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Dec 05 2011

Somebody tell David Barton to shut up

David Barton is a guy who makes a living lying about history…and now apparently he wants to add lying about science to his résumé. Here he argues that abortion and homosexuality are wrong because they are aberrations of nature.

The stupid burns white hot in that one.

  1. It’s the naturalistic fallacy. You can’t derive what humans ought to do from what other animals do (and worse, what you imagine in your ignorance that other animals do). Other animals don’t worship the Bible or pray; therefore, it is wrong for humans to do so. At least, that’s the reasonable conclusion for Barton’s logic. We’ll also have to shed hats and shoes, stop cooking our food, and Barton will have to stop doing his clown act on TV…all human behaviors that are not shared with other animals.

  2. It is simply not true that other animals don’t abort their young. Look at the Bruce effect; rodents will spontaneously terminate their pregnancies if exposed to a strange male. Lots of animals will spontaneously abort under stress, and it makes evolutionary sense: evolution, unlike fundamentalist Christians, favors the preservation of maternal life. It is wiser for a female to conserve her resources and bear offspring when she can afford the cost.

    You want real horror stories? Look up maternal infanticide. It’s a continuation of that same evolutionary logic: if infants cost resources, and if the choice has to be made between preserving the life of the infant vs. the life of the mother (and usually, death of the mother leads to death of the infant anyway), animals will sacrifice the young first. It’s been seen in rodents, penguins, pigs, foxes, tamarins, you name it. It’s often even accompanied by cannibalism. If Barton wants to draw moral lessons for humanity from the animal kingdom, there you go.

  3. Homosexuality is also common (here’s a list). Barton is making the common fundie Christian error, thinking sex is for reproduction and only for reproduction. As anyone with any sense knows, though, in humans and many other animals, sex is primarily for social bonding. Almost every single sexual activity in which you participate, even if it is with a member of the complementary sex in permanent relationship, is for fun and because it strengthens the relationship.

    When you look at it that way, what’s surprising is how little homosexuality is going on — why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal? But then of course there are other factors, like maintaining some exclusivity of special relationships and the importance of distancing as well as intimacy in different classes of social behaviors. But you simply cannot make the blanket argument that homosexuality is unsupportable by evolution.

    Also, because it’s the explanation I favor, not everything in evolution is finely tuned for optimal reproductive efficiency. I think homosexuality is common because evolution favors sexual behaviors first, and adding restrictions to limit sexual behavior to reproductive behavior a distant second.

Unfortunately, lying for favors and obstinately clinging to ignorance are typically human behaviors, too, so I can’t slam Barton with the argument that he’s an aberration.

104 comments

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  1. 1
    anteprepro

    Oh, David Barton. Even for a pseudo-historian, he’s moronic. But as an American conservative, he’s horrifyingly run of the mill. The only thing problematic about him specifically is that other conservatives are able to fool themselves into believing he’s an expert. But, then again, conservatives can fool themselves into believing anything they have a firm desire to fool themselves into.

  2. 2
    Aquaria

    This guy read The Handmaid’s Tale and thought it was a how-to manual.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    jakc

    So if Republicans acted like nature, shouldn’t Newt Gingrich’s step-father have killed him?

  5. 5
    Alverant

    “evolution, unlike fundamentalist Christians, favors the preservation of maternal life”
    Love this line. I’m going to copy it!

  6. 6
    Elf_Owl

    We should base our behavior on what animals do except when we shouldn’t – when it’s behavior that religious people don’t like. Doesn’t promiscuity, for example, make someone “no better than an animal” in their eyes? I am sure I have heard that said against people in same-sex relationships as well. Apparently, only godly, moral animal behaviors should be held up as positive examples.

  7. 7
    markr1957

    Sadly lying and cheating is a very common human genetic trait too, unfortunately matched with the the equally common genetic trait for trusting other humans more than they generally deserve.

  8. 8
    stwriley

    We historians have been trying to counter this yahoo for years now. I’m sorry for you all that he’s now crossed over to fling his feces at scientists as well.

    The problem is that he has a dedicated following that spreads all his nonsense out into the public consciousness as though it were fact while often concealing that he is the source. That’s how they got the “christian nation” meme to take such tenacious hold, even though everything that’s ever cited as “evidence” of this and attributed to one of the Founders is generally one of his twisted ideas or quote-mines. The fact is that, except within the far right-wing Christian circles he inhabits, the man hasn’t had a shred of credibility in decades. But since most people who could be convinced he’s full of it don’t ever encounter his ideas directly, only filtered through his dissiminators, they never know just how poor a piece of work the idea they’re being sold is based on.

