Gays, Genes and circular logic

I’m no scientist, but I think I have at least a passing familiarity with how science works.

Supposedly someone discovered a “gay gene”. A gene that supposedly causes homosexual tendencies in men. Yes…yes…I know that all these “discoveries” have been debunked and there are scores of other studies that disprove the idea of a “gay gene” but bear with me.

So, to discover this “gay gene” one would assume that they used standard scientific practice. They compared the genes of gay men against the genes of straight men and found a gene that is prevalent enough in one set and not in the other to declare that this must be the “gay gene”.

With me so far?

OK…So they discover this “gay gene” be determining that gays have it and straights don’t by studying some number of gay men and straight men and controlling for other factors.

But today, in the Drudge Report (which I’m beginning to get a bit tired of. He constantly suckers me into clicking on a story only to discover that the story itself has little bearing on the sensationalist headline he gave it, but that’s beside the point) I found a link to this story:

Around half of all people, including straight men and women, could carry “gay genes”, meaning that they continue to be passed down the generations despite the tendency of homosexuals not to have children, new research suggests.

Wait…what?

So, they discover a gene that is predominantly present in gays, which causes them to declare it the “gay gene”, but then discover that it is present in about half the population regardless of their sexual orientation?

And their takeaway from this is that THIS is why the gay gene doesn’t die out through natural selection?

Grasping at straws here a bit I’d say.

How about this possibility: If you found the gene in half the population, straight included, then just perhaps your original contention that this is the “gay gene” has just been disproven by your own research.

Nah…can’t be that. We’ve got an agenda to push.

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