual differentiation, eliminated your uterus and ovaries, and likely fixed your sexual orientation into what it is today. However, this process requires a coordination of several hormones and several genes in both the mother and child in a very narrow window of time.

1) If the mother has a genetic mutation, she may not release one or more hormones.
2) If the child has a genetic mutation, he/she may not be able to receive one or more hormones.
3) An unknown factor may cause one or more hormones to be released late, but beyond that narrow window, it's useless.

So looking at all three of these combinations, statistically, there's a wide number of possibilities here. And, unsurprisingly, pretty much all the possible scenarios exist in nature. There's XY females (the hormone to destroy the female sex organs was received normally; the hormone to develop physical male sex characteristics was not) and there's the intersexed (a.k.a., "hermaphrodites") (the hormone to destroy the male or female sex organs was not released or received at all). So why are we at all surprised at the existence of heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, the transgendered and asexuals? It fits perfectly in the pattern of nature, and it fits perfectly within the pattern of this genetic process that I've described.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:54 AM   #20
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Extrapolation from a short intial statement; we both agree that there is no gay genetic marker. If I raised the issue of birth order and sexual preference would it have ilicited a different response?
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Extrapolation from a short intial statement; we both agree that there is no gay genetic marker. If I raised the issue of birth order and sexual preference would it have ilicited a different response?
I find "birth order" to be a rather weak hypothesis, as there are plenty of first-born gay people.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:06 AM   #22
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I didn't think we were talking about any single hypothesis to explain the gamut of sexuality.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:35 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Environmental; I would wager that if we cloned anybody and controlled the hormone situation in utero we could control the sexual preference of the baby.
Why is your "science" always limited to your thinking, rather than what scientists think? You do this all the time. Nukes, smoking, now homosexuality. Never mind what actual scientists think, let's base what we believe on what you think may be true.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:38 AM   #24
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Is heterosexuality genetics or choice? How come no one ever asks that?

I have always believed, and will always believe, that homosexuality is genetic.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:43 AM   #25
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What are you talking about? the evidence on nuclear power shows that it is a lot safer and even low level exposure is safer than the green movement has trumpeted (look at the concequences for a nuclear disaster like Chernobyl and read the literature - magnitudes fewer deaths than projected - I point to this article on the faunal rebound in the exclusion zone where animal life is going great due to the absence of people http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/chornobyl/wildlifepreserve.htm), tobacco smoking is addictive and will kill you (I however support the right of smokers to kill themselves) and I merely mention offhand that I think our sexual preference has more to do with conditions in the womb than it does for any gay gene or act of choice without a hint of homophobia or bigotry and I am supposedly projecting?

The article that I was reading the other day in New Scientist from april 2000 was on this very subject, the conditions within the womb which I categorised as environmental keep popping up as having some correlations as adults.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:46 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I merely mention offhand that I think our sexual preference has more to do with conditions in the womb than it does for any gay gene or act of choice without a hint of homophobia or bigotry and I am supposedly projecting?
Your "offhandedness" is what hurt your argument.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:49 AM   #27
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A CNN story on the same paper.
Quote:
A California psychologist has found the level of male hormones a fetus is exposed to in the womb can influence future sexual orientation. The study, published in this week's journal Nature, is based an unusual research technique -- comparing the lengths of a person's index and ring fingers.

Marc Breedlove, a professor of psychology at University of California Berkeley, said that finger length is influenced by levels of male hormone, or androgen, in the womb. Thus, he used the finger comparisons as an approximate measure of fetal androgen levels.

In most people, the index finger is slightly shorter than the ring finger. But in the right hand, the difference is accentuated by higher levels of androgens during fetal development, according to the study. In women, the ring and the index finger tend to be almost the same size. In men, the index finger is usually shorter.

In his study of 720 people, Breedlove found higher levels of androgens can create a greater than normal tendency for both males and females to develop a homosexual orientation.

Breedlove found lesbians tended to have a more masculine hand pattern, with the index finger considerably shorter than the ring finger, when compared to heterosexual women as a group.

But he cautions, "There is no gene that forces a person to be straight or gay... I believe there are many social and psychological, as well as biological factors that make up sexual preference."

Breedlove says what his data does show is that some people are gay because of fetal androgen levels.