  9. 9
    Ingdigo Jump

    Sadly lying and cheating is a very common human genetic trait too, unfortunately matched with the the equally common genetic trait for trusting other humans more than they generally deserve.

    Actually research has shown that corporal punishment for children trains them to be liars.

    The association with Newt’s nastiness and Christianity makes total sense now.

  10. 10
    Anthony K

    David Barton is a guy who makes a living lying about history.

    Say what you like about conservatives always wanting to pay others to do the jobs they’re too chicken-shitted to do themselves, but at least they’re creating jobs.

    Er, a job.

    Even if it isn’t one that provides any value to human society whatsoever.

  11. 11
    jand

    Also, as usual, homosexual behaviour is spoken of as being exclusive to homosexual individuals, as if bisexual individuals didn´t even exist. Bisexuality… *shudder*

  12. 12
    PaulJ

    Writing doesn’t appear in the animal kingdom, therefore it’s an aberration and should be banned by law.

  13. 13
    Physicalist

    why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    Well, when you put it that way . . .

  14. 14
    Azuma Hazuki

    This is the closest thing to “secular blasphemy” we have, I think. Barton is not only a liar, he’s a dangerous liar whose words and actions ripple outward and cause or contribute to untold suffering for the entire human race.

  15. 15
    jand

    And, in the list of homosexual behaviours observed in animals, there are several instances of homosexual behaviour that is not “just for fun” (nothing wrong with that, of course), but also reproductively functional. The activities are for practice (just like before going to a dance…) or quote “to get rid of older and so less effective sperm”. These activities are obviously engaged in by bisexual specimens, or specimens exhibiting both homo and heterosexual behaviour.

  16. 16
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    Imagine what it would be like if bonobos started conducting business transactions.

  17. 17
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Thinking about it, I do not need to imagine it. I would be a lot like later Anita Blake novels.

  18. 18
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Janine

    I imagine there’d be less false pretenses than in Blake.

  19. 19
    jamessweet

    I think many people tend to overstate the evolutionary importance of the pair-bonding aspect of sex. Certainly it is of tremendous social importance, and, one could perhaps of argue, of rather great existential importance, since romantic love is for many people one of the things that makes life worth living. But evolutionary importance? I’m not really buying it. However, this:

    Also, because it’s the explanation I favor, not everything in evolution is finely tuned for optimal reproductive efficiency.

    How the hell would you have a genotype that made it so sex was ONLY fun when it resulted in procreation? That would be a pretty elaborate set of mutations to limit behavior in that way, and one can imagine that a lot of the steps on the way would be downright counterproductive from an evolutionary standpoint. It would be very difficult for sex-only-for-reproduction to evolve in primates. And so it doesn’t. Ho hum.

  20. 20
    jimnorman

    I think homosexuality is common because evolution favors sexual behaviors first, and adding restrictions to limit sexual behavior to reproductive behavior a distant second.

    Could it be that homosexuality is a remnant of our hermaphroditic past? Are sexual appetite and equipment two separate things, such that they may be matched in all combinations?

  21. 21
    Alex

    janine,

    Imagine what it would be like if bonobos started conducting business transactions.

    My knowledge of ape behavior is only superficial, but have’t I heard that, indeed, bonobos do havee negociations using sex?

  22. 22
    jimnorman

    Oh, and David Barton: shut up.

  23. 23
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I imagine there’d be less false pretenses than in Blake.

    You are right, Ing. But I was thinking along the lines of multiple orgies featuring competing executives.

    Eww…

  24. 24
    jonathanlubin

    Is he saying that we should take our morality from the behavior of the dogs in the street?

  25. 25
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    My knowledge of ape behavior is only superficial, but have’t I heard that, indeed, bonobos do havee negociations using sex?

    Sex is the glue that holds bonobo society together.

    Eww…

  26. 26
    marcus

    Yes, I second jimnorman (though I don’t think it will do any good).

    David Barton, Please Shut The Fuck Up! Yours Truly, Humanity

  27. 27
    holytape

    But he has a letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington that says abortions don’t happen in nature……..

  28. 28
    mattandrews

    When you look at it that way, what’s surprising is how little homosexuality is going on — why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    There’s a really funny Kids in the Hall or Mr. Show sketch in that sentence.

