I got the following from a reader and I thought it would make a good post. There’s a lot here, so it should probably be two post topics.
This comment would probably be better suited for an email, but alas, I can not find any good way to contact you. I find your views intriguing, brilliant, and sometimes insane.
What is curious to me is that you seem to have all the foundations of a free and empirically minded thinker but also possess some egregiously incorrect views. Further, in much of your writing you tout a freedom from group-think and the cultish mentality which most of humanity takes up over some particular dogma or another. For this reason, I rather enjoy and respect much of your work here.
I fancy myself a similar sort of thinker, and often blast people of all different sorts of ideologies in a manner not unlike your work in this blog. I find it strange that you and I can disagree on so much when we appear to be coming from the same sort of epistemological framework. I’d wager that you have a good deal more raw knowledge than me, both of the historic and political types, so I’m willing to be charitable to your views and try to learn from them.
With that concession, it’s hard to imagine how you have come to some of your beliefs. You appear to have a great faith in evolutionary psychology, especially as it pertains to gender roles. But I am highly skeptical of this very new field of science; very little of what I’ve read has been grounded in good empirical work.
Further, you are against Gay-marriage. Being charitable, I suspect you mean to say something like: marriage is state-recognized for the sole purpose of promoting fertility, which gay people necessarily cannot participate in, therefore, it does not make sense for gay marriage to be state recognized. Would I be correct in saying this? Or do you think gay couples should be deprived other rights which heterosexual couples enjoy, such as hospital visitation rights and adoption?
In general, I’d like you to expound on your view on evolutionary psychology, gender roles, and homosexuality. You are of course free to tell me to fuck off. But I’ve read 25 pages of this blog and feel unsatisfied with your exposition on these topics, so it’d be great if you could indulge me a bit.
As far as my views, I would never claim to have an organized and well thought out philosophy on anything. Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who does. The world, at least from the perspective of any one man, is a tiny clearing in the wood. Human intellectual history is the expansion and contraction of that bit of clearing. It is impossible for any one man to know all that is known. The sum of human knowledge is a tiny subset of what can be known. Therefore, any one man can only know a tiny bit of what can be known and, worse yet, is wholly ignorant about what he does not know.
Now, presented with the facts as described above, spending time building a grand unifying theory to explain what I know seems like a waste of time. If someone were to come forward and offer me a big fat sack of money to come up with a grand unifying theory of everything, then I’ll be glad to do it. That’s not happening so I don’t waste my time on inventing a new philosophy. I take in as much new knowledge as my genetic code permits and wedge it in with the other stuff. I’m like a hoarder or junk collector.
Now, to the evolutionary sciences. John Derbyshire said it best. Evolution is the best explanation for the fossil record. It is flexible enough to absorb new data. It can be adapted to include the new data without invalidating other data we know to be true. It allows science to further explore and catalog the fossil record and now the genetic record, as well as hunt for new information. Understanding our nature is the first step toward creating a new way of looking at human organization and Western politics.
Unlike John, I’d leave open the possibility that some new, better theory could come along and make evolution sound like witchcraft. The history of science, is the history of mistakes, but natural selection, genetic drift, sexual selection and gene mutation are unlikely to be replaced with a new idea. Still, you always have to leave open the possibility that what we think is certain is not more certain than the superstitions popular with our ancestors. We may be closer to the caveman than we like to think.
As to “gay marriage,” I’m neither for nor against it in the same way I’m neither for nor against Santa Claus or flying carpets. One cannot be opposed to something that does not exist and by definition, homosexual marriage is impossible. This is not just biological pedantry, but a fact of our cultural and moral history. To pretend that two men sharing rent and a bed is the same as your mother and father having and raising children is the nullification of human civilization. It is the claim that there is no truth, just argument.
Reality is that which does not go away when you stop believing in it. Biology and physics are two good examples. These nuts can believe they are sexless starseeds but biology does not bend to wishful thinking. Humans come in two sexes. This is a matter of genetics. New humans come from a human of each sex mating thus creating a new human that is the result of their marriage. Long before the legal and religious meanings, the biological meaning was plainly obvious to humans. It’s why gay marriage never existed.
This is something humans knew since the dawn of time. Marriage without reproduction is impossible. Two guys or three gals can certainly have sex. They can contract with one another over property ownership. They can play house. They cannot reproduce with one another to create new humans. It is as irrational as insisting dogs and horses are the same species. They may have many things in common, but they cannot mate and produce off-spring, which by definition makes them of different species. Yet, we have lunatics in our midst who rail against speciesism.
Now, every society has useful lies it tells itself to lubricate daily life. Americans tell themselves that all men are created equal. This is most certainly not true, but it helps grease the wheels. Pretending Bob and Bill are married is not going to unravel civilization, but, that’s not what this is about and the numbers make it clear. Homosexuals are not that interested in marriage. As the New York Times admits, “monogamy is not a central feature of gay couples.” No, the real goal here is the progressive assault on normalcy.
As far as homosexuals, biology and the role of the sexes, I don’t think you need stray too far from biology. Men and women are different in our primary, secondary and tertiary characteristics. Men have different reproductive strategies than women for obvious biological reasons. This naturally leads to a a whole list of secondary and tertiary traits that would evolve differently in support of reproductive and survival strategies. As the old paleocon saying goes, men will trade safety for sex and women will trade sex for safety.
How do homosexuals fit into this? That’s a mystery. No one really knows what causes homosexuality, but it does appear to be natural. Genetics has failed to find the “gay gene” and logic says such a gene would not exist. Homosexuals would reproduce at far lower rates and the trait would soon die out. There are some theories about conditions in the womb or perhaps a combination of genes that when exposed to certain conditions in the womb result in a gay child. No one knows, but gay exist and there is a cause.
The bottom line with homosexuals is that they have been a feature of human society since the dawn of time. In the West, homosexuality was politely ignored with fits of persecution from time to time. In America, homosexuals were expected to keep their sex lives private and the rest of us were expected to leave them alone. Despite claims to the contrary, there’s no evidence of wholesale, systematic persecution of homosexuals. The natural order her is benign neglect and agreeing to not talk about it.