There is More to Human Sexuality than XX and XY

There are a few problems with the assumptions posed by Bryan’s article. For example, consider Bryan’s claim that:

Without mutations humans would all look alike, with the same eye color, hair color, skin color, facial shape, etc. Mutations are the basis of the nearly limitless variation observed in the human family. It is impossible to conceive of a genetic system without mutation, and if God is the architect of life and of the genetic systems that support life, He must have incorporated the process of mutation to provide the diversity needed to produce a vibrant human population.

This simply isn’t true. Random genetic mutations are not required to produce human variation. Rather, Mendelian variation forms the basis of phenotypic variability (the same is true for plants and animals that undergo sexual reproduction). In comparison, random genetic mutations strongly tend toward functional genetic deterioration with the vast majority of mutations that have a functional impact on the gene pool being detrimental - not advantageous at all. In fact, it is this very high “detrimental mutation rate” that is driving the human gene pool, as a whole, toward inevitable genetic meltdown and eventual extinction. The same is true for all slowly-reproducing species (like all mammals for instance).

Beyond this genetic problem with Bryan’s argument, there is also a problem with the idea that just because something is “natural” or “genetic” that it is “good” or “Ok” or part of God’s ideal plan for humanity. That simply isn’t true. A lot of diseases and disorders and harmful tendencies within humanity have a “natural” or genetically-inherited basis. This doesn’t make them “good” or “ideal” or part of God’s plan for humanity. Rather, God wishes to save us from our degenerated state, with all of our cultivated fallen and sinful tendencies, and put us back in line with what is in fact best for humanity. He wants to save us from our sinful state, not in our sinful state…

If all of mankind are descendents of Adam and Eve, what is the source of the vast range of human variation we see today if it was not from mutations? Even to have produced the diversity of humans present at the time of Abraham there would have had to have been mutations to provide the raw material for Mendelian independent assortment and recombination to produce such great diversity. Genetic variation doesn’t happen by magic.

And I never said it was. Clearly there are mutations that are quite negative. But for those mutations that are not so negative, some can be lived with, like being left-handed, and others like myopia can be corrected with glasses or contacts. Many of the differences in sexual development that exist are in the first category, they can be lived with. Why make life hell for a gay person when there is nothing morally wrong with same-sex marriage? That would be like saying to someone with presbyopia, reading glasses are wrong to use, thus making it difficult or impossible for the person to read a book. Why do we let people use reading glasses? Because there is obviously nothing morally wrong with using them. I know that seems like a silly analogy, but other than how many Christians choose to interpret the meaning and applicability of certain texts, you cannot point to any reason to consider same-sex marriage to be morally wrong either.

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What was God’s preferred guide to laterality? Right-handedness? If that were the case, based on your assumption, would left-handers be in error to God’s guide?

I often wonder whether Adam & Eve were right handed.

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How can there be Mendelian variation if everyone has identical genes and there is no mutation?

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Well we’re not descendants of one couple. Recent advancements in genetics show that as humanity emerged from our ancestors and became modern humans as a group, the population never constituted less than 10,000 - 20,000 individuals.

You’d probably like:
https://smile.amazon.com/Tangled-Tree-Radical-History-Life/dp/1476776636/

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Why do you assume that Adam and Eve were allelically identical? This assumption makes no sense given the pre-programmed ability of sexually reproductive genomes to undergo Mendelian recombination to produce a vast array of phenotypic diversity - without the need for random mutations at all. Consider, for example, that the significant majority of dog breeds that exist today, from the chihuahua to the Great Dane, were produced within the last few hundred years via Mendelian variation starting from the Wolf - without dependence on random allelic mutations to any significant degree. The same is true for human siblings born to the same parents who can be very different looking and acting based on Mendelian variation alone (my brother and I look quite different for example).

In short, the argument that random allelic mutations would have been required to produce vast human, animal, and plant diversity is nonsense. Such diversity can be achieved based on front-loaded information and Mendelian variation alone.

This should be especially clear given are modern knowledge that the vast majority of functional genetic mutations are in fact detrimental (by a radio of over a million to 1). Your argument, therefore, that God was actually dependent upon such detrimental mutations to produce human diversity is absolutely nonsensical given the scientific evidence that we currently have in hand. The very high detrimental mutation rate is actually driving the human gene pool in a downhill direction toward eventual genetic meltdown and extinction. The human gene pool is itself getting old and decaying - just like our individual human bodies get old, decay, and eventually die. For more details about this problem see:

As far as your statement,

Why make life hell for a gay person when there is nothing morally wrong with same-sex marriage?