  29. 29
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    holytape has won this round.

  30. 30
    The Lorax

    This is why I love skepticism, and PZ: it’s not enough to say “you’re wrong,” you need to say “you’re wrong, and here’s two paragraphs with citations pointing out your failures in logic and interpretation of evidence.”

    Bravo, PZ.

  31. 31
    holytape

    “There is no species that practices homosexuality, because you won’t be a species for long.”

    Someone should tell that to Aspidoscelis uniparens, the Desert Grassland Whiptail lizard. All females, and they fake mate with each other to enhance reproductive output.

    I also propose that the common name of this lizard should be changed to “Lesbian Lizards of the Desert.”

  32. 32
    Anthony K

    When you look at it that way, what’s surprising is how little homosexuality is going on — why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    What do you think golf is? I grab my bag full of balls and shafts, and head down to the links with the rest of my foursome to sink a few in the hole—hell, I’m ecstatic if I can finish a round in fewer strokes than last time.

    How much more clear do you think we can make it?

  33. 33
    Stacy

    How the hell would you have a genotype that made it so sex was ONLY fun when it resulted in procreation? That would be a pretty elaborate set of mutations to limit behavior in that way

    Well, it would be pretty extreme if you take that “ONLY” seriously, but most mammals–including many primates–have an estrous cycle. Females are interested in, and sexually attractive to males, only during or immediately before ovulation.

    Not humans, though (or bonobos).

  34. 34
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Funny how sex is a deeply spiritual activity best shared within the context of a committed romantic relationship for heterosexual partners, but a mere reproductive act for homosexual partners.

  35. 35
    EvoMonkey

    Hey what was that sound?

    Oh, it was just David Barton’s head exploding after reading this post.

  36. 36
    Stacy

    Barton’s lying about the holy babble, too.

    “All these passages we have in the Bible, Old Testament, New Testament; God hates abortion”

    Bullshit. The bible doesn’t mention abortion.

  37. 37
    municipalis

    Doesn’t this sword swing both ways?

    Nature Proves Religion is Wrong

    Name me one animal, insect, bird, fish, or what-have-you which builds shrines and temples, tithes food, fasts during certain times of the year, refuses to do anything on a single given day of the week or has sectarian feuds over the interpretation of sacred texts?

    That’s right: you can’t. Ipso facto, Religion = Unnatural = Wrong.

  38. 38
    chigau (違う)

    The bible doesn’t mention abortion.

    There is a passage somewhere about paying a fine if you cause a miscarriage.
    It’s a stretch but maybe that’s what he means.
    (what am I doing???)

  39. 39
    daisydeadhead

    I’ve argued with local conservative fundies over this, and they simply don’t believe that animals can engage in homosexual behaviors. I tell them I even SAW two old female cats doing this once (69 position, I swear) and making weird mewing noises (not in a bad way), so this isn’t just some pro-gay scientists/propagandists saying this; it is also my EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY (the only thing they believe). And they will still invariably argue with me that “No they didn’t, you just SAW it that way!”–doncha know its our dirty minds that makes us see sex everywhere? The cats were just being FRIENDLY and *I* am the gross one for thinking they were mewing in obvious bliss with their mouths firmly gripped onto each others’ naughty bits.

    Really, they think only penis-in-vagina sex is SEX, so of course, nothing else qualifies as authentic SEX. So, poof, no animals can do it.

    See? That’s how they think.

    PS: I DID see it and I have a witness!

  40. 40
    ramblindude

    Well, as long as we’re referencing science.

    When viewing lesbian sex and straight sex, both the homophobic and the non-homophobic men showed increased penis circumference. For gay male sex, however, only the homophobic men showed heightened penis arousal.

    Heterosexual men with the most anti-gay attitudes, when asked, reported not being sexually aroused by gay male sex videos. But, their penises reported otherwise.

    Homophobic men were the most sexually aroused by gay male sex acts.

  41. 41
    Anthony K

    Hey what was that sound?

    Oh, it was just David Barton’s head exploding after reading this post.

    Are you kidding? Do you think reality has the least fucking impact on this dumbfuck and the dumbfucks who hang on his words? If evidence ever meant a goddamn thing to more than a fraction of people we wouldn’t be having these same fucking conversations over and fucking over again.

    If you want to change someone’s mind with a book, you’ll do so far more often and more reliably by braining them with it than reading to them from it.

