Thursday, October 18, 2007

Poor scientist

Apparently James Watson, the discoverer of DNA has put his foot in it again, suggesting that Africans may be less intelligent than whites (HT: Mark Shea). And in the great tradition of open-minded discussion that science provides and of which secular scientists are the living repository, a planned speech at the London Science Museum has been canceled, for thinking Badthought about The God Equality.

In the guts of the AP story, there's one bit that caught my eye.
The Independent catalogued a series of controversial statements from Watson, including one in which he reportedly suggested women should have the right to have abortions if tests could determine their children would be homosexual.
Why is that statement controversial?

If a woman has the right to an abortion for any reason or no reason, or because child-bearing is such a personal matter that no Other (whether person or state) may pronounce on her motives -- then why doesn't she have the right to abort if tests determine a predisposition to homosexuality (or any other predisposition, in principle)? Any reason is as good as any other reason, and who are YOU to judge ME, right?

And frankly, if the Darwinian muthos is true, that man is merely a pretty smart and/or uniquely rapacious animal with no divine purpose, then our "purpose" defaults into what is that of the other animals, i.e. to reproduce. And if one were a mad scientist (let's follow precedent and name him Yakub) asked to invent a dysgenic feature to introduce into the human race, it'd be hard to come up with a better one than homosexuality. So in that way, it makes entirely good sense that a leading Darwinist would support aborting the homos, or even, stepping back in the manner of Robert Wright, construct "homophobia" as an adaptive psychological emotion that evolved through natural selection to favor reproduction. My only question is "why aren't the others?"
Icon credit: PLAGAL is the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, a group that does good and necessary work.

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