Back up your claims

Editor:

In response to Alex Tolaas’ letter (“Science will eventually back up homosexuality,” Oct. 26), I urge readers to remember that the jury is still out on the causality behind sexual orientation. While some would like you to believe that the cause is given, and it’s only time before it’s actually proven that this is the way it works, to do so is largely irresponsible in the dearth of evidence.

In addition, I would like to take issue with the analogy set forth by Tolaas. I would propose that it is wholly misleading and hardly appropriate to the subject matter. Sexual orientation is nowhere at all like cut-and-dried ethnicity, and to compare the two doesn’t work.

Sexual orientation is-and I stress this-behavioral, even if its cause is not behavioral in origin and not something as distinct or clear as height or eye color.

To my knowledge, you can’t determine how homosexual someone is as you can measure how tall someone is.

I’d also add that the author lambastes another author for not approaching the issue from an unbiased point of view. Everyone has his or her personal biases on every issue, and no observer is truly neutral.

The author highlights his own inability to write from a nonbiased point of view in his last sentence, where he made his lack of neutrality oh-so-painfully clear. I believe that people need to come to terms with their own lack of true objectivity.

Finally, I would like to reply to a slew of letters I have seen of late: If you’re going to invoke science, play by scientific rules. It’s not good enough to simply state: “Science has shown us so-and-so.” If an actual scientist tried that with something that wasn’t “common knowledge,” he or she would be challenged to provide proof.

The absence of this is, in fact, the absence of evidence and we might as well be saying the sky is neon green.

I, therefore, offer this challenge to all those who blithely invoke the name of science: Give me proof for my pudding, and provide a citation to a peer-reviewed piece that supports your claims.

I look forward to seeing more thoughtful dialogue on this, and all, issues.

David Rackham

Senior, Biology