  42. 42
    brianreverts

    Im giggling at the thought of some Spiny Headed Worms enganged in so elaborate BDSM homosexual behavior while some bored grad student looks on and takes notes.

  43. 43
    EvoMonkey

    Alas, Brownian, you are correct. Reading this post would only reinforce Barton’ s revisionist views of history, scripture and nature. But I still hold on to the hope that the truth sets off even a modest neural storm of cognitive dissonance in the puny brains of pinheads like Barton.

  44. 44
    Gregory Greenwood

    I find it funny that Barton says he is going to close his bible, and demonstrate why his hatred-spewing attitude doesn’t require biblical support, and then he tries to invoke ‘evolutionary law’ to justify his homophobia and anti-abortion stance.

    Evolutionary law

    Does that phrase even have any meaning?

    I am a layman, but I am pretty sure that evolution is not a codified system of jurispudence – it is a theoretical framework, an observation of how species change over time, not a basis for moral judgement.

    Then again, what else can you expect from a man who casually equates homosexuality with murder?

    It would be nice if once, just once, the liars for jeebus actually made some effort to understand science before they try to co-opt it to the cause of their bigoted delusions.

  45. 45
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    Really, they think only penis-in-vagina sex is SEX, so of course, nothing else qualifies as authentic SEX. So, poof, no animals can do it.

    Well, by that standard there’s no such thing as homosexual sex in humans, either. So what’s their problem?

  46. 46
    lobotomy

    >why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    Rishathra, anyone?

  47. 47
    Ingdigo Jump

    I find it funny that Barton says he is going to close his bible, and demonstrate why his hatred-spewing attitude doesn’t require biblical support, and then he tries to invoke ‘evolutionary law’ to justify his homophobia and anti-abortion stance.

    Evolutionary law…

    Which doesn’t exist according to his Bible. Even from his own POV he is lying.

    “Well let’s ignore reality and just go by Narnia for a moment…”

  48. 48
    abadidea

    “The bible doesn’t mention abortion.”

    It mentions it twice: if someone causes a woman to have a miscarriage through violence, she is owed a fine – it is explicitly NOT treated as murder of a child; and if a husband suspects his wife of infidelity (ie, surprise pregnancy), he can have the priest cast a spell on her which will cause an abortion if the child is not his. (This is one of the weirdest and creepiest passages in the book, and it clearly advocates outright witchcraft.) Oh, I suppose you might also count God killing David’s first baby with Bathsheba explicitly to get David’s goat.

    Doesn’t sound like their god is too bothered by abortion.

  49. 49
    Ingdigo Jump

    It mentions it twice: if someone causes a woman to have a miscarriage through violence, she is owed a fine,/blockquote>

    Wrong. The FATHER is owed a fine. The woman and child are property remember.

  50. 50
    otrame

    Okay, you really have to warn those of us who have reached an advanced age before saying things like this

    why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    so we can tighten up on those bladder muscles before hand.

    *goes off to get a new pantiliner

  51. 51
    samsalerno

    Hey David Barton shut up and tolerate my balls in your mouth.

  52. 52
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Then again, what else can you expect from a man who casually equates homosexuality with murder?

    Well, enough “little deaths” obviously equal one big death, right?

    (Of course, homosexuality extends beyond just Teh Ghey Seks but try explaining that to wingnuts).

  53. 53
    Gregory Greenwood

    Ing: I SPEAK FOR THE HIVEMIND GROUPTHINK @ 47;

    Which doesn’t exist according to his Bible. Even from his own POV he is lying.

    It is sad when you get theists who aren’t merely honestly deluded, but actually find it necesary to lie about their own delusions in some desperate bid to find some shallow substitute for actually having an argument that makes sense.

    “Well let’s ignore reality and just go by Narnia for a moment…”

    I like that – it is pretty much theism in a nutshell; reject reality altogether and substitite your favourite fantasy instead…

  54. 54
    Anthony K

    (This is one of the weirdest and creepiest passages in the book, and it clearly advocates outright witchcraft.)

    Good ol’ Numbers 5:11-28.

    There is a version of this ‘Test for Adultery’ for women to use. I don’t recall the exact passage, but it goes something like this “If any woman suspects her husband of adultery, she shall suggest he run for political office as a Republican. If he agrees…”

  55. 55
    Ingdigo Jump

    I think with the “Evolution Law” (ie Ape Law?) he’s trying to get that even if the Bible is false the other option in a binary set means that gay is wrong too. He doesn’t seem to understand that it is wrong to try to have your cake and eat it to. It’d be like the prosecutors of a trial spending the whole trial pushing on theory and then introducing another in their closing statements as the only other option.

