February 24, 2008

From Kevin Saldanha:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8): Although I haven’t been able to find much substantial data to support my theory on this topic, your article appears to shed some light on my thinking.

Ever since nature evolved sexual reproduction as a ‘fruitful’ way to shuffle a deck of genes in a way that reduced the chances of propagating defective or fatal mutations, there has been a small percentage of individuals in every biological population that have suffered from incomplete dimorphism. In humans, this has included a mental component owing to the size and impact (on our development) of our brains.

As human beings evolved civilized co-existence, there were these individuals who did not fit the ‘breeding’ template and as society found them to be extremely intelligent, compassionate and wholesome people, they were entrusted with maintaining the ‘spirituality’ of the community.

At first, they were squirreled away in monasteries but as the institutions felt a need, they were employed as a direct link to the Gods. With a better understanding behind the physiology of homosexuality, we are now more accepting of alternative lifestyles to the detriment of vocations to the clergy.

Today, as we pay homage to Darwin on the 199th anniversary of his birth, we can credit him with expanding our knowledge of evolution and allowing us to develop as an inclusive society.

Kevin Saldanha
VP, Halton-Peel Humanist Community

From Juanita J. Rinas:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8): Perhaps such a situation should be listed under Adjustment Disorder, due to social stigmatization... .

Considering that same sex coupling and relationships occur throughout the biological pantheon of beings, it is not a “disorder” has never been a “disorder” and is only stigmatized due to the incorporation of religious ideas that same sex relationships are an abhoration. Which has now been normalized through centuries of indoctrination in Westernized cultures. In many cultures where people live closer to thier natural habitat and fit more correctly in my opinion into the natural order of life on earth, those with gender bending qualities are often seen as gifted in some way, many of whom become the recipients of divine knowledge and wisdom teachings that set them on a shamanic path by which they also serve their people and community.

We each bring our gifts to the world in some way, time to begin looking for those gifts in others different than ourselves rather than ostracizing the differences in everyone.

Juanita J. Rinas, MA, LPC
doctoral student

From John de Boer:

Re: Particle smasher may reveal extra dimensions (Feb. 1): The article on the Particle Smasher brought to mind some observations made by Dr. Edward Teller more than thirty years ago. Your article deals with the creation of new and exotic particles and introduces the subject of: “hidden unities among nature’s forces”, while also mentioning the mythical: Graviton. What becomes apparent is that after more than a quarter of a century, there has been little or no progress towards the understanding of the ‘nature’ of matter, nor its forces while the creation of mathematical castles in space continues.

Dr. Edward Teller made the following comments in regards to experimentations with sub-atomic particles, where the very fact of observation changes the particles. “What happened,” Dr. Teller explained, “was that indeed we started to change the things we were looking at. In the course of using these high-energy packages we managed to produce a profusion of new entities, of new particles... In other words, we open the world, but it is practically not interacting with the world in which we live... We create our own particles. Probably we will never understand nuclear forces until we have understood this new creation... ”

“This is the kind of situation I described when I said that high-energy physics is at a dead end. I believe that in the end, in the real end, the contradictions will be somehow clarified, and as a by product nuclear forces will be explained... But if you would ask whether it is more likely that we shall have the answer ten years from now, or one thousand years from now, I will tell you I will bet for the one thousand years”. It would appear that Dr. Teller may well have had the situation reversed where he suggest that first the new creation must be understood, which will then clarify Nuclear Forces.” Probably we will never understand nuclear forces until we have understood this new creation”. In his next comment, the situation is transposed once again: “the contradictions will be somehow clarified, and as a by-product nuclear forces will be explained”.

Would it not be more logical that the “new creation” and “contradictions” seem mysterious because of a lack of understanding of nuclear forces, instead of visa versa?

The point seems to be that it is the lack of understanding of the forces of nature, or nuclear forces, which makes the creation of new particles appear to be confusing. This is of course also the circumstance as communicated in your article, where if nuclear forces were understood there would likely not be a mystery. Perhaps it would be prudent to take an other very brief look at the origin of the concept of the forces to discover if something could have been misinterpreted to account for the continuing problems which Dr. Teller believed would not be resolved for a thousand years. At the beginning of it all is the explanation of the gravitational force. It is an insignificant force on the nuclear level, whose origin is as yet undefined. Still, it is accepted that the force is an inherent quality of all matter and that the measure of its strength is directly linked to the mass of bodies. So claims Newton in the Universal Law of Gravitation while the General Theory of Relativity concurs. What appears to be virtually unknown is that Newton had ‘second thoughts’ regarding the concept that the gravitational phenomenon is an essential property of bodies. Thirty years after the inception of the Universal Law, he writes in the: Advertisement to Second Edition of Optics, Book One: “And to shew that I do not take gravity for an essential property of bodies, I have added one question regarding its cause, choosing to propose it by way of a question, because I am not yet satisfied about it for want of experiments”

Due to the implication of these revelations, a great deal ought to be discussed in regards to this; however, this is clearly not the time, so only a few observations will be offered: Newton is not satisfied because of a lack of experiments. Certainly many experiments had been conducted with gravity in his days and long before that, which makes his apparent reevaluation all the more puzzling. His comments regarding gravity not being an essential property of bodies and the question regarding its cause must be taken seriously. What made Newton change his mind... What if: What if Newton considered the possibility that gravity is in fact not an essential property of bodies but is instead generated in some manner within the interior of large bodies of matter, such as planets or stars. What if this primary gravitational force is then inducted into all matter within its range of influence as the secondary gravitational force. If that is true, the source of gravity would then not be found within bodies on the surface of the earth, in spite of its conspicuous presence, very much like magnetic induction within the influence of a magnetic field. The difference between gravitational and magnetic induction is that control experiments can be conducted with magnetic induction, while it would be impossible to conduct those control experiments on the surface of the earth, or in orbit close to the earth.

The genius of Newton discovered the possibility of an alternative to universal gravitation and he was incredibly brave for showing us a path towards a new understanding of matter and its forces. The consequences of Newton’s alternative explanation of gravity are beyond the imagination. Where universal gravitation was arrived at by common consent as well as misinterpreted experimental evidence, variable, generated, inducted gravitational forces can be, and have been, verified. All of this can lead to a clear understanding the ‘nature’ and forces of matter, which can usher us from the darkness towards the renaissance of Natural Philosophy.

From Tony Clarke:

Re: Do rich nations “owe” poor ones for environmental damage? (Jan. 22): Speaking as a Cost Accountant I find that economists just throwing figures around and saying that they are costs incurred by is more misleading than productive. It appears to be an activity for self promotion rather than offering a solution to a problem.

From Michael Elson:

Re: Did insects take down T. rex? (Jan. 4): I like [Poinar’s] original idea - it is about time we had a fresh approach to that dumb asteroid theory. I have for ever been at odds with that 65 million year old asteroid theory killing off the dinosaurs. I have written a short paper on that subject, and if you are interested, I will e-mail it to you. Otherwise, instead of viewing planet earth as a man standing on it, imagine that you are a giant looking at planet earth as though it were a mere large beach ball. Then make a solid sphere of concrete one metre in diameter. Then using your imagination - just as palaeontologists do when they pick up a newly discovered follized bone - and fire a miniature rifle bullet at that sphere, from any range you choose. From then onwards, work out the impact and see if you would still support the theory of the 10 year long envelopment of planet earth by the dust and debris thrown up by that so-called ‘massive’ collision. To scale on my model, that asteroid would be the size of a grain of sand(!), and I’ve quadruple-checked my maths and still get the same answer. My concrete model weighs 1½ tons and I haven’t even bothered to weigh a grain of sand... .

Darwin claimed that the evidence for the evolution of reptiles to birds is based on (in part) reptilian scales being made of the same material (keratin) that feathers are, ignoring that dinosaurian bone structure alone is vastly different from birds, aside from their massive teeth, thick horny skin and heavy body mass. Admittedly, there were smaller dinosaurs, but nevertheless... Additionally, and most importantly, keratin is also the protein that forms the epidermis of the skin, as well as the hair, nails, scales, feathers, beaks, horns, and hooves of animals. So I am amazed that this was brought in as ‘evidence’, claiming that scales and feathers prove the fallacious exclusive relationship between reptiles and birds. The internal organs of birds are wildy different to lizards and the rest - very especially their lung development and their air sacs, as well as their breathing cycle which is totally exclusive to them. I have spent many years ‘studying’ reptilian and avian skeletons and have never come close to seeing any similarity between the two that would lead a land dwelling reptile to ‘become’ a flight gifted bird. Nor is there anywhere near sufficient evidence to even indicate that birds evolved from reptiles, let alone form a theory.