"We think that lesbians, as a group, were seeing slightly higher prenatal testosterone levels than were the heterosexual women," Breedlove said.

He said the pattern for men was more complicated. There did not appear to be a direct relationship between finger length and sexual orientation. Still, Breedlove found some gay men did appear, based on finger measurements, to have been exposed to higher levels of fetal androgens.

"This calls into question all of our cultural assumptions that gay men are feminine," said Breedlove. He says his findings point more toward gay men as hypermasculinized.

Breedlove conducted his research at three street fairs in the San Francisco Bay area in the fall of 1999. Each study participant had his or her hand photocopied on a portable copy machine to record finger length. Participants also filled out a questionnaire on sexual orientation and birth order.

Neuroscientist Simon Levay says Breedlove's work confirms his own views on the causes of homosexuality.

"I think it is one more contribution if you like to the idea that our personalities including our sexuality and our sexual orientation are influenced by things that happen when our brain first assembles itself before birth," Levay said.

But University of California Davis psychologist Gregory Herick says using finger ratios as a biological explanation for lesbianism is an over simplification.

"We're going to find there are many different ways people become heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual as an adult," Herick said. "I think one of the problems with interpreting findings of this sort, people have a tendency to say, 'Here's the answer. Now we know.' And they're eventually proven wrong."
http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/03/29/gay.fingers/\

Now we are six years past that and it is still flawed to argue any single cause to explain all the sexual variation from homosexuality to complete androgen insensitivity syndrome.


But when the super straight hormone controlled rams rule the farm then we could gain a little bit deeper understanding into the foundations of the mammalian sex drive.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:05 AM   #28
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Heterosexuality - nature or nurture?

Seriously, I think it depends on the person. I believe some people are "born gay" and have no more choice in the matter than the average straight person. I do think there are some folks who choose to be with the same sex for various reasons.

That business in the other thread about the gay rams kind of seals it for me...I can't imagine what could cause a few rams amongst a field full of sheep to just decide to mount other rams, other than them being born to do it.

Whether or not it's genetics per se, or some other factor, I'm not sure of...
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:23 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
What are you talking about?
That hilarious crap you posted about burying the waste in subduction faults.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:39 AM   #30
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You said fault, I stressed underriding oceanic plate; at depths that are kilometers away from the main fault zones.

Ah because we would obviously have radioactive volcanoes and poisoned oceans; just ignore the fact that the clays in the upper kilometers of the sedimentary package contain any potential leakage and that the material in a container within the lower portion of the slab of oceanic crust would be sent into the mantle within a million years removing and then slowly homogenising the radioactive waste throughout the mantle; less security risk than burying it in stable cratons, more permanent and feesible with current technology; it is a proposal that is being looked at critically and seriously in light of the need to curb carbon emissions and the role that nuclear energy will play in that.

Just reading a review of waste disposal (Current Science Volume 81, Number 12 p1544)
Quote:
Subductive waste disposal method This method is the state-of-the-art in nuclear waste disposal technology. It is the single viable means of disposing radioactive waste that ensures non return of the
relegated material to the biosphere. At the same time, it affords inaccessibility to eliminated weapons material. The principle involved is the removal of the material from the biosphere faster than it can return. It is considered that ‘the safest, the most sensible, the most economical, the most stable long-term, the most environmentally benign, the most utterly obvious places to get rid of nuclear waste, high-level waste or lowlevel waste is in the deep oceans that cover 70% of the planet’. Subduction is a process whereby one tectonic plate slides beneath another and is eventually reabsorbed into the mantle. The subductive waste disposal method forms a high-level radioactive waste repository in a subducting plate, so that the waste will be carried beneath the Earth’s crust where it will be diluted and dispersed through the mantle. The rate of subduction of a plate in one of the world’s slowest subduction zones is 2.1 cm annually. This is faster than the rate (1 mm annually) of diffusion of radionuclides through the turbidite sediments that would overlay a repository constructed in accordance with this method. The subducting plate is naturally predestined for consumption in the Earth’s mantle. The subducting plate is constantly renewed at its originating oceanic ridge. The slow movement of the plate would seal any vertical fractures over a repository at the interface between the subducting plate and the overriding plate.
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