  56. 56
    rossburnett

    From Wikipedia: The NIH reports, “It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%.”

    Seems to me that nature/evolution does support abortion, in the billions…

  57. 57
    jacobfromlost

    I agree about the bible passages not saying much about abortion, and what little it DOES say doesn’t in the least support the pro-life position (wouldn’t they just love to start scribbling in verses about abortion and say “see, it’s in there!”, just like they did in the good old days when the books were first written).

    But Christians sometimes cite the thing about “before I formed you in the womb I knew you” from Jeremiah 1:5, but there are two problems with this. One, god was talking to Jeremiah, not to everyone (he even says, “before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”). Obviously not EVERYONE is a “prophet to the nations”, as there are Muslims and Scientologists and other nonchristians (even if you were extremely generous and claimed that “prophet to the nations” only meant “Christian”, which is dubious). Besides, this was in the context of an actual conversation with god, and Jeremiah RESPONDS to declaration from god, and Jeremiah has a nice back and forth with god in actual words.

    And two, if god actually KNEW EVERYONE before they were formed in the womb, then he obviously knew whether they would be aborted or not. If people are being aborted that god “knew” would not be aborted before they WERE aborted, then god didn’t really know anything and just said he did (sound familiar?).

    Either that, or people are overriding what god knows (or nature is with miscarriages). Or maybe what god knows is similar to what god wills–that is, it bears no resemblance to evidence in reality. People say all the time that god wills things that don’t happen (sometimes things that CAN’T happen). Why can’t they say that god knows things that are later demonstrated that he DOESN’T know (couldn’t know)?

    Apparently people CAN say such things, but when reality contradicts such assertions, they tell everyone else to stop doing things that contradict the assertions instead of considering that the assertions must be wrong if they can be negated in reality by humans (or even nature).

  58. 58
    Mr. Fire

    It’s often even accompanied by cannibalism.

    One reference: The Evolution Of Filial Cannibalism.

    Heartwarming!

  59. 59
    imnotandrei

    Does that phrase even have any meaning?

    I am a layman, but I am pretty sure that evolution is not a codified system of jurispudence –

    They do this all the time; I’m currently (for fun — there’s no real profit in it) arguing with some presuppositionalists, and it’s clear to them that having Laws implies a Lawgiver and an Enforcer of the Laws, whether they be natural law, laws of reasoning, etc.

  60. 60
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    I wonder how natural laws are enforced. Is there a fine for traveling at superluminal speeds?

  61. 61
    stevebowen

    why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?

    because they are nor doing business with the same people i am obviously

  62. 62
    David Marjanović

    And, in the list of homosexual behaviours observed in animals, there are several instances of homosexual behaviour that is not “just for fun” (nothing wrong with that, of course), but also reproductively functional. The activities are for [...] or quote “to get rid of older and so less effective sperm”.

    Huh. Is wanking unique to humans???

    Could it be that homosexuality is a remnant of our hermaphroditic past?

    No. Why would it get carried along for 400 million years or more, perhaps much more?

    In humans, male homosexuality is correlated to above-average female fertility in the same families. Looks like a byproduct – if that’s the only cause of male homosexuality, which probably isn’t the case.

    Are sexual appetite and equipment two separate things, such that they may be matched in all combinations?

    Clearly.

    holytape has won this round.

    Quite!

    Evolutionary law…

    Does that phrase even have any meaning?

    Nope.

    “Well let’s ignore reality and just go by Narnia for a moment…”

    Full of win.

    and if a husband suspects his wife of infidelity (ie, surprise pregnancy), he can have the priest cast a spell on her which will cause an abortion if the child is not his. (This is one of the weirdest and creepiest passages in the book, and it clearly advocates outright witchcraft.)

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. It’s not witchcraft when God does it! Definition of witchcraft: when demons/false gods usurp a tiny sparkle of God’s might and use it to answer prayers.

    (I can has Comic Sans plz? Pretty plz wif cheezbrgr on top?)

  63. 63
    imnotandrei

    I wonder how natural laws are enforced. Is there a fine for traveling at superluminal speeds?

    Yah. It’s equal to E, where

    E=m(v-c)2.

    So as long as you don’t go more than 2c, you’ll have some energy left after the fine’s been paid. ;)

  64. 64
    David Marjanović

    The Evolution Of Filial Cannibalism

    That’s nothing. Siblings engage in intrauterine cannibalism in a few sharks and in alpine salamanders…

  65. 65
    ChasCPeterson

    Is wanking unique to humans???

    you fool!
    Now somebody’s gonna feel compelled to post the chimp-&-frog vid again.

  66. 66
    ramaus

    “Here he [Barton] argues that abortion and homosexuality are wrong because they are aberrations of nature.”

    So christianity is also wrong because rising from the dead an doing miracles is an aberration of nature? This explains everything.

  67. 67
    No One

    I’m sorry, never seen this Barton guy before. Is he gay? He’s got that Haggart thing going on.

  68. 68
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Huh. Is wanking unique to humans???

    Opposable thumbs aren’t terribly common.

  69. 69
    cswella

    Opposable thumbs aren’t terribly common.

    No, but the ability to reach one’s genitalia with one’s mouth is common.

  70. 70
    NitricAcid

    #69- That’s really stretching it.

    The definition of “wanking”, that is.

  71. 71
    Gregory Greenwood

    Azkyroth @ 52;

    Well, enough “little deaths” obviously equal one big death, right?

    Ah, le petit mort, don’t the French have such nice ways of saying things?

    Well, obviously, if you are a fundy all gratifying sex is bad, not just the homosexual flavour. I mean, people might enjoy orgasms and all that stuff, and we can’t have that, because sex is only for procreation, dontcha know. People are supposed to just lie back and think of Yahweh until it is all over…

    Honstly, I think that half of the trouble with religion comes from all the sexual repression.

    (Of course, homosexuality extends beyond just Teh Ghey Seks but try explaining that to wingnuts).

    Fundies will never accept that gay people actually have fully functional, intimate relationships – it runs entirely counter to their nasty, homophobic worldview, and would force them to accept that a same sex relationship is in all ways equal to the kind of intimate relationships they may have had (and indeed, is probably a whole lot heathier without the bronze age religious baggage). Actually allowing such an idea to percolate through their layers of denial and prejudice would probably lead to spontaneous cranial failure…

    …And that is before we get to all the fundies who are simply in massive denial about their own ambiguous sexuality (I am looking at you, Mr Haggart). Denial that just builds up and builds up until one day they simply have to find a comely young man to ‘lift their luggage’….

  72. 72
    Gregory Greenwood

    Erulóra Maikalambe @ 60;

    I wonder how natural laws are enforced. Is there a fine for traveling at superluminal speeds?

    If so, then we may have a few shame-faced neutrinos wondering about…

  73. 73
    RFW

    In Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld novel, “Snuff”, maternal cannibalism features in the plot.

  74. 74
    otrame

    Is wanking unique to humans???

    Nope. Leaving aside the humping of legs and furniture that goes on amongst domesticated canids, my cockatiel routinely rubs his naughty bits against a perch in motions that so do not look like he’s doing it by accident.

  75. 75
    cswella

    #69- That’s really stretching it.

    The definition of “wanking”, that is.

    …okay.

    Does getting into semantics about definitions of slang language really matter here?

    e.g.: If a guy had his thumbs cut off, is what he does in the bathroom still considered wanking? Who cares?

  76. 76
    imthegenieicandoanything

    David BARTON?

    He’s a paid little shit pretending to be human, propped up by evil, twisted, usually self-made, monsters-who-were-once-human to justify – especially to themselves – the harm they inflict upon themselves, but especially upon the earth and the non-monster population, because it’s “good politics” and because that tiny flicker of humanity within them can never be entirely extinguished.

    When someone refers to David Barton, their opinions on the subject, and perhaps EVERY subject, can be ignored: they are profoundly and proudly stupid. Or evil.

    Other than that, DB doesn’t bother me. He isn’t a person, in any real sense of the word, but rather a projection that the evil on earth would present had DB never been born, or died today (which he is quite welcome to do, and he has my pity should he not).

    I wouldn’t wish his life on anyone.

  77. 77
    otrame

    @76

    I don’t like the guy, but your comment was way over the top. He’s a shill for bad people. He makes money telling lies. He is not a good person. But he is a person. Trying to deny the humanity of an opponent is what the bad guys do. And as Terry Pratchett noted, you can’t claim to be a good guy and do bad guy things.

  78. 78
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Hey samsalerno, shut up and stop making rapey and homophobic remarks.

  79. 79
    raven

    David Barton just embodies a common fundie principle.