Why make life “hell” for an alcoholic person? or someone addicted to drugs? or any other non-ideal lifestyle? This isn’t the purpose of the Christian. Rather, the desire of Jesus and the purpose of Christianity is to lift people up, in love for fallen humanity, from our non-ideal tendencies through the power of God to realize what humanity was originally intended to be. Certainly, the Bible does not support the popular notion that the homosexual lifestyle is “ideal” or at all what God originally intended for humanity. There are aspects of men and women that complement each other that simply cannot be achieved in a “marriage” between same-sex couples. And, the Bible is very clear, in both the Old and New Testaments, that such a same-sex relationship was never intended by God to be the state of any human being. God is offering a better alternative, an alternative that might seem impossible from the human perspective, but is not impossible through Divine power via a relationship with God.

Again, there’s absolutely no need to start with a bunch of humans in order to achieve vast phenotypic diversity starting with just two human beings. Random genetic mutations only make the human gene pool decay over time. We are headed downhill, not uphill. We are rapidly headed toward eventual genetic meltdown and extinction as a species - along with all other slowly-reproducing animals (like all mammals for instance). The detrimental mutation rate is simply too high for natural selection to cope with without each generation being genetically inferior to the previous generation…

The original parental gene pool need not have been “identical”. The same two parents can give rise to a vast array of phenotypically different offspring based on the front-loaded genetic potential within themselves and the process of Mendelian variation alone…

Relying on random genetic mutations will only get you in trouble since the vast majority of these are detrimental and are driving the human gene pool downhill in a very rapid manner.

Ha ha, Tim. I also suggest Adam and the Genome, which says the same. I am merely reasoning from the common assumption that most Christians do, that all mankind came from a single couple, which if true, would require mutation to have produced the diversity we see today. Of course, mutation would be required to produce the variation we see today if we started with 15,000 ancestors too.

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Who says that handedness is based on genetic mutations? - outside of the original front-loaded information of our original two parents?

“It was initially thought that a single gene controlled handedness. However, more recent studies suggest that multiple genes, perhaps up to 40, contribute to this trait. Each of these genes likely has a weak effect by itself, but together they play a significant role in establishing hand preference. Studies suggest that at least some of these genes help determine the overall right-left asymmetry of the body starting in the earliest stages of development.”

Again, such diversity can be easily achieved via Mendelian variation alone of front-loaded information without the need to resort to genetic mutations which are almost always functionally detrimental to the human gene pool of options.

Only if you’re talking about functionally detrimental allelic variations. Otherwise, it is very easy to achieve vast phenotypic variation starting with just two parents and Mendelian variation alone…

Again, where is the evidence to back up your assumption that genetic mutations have been significantly beneficial to the human gene pool of options? Just the opposite is actually true. The average child has around 100 mutations that the parents did not have. Of these, around 20 likely have some functional effect (the others being functionally neutral). And, of these 20 functionally relevant mutations, the odd are that all will be detrimental compared to the parental gene pool. In fact, the odds are so bad that this detrimental mutation rate is inevitably driving the entire human gene pool rapidly downhill… not uphill as you’re suggesting here.

I never said or even implied that they were allelically identical. As any geneticist could explain, the genetic diversity contained within just two individuals is insufficient to produce the kind of diversity we see today, unless you also have mutations to continually produce new diversity? How allelically different do you think they were, anyway? There many loci that have dozens of different alleles and more across the human population. A single diploid pair of individuals can possess a maximum of four alleles per locus. Where have all those other alleles come from if not via mutation?

For your contention to be correct, either Adam or Eve would have had to have had sickle-cell trait, thus enabling their African descendents to have resistance to malaria. Oh, oops, that’s a detrimental mutation (unless, of course, you live in Africa where malaria runs rampant). This is the kind of quandary that happens repeatedly with your kind of reasoning about genetics.

No one is making hell for an alcoholic by wanting to help him get treatment for the addiction. There is a moral argument against encouraging someone to go ahead and live as an alcoholic. There is moral harm, since we know that being an alcoholic leads to many negative health outcomes. The same cannot be said for same-sex marriage, there is no moral harm you can identify, and since there is no moral harm, why prohibit it, except because it makes you uncomfortable, or it doesn’t reach some ideal you have determined to be important?

Even were this to be true, how does that address same-sex marriage. No one is implying that same-sex marriage is the same as heterosexual marriage. Just because something does not meet some specified ideal, does not mean that alternative approaches or variation should not be allowed. If there is nothing morally wrong with same-sex marriage, why not allow it, especially if it can help gays live more fulfilled and sexually responsible lives? If you are uncomfortable with it, don’t get married to a man yourself, but why prohibit others. Heterosexua marriages loses nothing by also allowing same-sex marriage.

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Let me redirect the conversation to the religious contention that “Anything other than what God has determined is in error.” My question still stands, what is God’s will in regards to laterality. Right handedness or left handedness and does the wrong answer mean going against God’s will?

