Monday, June 07, 2004

Sometimes, headline writers let their true hearts out for all to see. "Genes may be to blame for infidelity," says the headline, but in the article, scientists stress, "genes alone do not determine whether somebody is likely to be unfaithful." So this is what is taught in journalism school? That the headline should be the opposite of what the article actually states?

Scientists say Blue is Black

When Timothy Renno, head of the School of Social Science, Oxford, was made aware that one of his socks was blue and the other black, he said, "When you get right down to brass tacks, there is more black in the color blue than vice versa. Now, I'm not saying that blue is black, but given that they are different colors, blue is more black than it is yellow."

So anyway, the scientist who said maybe genes (among a variety of social factors) might affect infidelity said, "it makes good sense in evolutionary terms to get a good mix of genes - and for women to chose a better option if one came along." So this doctor assumes that it's better for the human race for women to trade up -- trade up based on what? He doesn't even try to go there. What is the best evolutionary trait in men that women ought to trade up for? Wouldn't it be better for the human race for women (and their children) to have stability? Further, since the article states that only 23% of women are unfaithful, this scientist also must assume that either 1) 77% of woman chose the best man on first try, or 2) 77% of women never encounter a man who's better than the one they chose, or 3) only 23% of women are on the right evolutionary track. So which is it?

The evidence this doctor has for an infidelity gene is that if one of a set of twin women is unfaithful, the other is more likely to be unfaithful as well. Well, I suppose if one of a set of twin women speaks English, the other is more likely to speak English as well... so there must be a "speaking English" gene. If one of them Catholic, the other is likely to be Catholic as well... the Catholic gene, of course. If identical twins curse with colorful fluency, a layman thinks they probably learned the language in the same house, but a scientist finds evidence for a cursing gene.

On another note, anytime a scientist starts going on about there being a gene for a particular failing in a human, like when they say your genes make you predisposed to be an alcoholic, etc. Aren't they really saying something beyond even that alcoholism is not your fault? Aren't they really saying that given 'proper' genes Man's predisposition is to be good? Aren't each of these studies into genetics to find the cause of human behavior assuming that there is a normal state of human behavior and that normal state is pretty much to behave like Jesus? If bent genes cause alcoholism then the correct state for Man is sobriety, yes? If bad genes cause anti-social or criminal behavior, then normal genes result in what? Christian behavior? The article says that women are normally faithful and if one twin is unfaithful, it's more likely the other will be as well. Since most women are faithful, couldn't the headline have read, "Fidelity found to be Natural State" instead of "Genes may be to blame for infidelity?" But, of course, no self-respecting scientists (or journalist) would ever write a headline like that, would they? Why? Because it boils down to the headline: "Man made in God's Image."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

powered by FreeFind