    Fundie xians never, ever miss an opportunity to demonstrate their total moral and intellectual bankruptcy. They are very predictable.

    Barton does have one redeeming feature. He isn’t even trying to tell the truth. The more he talks, the more lies he tells. At some point he becomes like Glenn Beck or Michele Bachmann, known pathological liars and no one anyone normal wants to get near.

  80. 80
    tonymoss

    Nobody linked to Blag Hag?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2009/04/natural-sexuality/

  81. 81
    crowepps

    Fundies will never accept that gay people actually have fully functional, intimate relationships

    Even if they did, it wouldn’t help, because they reject the idea of and perhaps can’t even imagine “fully functional, intimate relationships” between equals.

    Their theology and the rigid gender roles they promote restrict proper relationships to authoritarian tyrant and obedient servant/compliant wife/reproductive cattle.

    The classic fundamentalist relationship is not ‘functional’ as I understand the term but instead closer to bully and victim. Which makes sense as it echoes the relationship of their clergy with the laity. Once the basis of relationships is ‘obedience’ functionality and intimacy are pretty much doomed.

  82. 82
    Olav

    People who think that homosexuality does not occur in animals should take a look at giraffes.

  83. 83
    Francisco Bacopa

    Hamsters would have abortions if they knew how.

    Actually, they don’t eat their babies as often as popular legend says they do.

    Just pointing out that maternal infanticide is fairly common in the mammal world, though hamsters get a worse reputation than they deserve.

    In proportion to number of offspring, human women are probably worse killers. mostly because we don’t have reasonable reproductive cycles like the other apes. This allows us to baby-up when times are good, but what about when times are bad? Infanticide is as much a cross cultural human universal as the pentatonic scale. Abortion is just a more civilized, tasteful, and convenient way to implement this.

  84. 84
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    The reality of fundie sexual activity does carry some evolutionary advantage. It’s advantageous for the male to enforce monoandry on any females he uses as brood mares, so that any resources he uses in protecting and raising her children aren’t wasted on another man’s offspring. On the other hand, the ease of male fertility means that there is no significant disadvantage in sticking one’s dick in any warm moist orifice that presents itself.

  85. 85
    John Morales

    Marcus:

    On the other hand, the ease of male fertility means that there is no significant disadvantage in sticking one’s dick in any warm moist orifice that presents itself.

    Um, I suggest the existence of other monandrous fundies would constitute a “significant disadvantage”, not to mention the opportunity cost of enforcing said monandry.

  86. 86
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    John: surely if the monandry were being properly enforced (through the use of beatings, enforced dress codes and other physical, social and psychological shackles) then those orifices wouldn’t be presenting themselves…

  87. 87
    HaggisForBrains

    @ #31 Holytape

    “Lesbian Lizards of the Desert.”

    Wasn’t that a Russ Meyer movie?

  88. 88
    John Morales

    Marcus @86, in which case, you’re saying there’s no significant disadvantage by that which doesn’t occur.

    So, what was the point of noting it? ;)

  89. 89
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    John: Most of what I say is pretty pointless, so I don’t see why I should change now.

  90. 90
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Bonobos.

    (Enough said.)

  91. 91
  92. 92
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh & I don’t think he’ll listen to me but :

    SHUT UP DAVID BARTON! You brainless, vile, hateful, sack of excrement! I fart in your general direction you worthless bucket of homophobic vomit. Shut up, stop hating and go learn something – there’s a fuck of a lot you clearly need to.

    Oh & tell your neo-nazi friends :

    Barton was listed in promotional literature as a “new and special speaker” at a 1991 summer retreat in Colorado sponsored by Scriptures for America, a far-right Christian Identity ministry headed by Pastor Pete Peters, which has been linked to neo-Nazi groups.[29] However, Barton said he was unaware of the group’s anti-Semitic and racist views at the time.[30][31][32] In September, 2011, Barton sued two former Texas State Board of Education candidates for posting a video on YouTube that stated that he was “known for speaking at white supremacist rallies”.[33] … (Snip) .. Barton was also criticized for speaking at two functions organized by the ministry of Christian Identity adherent and Holocaust denier Pete Peters. He later stated that he “didn’t know they (the groups he spoke at) were part of the Nazi movement”.[30]

    To shut up and suffer and change their ignornat bigoted fuckwitted views too!

    Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Barton_(author)#Affiliations

  93. 93
    craigrushforth

    ” — why are businessmen settling for a handshake and a golf game when they could really seal the deal?”

    Reminded me of a puzzling form of sealing the deal in Genesis 24:

    “…Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, … And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.”

    Probably not sexual – but a strange way to behave non the less. Grab my balls and swear to me? The importance of genitals in making deals in the ancient world! And remember that Abraham ‘sealed the deal’ with God by cutting off his foreskin. Who on earth thought that one up???

  94. 94
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    (Now sees comemnt #16.janine : 5th December 2011 at 12:29 pm)

    D’oh! Should have read the earlier comments first shouldn’t I? (Blushes) Oh well.

    @31. holytape : 5th December 2011 at 1:06 pm

    “There is no species that practices homosexuality, because you won’t be a species for long.” Someone should tell that to Aspidoscelis uniparens, the Desert Grassland Whiptail lizard. All females, and they fake mate with each other to enhance reproductive output. I also propose that the common name of this lizard should be changed to “Lesbian Lizards of the Desert.”

    Seconds that proposal enthusaistically. Raises a beer to that.

    @ 11. jand : 5th December 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Also, as usual, homosexual behaviour is spoken of as being exclusive to homosexual individuals, as if bisexual individuals didn´t even exist. Bisexuality… *shudder*

    Indeed. According to the Kinsey (spelling?) studies isn’t almost everyone located on a spectrum somewhere from entirely gay to entirely straight with almost everyone having some bisexual tendacies to them?

  95. 95
    crys

    The evolution of homosexuality becomes a lot less seemingly-paradoxical when you abandon the simplistic “individal-based” evolution and begin to understand the more comprehensive “gene-centered” evolution. Homosexuality is obiviously multifactorial with a complex basis, but there have been fascinating studies conducted on the genetic basis of homosexuality and how it might relate to fecundity etc.

  96. 96
    myeck waters
    Holytape #31
    “Lesbian Lizards of the Desert.”

    HaggisForBrains #87
    Wasn’t that a Russ Meyer movie?

    Nah, Meyer would only do a wildlife movie if it featured seabirds with blue feet.

  97. 97
    ButchKitties

    You can tell anyone who argues that sex is only for procreation to shut the fuck up. If they’re right and sex is only for procreation, then by their same logic, our mouths are only for eating. Talking is unnatural. Just look at how few other species do it.

  98. 98
    alysonmiers

    You know what’s really an aberration of nature? Chemotherapy. That shit ain’t natural, and I have two aunts still alive because of it.

    More unnatural shit: vitamin pills! They keep my blood iron levels up high enough that I can donate blood which saves other people’s lives.

    Oh, blood transfusions, don’t even get me started…*shudder*

  99. 99
    Area Man

    Look up maternal infanticide. … It’s been seen in rodents, penguins, pigs, foxes, tamarins, you name it.

    And humans. It’s only recent in history that infanticide has been considered abominable. It was widespread in ancient times, and still is among isolated hunter-gatherer cultures.

  100. 100
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    More unnatural shit: vitamin pills! They keep my blood iron levels up high enough that I can donate blood which saves other people’s lives.

    On the other hand, shit is natural. So all you naturalists out there know what you should eat.

  101. 101
    opposablethumbs

    Azkyroth #68

    I’m quite common, really.

  102. 102
    timgueguen

    So Barton appeared at rallies run by Pastor Peepee? I can’t imagine spending 5 minutes around that scumbag and not realising he’s a bigot.

    Homosexuality is unnatural, yet God, as with a whole bunch of other things, does nothing about it. Guess that means he wants people to go to Hell.

  103. 103
    elwoodius

    “Nah, Meyer would only do a wildlife movie if it featured seabirds with blue feet”

    Heh.

    Boobies.

  104. 104
    dartigen...

    If homosexuality is unnatural – where does he stand on sexual fetishes?
    I’d like to just run through this list right here and see which ones he classes as unnatural (remembering the whole time that heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual people can harbour any of these fetishes, and that neither gender is more or less likely to have any of these fetishes).
    And that list is probably incomplete.
    tl;dr sexuality is more than just heterosexuality and homosexuality.

    (I’ll supply the brain bleach for him. Always remember rules 34 (there is porn of it, no exceptions), 35 (if no porn of it currently exists it will be made), 41 (no matter what it is, it is someone’s fetish) and 51 (there will always be more fucked up shit than what you just saw) of the Internet can also apply to the real world, and generally do, especially in regards to sex.)

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