“Gay or straight, it’s decided at birth”

As a writer, I often enjoy Language Log simply for what I learn there about language, whether it’s connected to topics I’m involved with or not. Once in a while, though, they focus on one of my hot buttons: science journalism. On their blog they call it “The Language of Science,” on ways that science journalism is not always (ahem) quite what it ought to be.

Today Arnold Zwicky has taken New Scientist seriously to task for reporting that the “gay” sexual orientation is determined at birth. The science doesn’t support the conclusion, he says. Understand that Language Log is no right-wing, fundamentalist (or whatever stereotype you like to name) shill group. I don’t think any of the several Language Log authors have made a case for faith. Some of them seem to be agnostic or atheistic, based on what they’ve written.

What Zwicky complains about is that some reports on this research have had little connection with what the studies actually demonstrated. It’s the science, not the ideology, that drives his analysis. Says Zwicky,

First we get an (unsupportable) essentialist interpretation of the statistics, and then this feeds into some vulgar phrenology…

[Link: Language Log » Gay or straight, it’s decided at birth]

It’s hard to avoid the inference that somebody else’s conclusions are being driven by their ideology.

Tom Gilson

Vice President for Strategic Services, Ratio Christi Lead Blogger at Thinking Christian Editor, True Reason BreakPoint Columnist

You may also like...

%d bloggers like this: