Re: Taking Scripture seriously

From: George Hammond (
Date: Thu Aug 09 2001 - 12:18:32 EDT

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    bivalve wrote:
    > >[Hammond]
    > > I'm sure this is a stupid question, and I should
    > >consult a genetics expert first.. but I'm just too busy.
    > > Anyway.. isn't it possible to tell if someone is male
    > > or female by examining their DNA? Somewhere I got the
    > >impression that the the common diploid DNA structure is
    > >fundamentally different in males and females in that the
    > >male has an "X-chromosome" and a female has a "Y-chromosome".
    > > Genetically, wouldn't it only be proper for X's to marry
    > >Y's, regardless of phenotypic anomalies (which, granted,
    > >can be phenomenal)? Or is it true that you can't tell a
    > >male from a female using DNA?<

    > For humans and other mammals, normal males
    >have an X and a Y chromosome and normal females
    >have two X chromosomes. Other animals have
    different systems for producing sex differentiation,
    >if they have different sexes. In mammals, the
    >presence of a Y chromosome is what makes a male;
    >female is sort of the default mode.

    Right, got that much.

    >a genetic error may produce other possibilities,
    >such as an X and no Y (female with Turner's syndrome)
    >or XYY (male, I forget the syndrome name).
    >Rarely, if the Y chromosome does not function
    >properly, it is possible to have an XY female
    >mammal. However, the activity of genes related
    >to gender could be checked in this case. Most of
    >these abnormal genetic conditions produce sterility;
    >mental retardation and physical abnormalities are
    >also common.

    Right, these "trisomal" aberrations are similar to what
    causes Down's Syndrome, however as you know, Down's
    Syndrome is pretty rare, a lot more rare than one of
    your relatives or neighbors telling you that he is
    "gay" for instance, at least in my experience. On the
    other hand I think I've only seen one person in my life
    who actually had Down's Syndrome.
      Fact is the frequency of trisomal disjunctions like:
    Turner's XO
    Klinefeldt's XXY
    Jacob's XYY
    Triplo X XXX

    is less than 1:1000 in the population (0.1 %)

      On the other hand, "homosexuality" seems to be more
    in the range of 10% :

          "How many gay people are there?
          For decades the incidence of homosexuality
          in the general population has been estimated
          to be approximately ten percent. Organizations
          opposed to gay rights have consistently claimed
          the number to be much lower. Despite the
          controversy, ten percent still remains the
          most widely accepted estimate."

    This is 10 to 100 times the frequency of actual genetic

      I don't think giving anyone with a genetic anomaly the
    benefit of the doubt is the problem. The problem seems to
    be that 99% of these people running around saying they're
    "Gay" actually have standard XY or XX sex chromosomes.

    > The basic differences are indeed genetic,
    >though of course there are also cultural aspects.

    I doubt this. I think in fact that there are large
    phenotypic sexual development differences between
    individuals with normal genetic sex chromosomes.
    However, I don't see any way that you can say someone
    with normal XY chromosomes is a "female" and somebody
    with normal XX chromosomes is a "male". I think the
    church should draw the line in the sand there. Otherwise,
    we are simply promoting the disastrous environmental
    pressures which are causing abnormal phenotypic development
    in the first place, not the least of which must be some
    kind of domestic or social abuse of the individuals.

    >Short of cloning, only a pairing between male
    >and female will be reproductively successful,
    >making an obvious evolutionary advantage over
    >the alternatives. Assessment of what is proper
    >for marriage requires some sort of moral definition,
    > outside the capabilities of genetics.

    I agree with you... the problem is "more than
    genetic", and I fully support domestic "Legal
    Partnerships" which would protect the rights of
    XX's or XY's who want to live together in
    "Domestic Partnership". However, the Church
    should not be called upon to sanctify this as a
    marriage, since the institution of marriage is
    recognized historically as a legal institution
    to protect newborn children.

    > Dr. David Campbell
    > "Old Seashells"
    > 46860 Hilton Dr #1113
    > Lexington Park MD 20653 USA

    Be sure to visit my website below, and please ask your
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    George Hammond, M.S. Physics

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