This is a short follow up to the post I had on the paper written by Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh. Something smells fishy about it. Two issues stand out to me: 1. It presented itself under the neutral auspices of “science,” as opposed to some kind of underlying moral theory which the authors won’t admit to; and 2. they pretend to “care” about the well being of LGBT people, and indeed, don’t say anything overtly nasty, but give ammo to sources who are more than willing to do the dirty work.
So we have this article entitled “Born That Way? A False Hypothesis” (from a project at Grove City College doing what I think to be good work which I enjoy) which seeks to use that ammo. In a raw philosophical scientific sense, the title of this article is fallacious. Yes, it may be true that we don’t have smoking gun evidence sexual orientation is fixed at birth (which I would admit, I don’t know or believe to be true). But still, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
I think the real “false hypothesis” is that proving “born that way” one way or the other is dispositive in an “ought” sense. Analogies can be tricky things because any time we make them we have to compare an A to a B or an apple to orange. But in terms of the etiology of the condition (not necessarily the propriety of the chosen acts), the closest analogy to sexual orientation is to that of handedness.
And by the way, we are still searching for the “left handed” gene. We thought we found it; but that turned out to be wrong.