birds do it, bees do it…

have homosexual sex, that is.

and more than just birds and bees. evidently bighorn sheep, giraffes, bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, west indian manatees, japanese macaques, and hundreds of other species are getting their same-sex jollies.

that’s been a known fact for some time, though. but the scientific community, through their outright homophobia or maybe just their squeamishness, has not thought through the impact of this.

but now joan roughgarden has, and the implications are staggering.

staggering as in shaking the very foundations of darwinism.

as the article says, “For too long…biology has neglected evidence that mating isn’t only about multiplying. Sometimes, as in the case of all those gay sheep, dolphins and primates, animals have sex just for fun or to cement their social bonds. Homosexuality…is an essential part of biology, and can no longer be dismissed. By using the queer to untangle the straight, Roughgarden’s theories have the potential to usher in a scientific sexual revolution.”

this article is an absolute must-read…one of the most fascinating accounts of divergent thinking that i’ve run across in some time. the kind of article that not only forces you to consider what you think of ms. roughgarden’s thesis, but also to reconsider the basic tenets of what you’ve believed to be true all your life.

like this, for instance: she believes that there is proof that bisexuality is the norm in the animal world (we are animals too, you know), and that “the hetero/homo distinction is a purely cultural creation, and not a fact of biology”.

or this: “At this point, we have thousands of species that deviate from the standard account of Darwinian sexual selection. So we get all these special case exemptions, and we end up downplaying whatever facts don’t fit. The theory…clearly has the trajectory of a hypothesis in trouble.”

she’s currently being shouted down by much of the entrenched scientific community for what are ostensibly valid (to them) reasons, but behind their official objections, there’s the fact that ms. roughgarden used to be mr. roughgarden. unofficially, they think that colors ms. roughgarden’s conclusions.

maybe it just takes one to know one?