An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
The genocentric world is upon us. Have you seen the movie "GATTACA"? It's worth watching to see what "brave new world" may await us. The "next generation" is learning that we are primarily the product of four little molecules and how these molecules are arranged (billions of times over) determines what and who we are. Genetics is WONDERFUL...they help us evolve, they help us determine who's mom and dad (don't bother to wonder how or why we should REALLY need this tool), they even solve crimes, and they will lead us to understand why people are they way they are. I've warned about it before: Biological Determinism.
The quest for the gay gene. Pay close attention to this phrase: "If we confirm that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic..." In other words, if any aspect of your character is genetic, it is unchangeable. You are stuck with it...after all, who can argue with A,G,T, and C. (In the article, Alan Chambers is on to something and - as you will see - finds himself in strange company.)
And HERE I may have my excuse in the works. The use of the word "may" is a rare condescension when scientific news gets filtered through the media - don't expect, however, to hear it when they find the "gay gene"...but anyway, what it means is this: things are really complex here and we are not entirely sure we have a tight grasp on the functions and variables. Convinced?
And, DNA poster boy James Watson has - they say - taken things too far. I must admit, I love it when Darwinian-atheistic-scientific world views go head to head with liberal progressive PC values - it's like watching Greenpeace and PETA go to war. Unfortunately, one must deal with the world views one ascribes to. The fact is if we are indeed a product of our genes and we do in fact live in a world of random genetic mutations coupled with "natural selection" (i.e. competition and survival of the fittest) then we must admit - as much as we may not like it - that there are genes in command of intelligence and that some races may indeed have a better set than others.
Genes for a propensity toward violence, genes for wife beating, genes for racist attitudes, genes for pedophilia, genes for genocidal tendencies, heck kids we can find a gene for all your nasty little habits and inclinations.
Arch-Darwinian-Genocentric Bishop Dr. Richard Dawkins is a grand herald of the "Selfish Gene." And, he happens to also be a pacifist. A rather curious thing to ascribe to when one's primal belief would suggest that pacifism cannot make any sense to the "Selfish Gene" and that we didn't get here (evolutionarily speaking by being nice and celebrating diversity). But Dawkins joins Alan Chambers in suggesting that we humans can indeed rise above our biological determinism. Imagine that: the vehement atheist Richard Dawkins and religious gay converting ministry leader Alan Chambers in the same intellectual bed together! But there you have it. So now they just need to decide which genetic inclinations we ought to overcome, which...leads us...umm...well where we started.
Not a day goes by without new stories coming down the media pipeline singing the praises of our advances in genetic knowledge. We are indeed actively searching for a genetic cause for everything that could possibly garner funding. I would advise skepticism, it seems to me that scientists are now having to work very hard to prove that the money spent on mapping the human genome was worth it.
Philosophy has been debating the notion of freewill long before genes came onto the scene to offer a biological challenge in favor of determinism. In my simple mind, the argument is rather pointless: for regardless, we must live our lives as if we have freewill, for to do otherwise would likely drive us insane or at least to the deepest gutters of moral depravity.
Oddly, both Watson and Crick seem to have been pretty good(!) in one field, pretty odd in others. Crick was sure earth had been colonized from outer space, Watson seems to be good at being, uh, *not* PC! It's something like how the Church canonizes someone for a particular aspect of their writings, not necessarily for every single thing they ever said and did. The world REALLY hates a chink in the armor, we take it for granted. Never mind the latest Nobel peace prize. He is considered just plain infallible. -- Bob K.