Gays and genes

Michael Hamar points toward a study which appears to uphold the idea, increasingly gaining acceptance, that sexual orientation varies as an expression of environmentally-triggered genetics.

“To our knowledge, this is the first example of a predictive model for sexual orientation based on molecular markers,” said Tuck C. Ngun, PhD, first author on the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Beyond the genetic information contained in DNA, the researchers examined patterns of DNA methylation — a molecular modification to DNA that affects when and how strongly a gene is expressed — across the genome in pairs of identical male twins.

The science of this is w-a-a-a-y over my head, but the gist of it seems to be this: The chemical environment of the womb, estrogen levels especially, influences the way that genes express themselves.

We are all acquainted with the blueprint analogy: “You’re genes are like a blueprint; they govern whether you have blue eyes, or brown or green, and whether you’re tall or short … on and on.” For most purposes, that is a useful way of thinking about it. But the reality is that it’s apparently more like a long chain of IF-THEN-ELSE statements: “IF the environment is like this, THEN that, ELSE the other thing.” (But don’t quote me; that’s merely how I’m understanding what I read.)

Definitely, researchers are closing-in on the secrets of sexual-identity and -orientation, and it’s a lot more complicated than those Bronze Age goatherders thought. Not that it will change the thinking of those people whose entire sense of worth and identity derive from smugly telling themselves that they’re good li’l boys and girls who always do exactly as they’re told, whatever they’re told. But the rest of us can comfortably ignore them.

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Quote for the day

Theists are essentially the unquestioning gestapo of whatever monster manufactured the universe. Or rather, whatever monster some men made up and duped them into thinking it made the universe. Which means, they are essentially the gestapo of whatever random ignorant madmen wrote their scriptures and now thumps their pulpits with sufficiently fiery claims of special divine communications at bedtime.

I’m sorry to say, but that’s the truth. Theism actually has no moral theory.

Richard Carrier

Well worth your time.

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Poor persecuted Creflo

If I were Creflo Dollar, I’d probably be feeling sorry for myself right about now. First, all he does is ask his followers to give him a $65-million jet, and the whole world hoots with laughter. Now, for merely pointing-out that Jesus died to make him rich, it starts all over again.

Now, Tom Rich joins the scourging with a well-aimed whack of his own.

So yes, for these pastors, Jesus absolutely did bleed and die for the purpose of the PASTORS’ financial prosperity.

Jesus sure didn’t die for the prosperity of their pew sitters. If Jesus died for Creflo’s and the other mega pastors’ financial gain, then it stands to reason that Jesus also died to turn the pew sitters over to spiritual abuse at the hands of these charlatans.

When will people wake up? Maybe they aren’t asleep, just brain dead.

Yup. If you take clowns like Creflo, Perry, Albert and Mac seriously — you’re definitely brain dead; simple as that.

But that has always been the unhappy truth about religion. It is merely a device to enable predators to fleece damaged, insecure simpletons by investing them with a cheap and misguided sense of virtue.

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And the Blatant Sermonizing Award …

… goes to Creflo Dollar.

Works for him, I guess, and why not? The stupid are like the poor: They will always be with us. Somebody is going to pick their pockets, so why not him? At least he gets more retweets and favorites than Piper and Mohler.

UPDATE:   This is fun: The tweet has been taken down since wicked people like myself started laughing at him.

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Dismal theology tweet for the day, II

John Piper is approaching Tullian Tchividjian levels of abuse.

“blackhole of discontentment”? Never forget, then: Y’all are no damn good.

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