But if you insist, can you direct me to a clinical case where a homosexual was successfully treated through the power of having a divine relationship with God?

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I didn’t try to make that argument either. You are twisting my points. I simply said that mutation leads to human variation. That much of that variation “could” be characterized as detrimental is irrelevant to my point. You simply cannot produce the amount of variation, period (good or bad), that we see in the human population today without mutation. I would even challenge you to share with me one peer-reviewed genetics paper that even suggests such would be possible for any group of animals starting with two ancestors. Starting with a single pair of ancestors limits the system to only so much variation It runs counter to all we know about genetics. Whether humans are doomed due to mutations over time is a whole other topic and one I am not interested in discussing here, as it it is irrelevant to my point.

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But Bryan said identical genes…

We know that gene allele arise from mutations, in many cases we know what the mutation is. Read up on blue eyes for example or eye color in general.

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It’s true that in theory it is possible for a species to attain the genetic diversity we see in humans - even if there was what is known as a bottleneck event where the species is almost wiped out. But, in order to attain the diversity found in humans, it would take millions of generations to accomplish, which conflicts the current timeline for the appearance of modern humans, as there is not enough time for that to have happened.

Geneticists can tell based on specific aspects of the human genome that there were never less than 10,000 - 20,000 members in the human population. They can do this for any mammal (and they have).

One such species is the Tasmanian devil, which has a profound lack of genetic variability. They are so much the same that almost any individual could accept blood or even transplanted organs from almost any other. Unfortunately, as a result they are under threat from a cancer that spreads through saliva whey they fight and bite each other. The cancer started in one individual, and its mutated cancerous cells are not rejected by other individuals through what would be a normal immune response in most other mammals.

In any case, the science is established. For an fascinating review, I recommend this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Adam-Genome-Reading-Scripture-Genetic/dp/158743394X/

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Can you provide a description of gene allele that doesn’t involve the word mutation (or its functional equivalent)? The only reason one can talk about Mendelian genetics is because of mutations…

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Ron, Let’s set aside the conversation about gay and bisexual men, as that is only part of LGBTQI+. I will agree that scripture can be viewed to address the above, but committed scholars most certainly have a variety of views on the topic which can be supported, and which vary with your heart felt view/opinion.

So, let’s return to the actual topic of the article which covers a much broader subject area, which in your response you didn’t even acknowledge the existence of. How do you propose to relate to the whole of the LGBTQI+ population, which includes Intersex individual, individuals with a DSD (Disorder of Sexual Development), which cover a wide array of conditions. How about a person who is born with Androgen insensitivity syndrome, and many other genetics make ups besides XX and XY. What about transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and yes lesbians. I fear you paint with a broad brush of exclusion, even judgement, Christ in Matt 19:12, and the story of Philip and the eunuch seem fully fitting and inclusive for those I mention here.

I am willing to be judged for being inclusive, loving, accepting and understanding…

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Thanks, Steve. I am not sure where you are coming from. The Bible tells us that even the Pharysees practiced love, or what appeared as love. They actually twisted God’s commands to suit their ideas of love, like disobeying God’s commands to parents in order to give gifts to the sanctuary which went to themselves. Jesus and the Bible talk alot about love, but also about disobedience and its consequences. To destroy the old word of ca. 2 billion people is no small thing. But guess why they were destroyed? To obey is better than the fat of rams and to disobey is as witchcraft the Good book tells us. So check up on love and obedience, my friend. Blessings.

No, you can’t, since variation has been clearly linked to mutation. Numerous studies with bacteria show just this connection. Bacteria have just one copy of each gene, meaning that at each locus there is just a single allele. You can start a colony of bacteria from a single bacterium, and all the offspring will be identical, each locus has just one allele in the entire population, there is no variation among the individuals in the population. Even if these bacteria trade DNA with one another by conjugation, they will still all remain identical, since they all have the same alleles. Alternate alleles in such a population can only arise via mutation, and they do, regularly. And this has been demonstrated repeatedly, although most such mutations are detrimental, some are not, and over time such a population of bacteria will develop genetic variation. In fact, over time, new phenotypes can arise, in some cases completely new phenotypes that only arise because of the process of mutation. What I am sharing here is trivial, and something that every biology student learns in their introductory biology class.

Granted, diploid organisms like ourselves are much more complex and we engage in sexual reproduction, which repackages the variation we already possess in various ways, resulting in a diversity of offspring. We didn’t get to the place we are now with such great genetic diversity by simply rearranging what was there from the start, otherwise how could we end up with loci that have dozens of variant alleles. If you start with two humans and go from there, you only have four alleles maximum per locus with which to work. How could humanity of started with just four alleles and ended up with dozens without mutations. If you understand genetics, it is simple common sense.

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