Where are the bones of the millions of interrelated beings that evolved? There should be millions of them over the millions of years claimed for everything to have taken place. And what could the reason or necessity be for a lizard ‘changing’ into a bird? After all, we still have lizards.....

I would dearly like to hear that just one scientist like yourself perhaps, who sees what I’m on about, and who will specifically investigate that perforated Darwinian theory - like so many others of his, such as his 15 kilogram ‘dog’ to modern day ½ ton horse - and his ‘pig’ to elephant theories.

If you would let me have your postal address I have a few drawings to clearly illustrate my own denigration of certain palaeontological theories - if you like. All food for thought.

Michael Elson
Cape Town
South Africa

February 10, 2008

From Mike Miller:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8): What I don’t like about research that uses “primitive” societies as typical examples is the FALSE assumption that older societies constitute more authentic human values. In this case, sexual values.

First of all, “primitive” societies are not really primitive at all... Human society goes way back much farther in time than the development of these so called “primitive” societies. So they are in fact highly evolved human societies, that have adapted in very isolated circumstances to stimuli that we can only imagine.

These “primitive” societies are therefor atypical societies.

Second, the so called “scientific” process of transferring observations from so called “primitive” cultures and deriving conclusions applied to modern society is exactly akin to the error of taking strictly physical laws, such as Einstein’s law (or theory) of Relativity and applying that to social structures - which is the basis of the big mess we are in now of “your Ok, I’m ok”.

At least Einstein had a constant (‘c’ the speed of light) by which the various frames of reference in the physical sphere could be measured... transferring relativity to society minus a standard of reference just yields our present social chaos. “God” is the universal social constant.

“Primitive socities”, i.e.pre-Judeo-Christian, did not have any standard by which to regulate the norm: hence aberrational behavior is more acceptable - human sacrifice, infanticide, and the example this article gives: socially acceptable homosexual roles.

From Elizabeth:

Re: A machine with a taste-for espresso (Feb. 7): I guess I can see the importance of good quality control... but I like tasting my own coffee.

Missoula, MT

From Diane Kearny:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8, 2008): This article seems to be clearly defining Transsexuals but mistakenly confusing them as being gay. Even in the article it states the point that these subjects do not interact sexually with each other but with ‘straight’ men. That is a transsexual behavior model and not a gay one. Once again we are linked to being ‘gay’ and no wonder since we have been thrown under the GLBT cloak of sexual orientation and ‘trans’ confusion.

Why is it assumed that transsexuals, (as research has indicated have brains opposite in gender than their physical genitalia), are somehow homosexual? It would seem obvious that most of them would be attracted to the opposite sex than that of their brain. How is that being gay? Fact is as supported by most professionals that gender and sexual orientation are not the same thing so why then does this ‘research’ article seem to indicate otherwise?

Take note of the comparison between ‘altruistic’ males and ‘autogynephilic’ males. Were the Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence trio asked for contributions I wonder? This is supposed to be valid research... how so might I ask?

Point: Altruistic is a description of unselfish behavior and autogynephilia is simply the need to mimic the genitalia of the opposite sex, a fetishism gone to the extreme at times. How in God’s name did researchers ever come to the conclusion and/or suggestion that somehow a person might be able to change from being one to the other as if an option when transsexuals know that it was never choice but a driven need. Someone must have talked with Michael Bailey about his nonsensical book, ‘The Man Who Would Be Queen’, and taken most of his discredited statements as being factual in application to all transsexuals.

Gender bending is a term that appropriately belongs to the transgender elements and not to those who identify as transsexual since most HBS/TS’s I know did not bend their genders but did all they could to change their genitalia to match their inborn gender. A homosexual by the way would abhor such an act since his or her issue is sexual orientation and not bringing his or her genital sex into conformity with their gender identity.

Your use of the ‘gender bending’ term is a reflection of your bias. It is a derogatory term if applied to transsexuals although a common one applied to transgender who move in and out of gender moods and urges. Surprises me that you did not wrongly include transsexuals as somehow being a ‘sub-set’ under the transgender social construct to further add to the confusion.

This research article as I see it is constructive poppycock for it links two categories, (gay and transsexuals), together as if somehow the same when the evidence clearly shows that not to be true.

