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A Doctor who just doesn't get it June 30, 2008

Posted by truthspew in marriage equality, religion.
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The latest missive by Dr. Michelle A. Cretella has appeared in the Letters to the Editors at the Providence Journal. What is it with M.D.’s, their education is steeped in science and empirical observation. How the hell can they be such religious fundamentalists. I’ve written before about one I ran into in North Carolina who was a Jesus freak, but we’ve even got them up here in Rhode Island.

In her June 13 letter “The bishop may be as biased as Bakst,” Wendy Becker takes issue with Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin’s statement that only heterosexual marital relationships are in accord with the natural law. Ms. Becker claims that the bishop’s statement “runs contrary to science,” but her objection is untenable.

This all started with a letter written by Bishop Tobin several weeks ago. Wendy Becker disputed the Bishop’s claims that homosexuality was against the natural order. And now we have Cretella, an M.D. by training saying that Becker’s claims are untenable.

Natural law does not refer to any and all behaviors observed in nature. Natural law refers to the universal moral law defined by Cicero as “right reason [that] is in conformity with nature.” Although natural law cannot be proven by the scientific method, it is discernible through reason and will never contradict science. Similarly, science cannot determine moral principles, but science does inform our moral judgments.

Cicero’s Universal Moral Law is cited in this first paragraph but Cretella’s analysis of Cicero is tainted by religious insanity. In essence she’s saying observe nature and then use reason influenced by religion to formulate a moral code.

Her insisitence that science informs moral judgment is laughable. If there is anything the religious moralists don’t get is that science informs morality. It’s weird, how can Cretella be an M.D. yet be such a religious whack job? Has she compartmentalized her thinking? Or does she suffer from MPD? Hmmm.

In a 1995 issue of Scientific American, Dr. Dean Hamer, the pre-eminent, openly homosexual gay-gene researcher, admitted that homosexuality is not genetically determined. Two years ago, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project, reiterated that “homosexuality is not hardwired by DNA.”

This is the best one yet. Playing on words that are thirteen years old Cretella’s choice of words leads us to believe that there is no genetic basis to homosexuality. But there is, even if indirectly.

You see, while no true ‘gay’ gene has been found, there are genes that might pre-dispose one to homosexuality. But genes aren’t the only players. During development a fetus is exposed to hormones that influence the expression of genes. It’s the mothers genetic expression producing the hormones that may or may not make a person gay. I’m surprised the good doctor hasn’t kept up on her reading.

Undeterred, some argue that regardless of the cause of same-sex attraction, homosexuality is natural because it is found in nature. The argument is essentially this: Homosexual behavior is observable in animals. Animal behavior is determined by their instincts. Nature requires animals to follow their instincts. Therefore, homosexuality is in accordance with animal nature. Since man is also an animal, homosexuality must also be in accordance with human nature.

I hate to break it to the good doctor but we are animals, a member of a large family of primates which includes the Apes, Chimps, and Bonobos. So I wish Dr. Cretella would explain the key differences to me since Homo Sapiens is nothing but the latest branch of development with the largest brain case of our ancestors (Homo Erectus, Homo Neanderthalensis, Australopithecus Afarensis). I also recall a move to reclassify chimps from Pan Troglodytes to Homo Troglodytes.

We’re driven by instinct too. Ask a teenager why they feel such powerful sexual urges and they can’t explain why, but it’s hormones and chemicals surging through their bodies.

I think the closer we come to accepting that human beings are in fact animals the better off everyone will be.

Of course, there is no proven “homosexual instinct” among animals; science cannot impute human motivations and sentiments onto animal behavior. However, even if apparently “homosexual” acts among animals are in accordance with animal nature, then parental killing of offspring and intra-species devouring are also in accordance with animal nature. Are we to insert human beings into this equation and conclude that filicide and cannibalism are in accordance with human nature? And if they are, why does society not endorse them?

Ok peaches, how many times do I have to say this, human == animal. Instead of filicide we now take babies that ordinarily wouldn’t survive (premies) and they do survive but I often wonder, how much are we diluting the gene pool by helping them to live? I know a few people who were premies and two things I’ve noticed is that they aren’t generally the brightest bulbs, and when they reproduce the chances of premature birth RISE. Hmmmm.

So something that should have been a genetic dead end is now out in the gene pool. Lovely.

Cretella brings the cannibalism argument out just to shock people. No we don’t eat our young, but some do eat the placenta after birth and the communion host is symbolic cannibalism, the body of Christ indeed.

Lesbian feminist and pagan Camille Paglia summarized it best: “Nature exists whether academics like it or not. And in nature, reproduction is the single relentless rule. That is the norm. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction.”

Only a male-female marital union is in conformity with this aspect of human nature.

Cretella loves to twist the words of alleged experts on gay behavior. And Paglia neglects that the pleasure aspect of sexual activity plays a part. Part of having 1450cc’s of brain is that our sexual function is decoupled from the physical to some degree. Most of our sexual pleasure is derived from brain function. To be sure, the brain is influenced by hormone secretion but that’s just an autonomous process for the most part.

Sex isn’t just for procreation. That’s something the religious fundamentalists keep driving home. For if the secret that sex can be highly pleasurable ever got out they fear they’d lose their grip on the control of the bedroom. For those of us who rejected the religious control on our lives, we’re much happier and balanced on the whole. In Cretella’s case, the question pops into my mind. When is the last time she got laid?

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Comments»

1. Andy - July 5, 2008

“What is it with M.D.’s, their education is steeped in science and empirical observation.”

Medical doctors are not scientists. They learn by rote and perform by habit. Their job is never to question, test, or review what they’ve learned – that’s left to medical researchers, distantly segregated from the practicing crowd. A medical practitioner’s education consists entirely of repetition and memorization, often of arbitrary details like Latin names, and thus an M.D. education is highly compatible with religious indoctrination.

“I know a few people who were premies and two things I’ve noticed is that they aren’t generally the brightest bulbs, and when they reproduce the chances of premature birth RISE. Hmmmm.

“So something that should have been a genetic dead end is now out in the gene pool. Lovely.”

That was very cold and tactless, even for an endorsement of eugenics. I have a friend who has chosen never to reproduce for fear of passing on a debilitating birth defect. I admire that decision, but I wouldn’t expect or demand it. You probably have some traits I’d judge unworthy of passing on. That line of thinking has no end.

Comments to quoted material:

“However, even if apparently ‘homosexual’ acts among animals are in accordance with animal nature, then parental killing of offspring and intra-species devouring are also in accordance with animal nature. Are we to insert human beings into this equation and conclude that filicide and cannibalism are in accordance with human nature?”

Indeed they are, as their occurrence in several remote cultures indicates, but that doesn’t make them right. No one suggested that simply existing in nature was reason enough to hold homosexuality high and celebrate its greatness, just that there’s no validity to the argument that it’s wrong because it’s unnatural – it’s simply not unnatural.

“‘Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction.’

“Only a male-female marital union is in conformity with this aspect of human nature.”

What an absurd conclusion for her to make. Marital? Union? You could reproduce a great deal more without the pomp and circumstance. Promiscuity is far more compatible with the goal of reproduction than conformity to the nuclear family.


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