According to Wikipedia, which commenters on this blog such as Singring frequently quote as authoritative, "Natural selection is the process by which biologic traits become more or less common in a population due to consistent effects upon the survival or reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution."
The general idea is that a trait that facilitates reproduction gets passed on and survives while traits that do not facilitate reproduction go away. This is what I was taught in school.
Now you'd think this would be fairly clear cut. In homosexuality, you have a clear cut case of a trait that does not facilitate reproduction. In fact, it's a paradigm case of a tendency that does not get passed along. In light of this very clear cut case, we (and by "we" I mean all of us people who mindlessly rely upon scientists to tell us what to think without actually knowing the actual, like, science ourselves) could conclude very simply that there is no such thing as a homosexual.
[A]s an evolutionary biologist," says Jeremy Yoder, "I have to admit that my sexual orientation is a puzzle ... Gene variants, or alleles, associated with an 80 percent decrease in reproductive fitness should be naturally selected out of the population pretty quickly. So why aren't all humans heterosexual?What is this? What have scientists done? How do they stand up for their theory in the face of this problem? What have they concluded in light of this all powerful theory they have relied upon for 150 years? They have faced this problem squarely and concluded ... "Natural Selection isn't all powerful," says P. Z. Myers, commenting on the article.
Oh c'mon folks: stand your ground. Don't give up. Acquit yourselves like men. Acquit your ground. Stand on your men. You get the idea. In short, make up your mind. Are you going to be intellectually consistent, or continue to believe in something your theory clearly precludes?
Up until now, people like atheist science blogger Myers have fought the good fight and rejected things like creationism because they obviously conflict with Darwinian belief. But now they are wavering. They reject creationism and Intelligent Design because they conflict with Darwinism, but they accept homosexuality despite the same problem.
How does Myers justify this apparent inconsistency? "I haven't seen any good data," says the now weak-kneed Myers, "to show that homosexuals actually have a reduced reproductive success."
Um, yo, P. Z., can we talk?
We can't get into the details here, since this is a family blog. But we suggest you get out a standard biology textbook, look in the section on reproduction, and take careful note of the process by which humans are fruitful and multiply.
The article in Scientific American takes all those things we've been told about Natural Selection and how it works, turns them upside down, shakes them around, stretches them beyond recognition, ... and then reminds us how undeniable they are. The contortions Yoder has to employ to account for homosexuality would try a gymnast.
Look guys, we're going to have to keep this simple. The explanation of Natural Selection we've been using for years has always had the benefit of simplicity and rationality. We can't start fudging now and messing up what before was a straightforward process. It's just bad PR.
If we're not careful it's going to start looking like we're rationalizing. People are going to accuse us of justifying our pet political beliefs in the face of the evidence. They're going to charge that we're just making it up as we're going along, only admitting evidence that confirms our theory and ignoring evidence that would falsify it.
They'll point to our own rhetoric about science always being subject to falsification and say that, in fact, we just ignore obviously disconfirming cases. Like homosexuality.
We've got to be firm on this evolution thing. Either that or question the claims that homosexuality has a scientific basis.
And we can't do that.