Before you expand on this article and what it seems to be fostering perhaps you should access the following site first and get an idea of what we are and what we are not: www.harrybenjaminsyndrome-info.org.

From Bob Roepke:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8): This is another example of the genetic basis for homosexuality. Of course, organized religion will fight tooth and nail to fault this study!

From John Earney:

Re: A function for “gay genes” after all? (Feb. 8): Good article with some good points. A point that I would like to make: homosexuality occurs in animals. In sheep for instance some rams will not mate ewes but will ride other rams. Why? Most cases are well bred purebreds that have a high inbred factor. Brother sister mating or maybe son over mother within a already narrow gene base flock.

Is this not natures way to avoid further inbreeding? Samoa is an island; the same scenario should apply.

John Earney
Avonstour Rarebreed Farm
Taranaki, New Zealand

From James Michael Howard :

Re: Severe stress in pregnancy may be tied to kids’ schizophrenia (Feb. 4): It is my hypothesis that schizophrenia results from low DHEA in utero; this is the “early lesion.” This reduces brain development which is exposed later in life when a combination of cortisol and testosterone reduce availability of DHEA. This is why a stressful event is often connected with the onset of schizophrenia following puberty when DHEA levels naturally begin to decline in the late teens and early twenties.

In 1984, I first suggested cortisol, the stress hormone, evolved to counteract the actions of DHEA and may be the basis of the “fight or flight” mechanism. Since that time, the connection and ratio of cortisol with DHEA has appeared in the medical literature.

I suggest that in women who produce low DHEA or are experiencing antagonism to their DHEA, stress may increase the cortisol to DHEA ratio so much as to adversely affect fetal brain growth and development and result in subsequent schizophrenia in their offspring.

James Michael Howard
Fayetteville, Ark., U.S.A.

From Bonnie Swain:

Re: Communing with nature less and less (Feb. 4): occurred to me that there may be a not so obvious reason that people are not taking part in outdoor activities as much. It is at least worthy of consideration.

After 23 years of marriage, my divorce occurred right in the time frame that your figures of decline started. I am still single. From 1984 to 1988 I was the leader of an area-wide single again organization in Houston, for members of churches of Christ. We had a fairly consistent age range from about the mid thirties to about fifty-five.

I believe I gained a good understanding of how life is for these singles, and I can tell you that the outdoor activities we did participate in together usually took place at a local, or close-by park. Most of us lived in apartments. In all of that time there was only one of the guys that had a boat. I bought a tent and went camping with a friend once, and it was never used again.

Now, I’m back in California (over 7 years now) and I have been camping once with my son and his family, up at Shaver Lake. I am only an hour away from great outdoor areas and just a little bit further (maybe 1 1/2 to 2 hrs) from Yosemite, yet I have only been once to a retreat in the area (and much of that was held indoors).

So, I said all of that to draw your attention to the role that divorce has had in the decline you mentioned. Single people (especially women) just do not take off and go to places like that unless it is something that is already a very established part of their life and they are quite physically fit. It is hard to find people with common interests and a schedule and finances that allow for this kind of venture. Numerous other variables enter into this, but maybe there is enough information here to start you on a whole new study!

Bonnie Swain
Fresno, CA

From Juanita J. Rinas:

Re: Severe stress in pregnancy may be tied to kids’ schizophrenia (Feb. 4): If perhaps there is a direct correlation between the increasing separation of humans from their natural habitat and the increase of incidence of mental illness and other related disorders?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback or information related to such a correlation. I also would be interested in hearing from others that would choose to institute some changes to counteract this issue.

Juanita J. Rinas, MA, LPC
doctoral student

From Kermit Rose:

Re: Other universes may be detectable, published study claims (Oct. 11): Quote: “On the oth­er hand, re­search­ers have found at least one strik­ing ir­reg­u­lar­ity in the back­ground glow—a 'cold spot,' thought to be re­lat­ed to a vast and anom­a­lous void in the cos­mos.” If this void is not the absence of radiation, but is a direction from which the radiation is measurably lower frequency, then it fits my alternative model of the “Big Bang”. In my model, the observable part of the universe is not expanding, but shrinking. The “Big Bang” residual radiation corresponds to radiation from galaxies so far away that their visual light has lost so much energy by its uphill climb against gravity that its wavelength has shifted to that of the measured background radio way frequency.

Imagine that all the galaxies in our universe are falling toward a central gravitational singularity. The void could be the direction of that singularity. The universe would appear to be expanding, even while shrinking, because galaxies closer to the singularity than us would be falling faster than us, thus accelerating away from us. And galaxies farther away from us would be falling toward this singularity more slowly, so they would also appear to be speeding away from us. The farther away from us in the direction of the singularity they were, the faster they would be moving away from us. Perhaps a test of my model would be the answer to this question: If we assume a central singularity in the direction of the void, and can judge by the angle of a galaxy with respect to the angle of the void, and by it’s apparent speed away from us how much closer or farther away it is from this central singularity than we are, are all the measurements consistent with general relativity and with the galaxies fitting within a large sphere with the singularity at the center?

I would also anticipate that the creation aspect is still going on. At the event horizon of this singularity, much farther out than we are, new matter is being created. Of course we can’t see this. But we can see the process that created the matter that was being created around the same time that the matter that eventually became our galaxy was created. And of course, as we continue to fall toward the singularity, we will observe that particular galaxies will speed up in their moving away from us.

From Rebecca Smith:

Re: A common ancestor for all blue-eyed people (Jan. 31): Very interesting observation by Hans Eiberg, etc. Briefly, I will only state what I believe to be fact. NOT all of human kind evolved from the Ape. Not all of us started with ‘Brown eyes”... the Fallen Angels had blue eyes... . ALL Angels have blue eyes! The Greek (gods) had blue eyes! The so called “switch” most likely occurred when those ABOVE came down and ‘seeded’ us (mated with what was here) with their genetic code or gene (and blue eyes). Let’s call them the Blue Eyed Adepts! It’s really simple, but physical Science is a little behind, because it bases everything just on Nature, and there is more to it than cycles. Nature is too slow, so... Intelligent intervention or deliberate interruption into the species on Earth is a more likely Truth and Cause.

From Kermit Rose:

Re: Genes affecting generosity may be found (Oct. 31): The author of this article indicated that some biologists were puzzled why *al­tru­ism could evolve since it seemed to be a disadvantage to be altruistic. I feel strongly that altruism is not a disadvantage.

It is a considerable advantage to the individual and the species. People who are altruistic are attractive to potential mates. They are loyal and faithful, and the potential mate knows it.

From Chris Harding:

Re: Particle smasher may reveal extra dimensions (Feb. 1): This could be the turning point for string theory. At least there will be something to test theories against. But why only one time dimension? If as John Dobson thinks time is negative space there should be as many dimensions of time as there are of space.

Chris Harding
North Rockhampton Q'ld 4701

From Betty J.Rodman:

Re: Girl changes blood type, immune system (Jan. 25): The girl whose blood-type changed and no longer needs medication to prevent organ rejection is indeed a miracle. I believe her desire to live has something to do with her miracle. (Change your thinking, change your life. ) The mind controls the body. Humans have the God given ability to change their biology by their thoughts and the things they choose to dwell upon. This means that you can change your DNA.

There are medical miracles that go unnoticed all the time. Whenever a miracle is observed; we naturally want to discover how it happened, or try to explain it away, or take credit for it. If we would spend more time learning about energy healing, quantum physics, and our natural hidden powers; we could more readily grasp the concept of miracles and healing.

Betty J.Rodman H.H.C.P.
M.I.N.D.S. consultant
Holistic Counseling
Falmouth, MA 02540

From Michael Mcintyre:

Re: A new geologic epoch-started by us (Jan. 25): How about agiocene? (agio = Greek >Italian: change; a fee charged by money brokers [changers] for exchanging money). In any case, it will be the awaited Age of Aquarius, the water bearer, because by standard geology, when land ice melts or slides into ocean (including the already moved south and slowed Gulf Stream ) earthquakes previously suppressed inevitably occur. Last summer small earthquakes in West Greenland occurred for first time on record for this reason, according to UK Observer in early September (only 1-3 Richter so far). UK Independent on October 2nd reported 22c temperatures in Greenland in July, in previous years usually about 5c, and that there was rain at the North Pole. Doesn’t the last sound like it ought to be a Big Story of 2007? In a contemporaneous pretty article about Greenland’s ice from above, UK Independent also reports morels big enough to fly a helicopter into.