Saturday, June 16, 2018

DOES THE MUSLIM QUR'AN INVALIDATE THE BIBLE?


This is what the Koran says about the Bible in Sura 2:62(Al-Baqara)-"believers Jews, Christians, and Sabaeans-whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does what is right- shall be rewarded by their Lord;they have nothing to fear or regret".
This is what it says about
Jesus Christ 
Sura 3:45(al-imran)-"The Angels said to Mariam(Mary): Allah bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His Name is al-Masih(Messiah), Isa the Son of Mariam. He shall be noble in this world and in the next, and shall be favored by Allah. When the Angel appeared to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, he said in: Sura 19:19(mariam)- " 'I am the messenger of your Lord', he replied, 'and have come to give you a holy son.' "
Jesus is called a Holy Son, this means without fault or sin.
Sura 10:34(yunus)- "can any of your partners(associate-gods) produce a creation, then reproduce it? Allah produces a creation, then reproduce it."
Only God can create and give life. In Sura 3:49(al-imran)- (Jesus speaking) "I bring you a sign from your Lord. From clay, I will make for you the likeness of a bird, I shall breath into it and, by Allah's leave, it shall become a living bird. By Allah's leave, I shall give sight to the blind man, heal the leper and raise the dead to life." the Koran identifies Jesus as the One with divine power and authority.
Jesus Christ is the only prophet in the Koran who does not confess his sins. There are tradition in the hadith(the record of the prophet Mohammed's sayings and actions not recorded in the Koran) that says: Abu Huraira reported Allah's messenger as saying, "there is none among the sons of Adam who is born but not touched by satan at the time of his birth. So he cried loudly because of satan's touch. But this is not the case with Mary and her Son". Remember in Sura 19:19, Jesus is called the holy Son, without sin.
Sura 4:171(al-nisa)- "Al-Masih(Messiah), Isa(Jesus) the Son of Mariam, was no more than Allah's apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mariam, and a Spirit proceeding from Him." as in John 1:1Bible.
Jesus is the Spirit of God(Ruhull-Ilah) and the Word of God. Moses is called God's spokesman in the Koran, and Abraham is called the friend of God while Mohammed is called the messenger of God-Jesus Christ is called the SPIRIT and WORD OF GOD. 
Jesus Christ is pronounced holy and sinless in Islam, but the prophet Mohammed often confessed his sins- Suras 40:55;47:19;48:2. Read to Mohammed's own confession in Sum 49:9(al-ahqaf)- "say, I am no prodigy(marvel or special one) among the apostles;nor do I know what will be done with me or you, I follow only what is revealed to me, and my only duty is to give plain warning." the Koran in; Sura 3:55(al-imran)- "Allah said, Isa(Jesus). I am about to cause your term on earth to end and lift you up to Me. I shall take you away from those who disbelieve and exalt your followers above them till the Day of Resurrection". God says followers of Jesus will be exalted until the Day of Resurrection. yet? 
It is worthy of note, that Sura 3:55 says "I am about to cause your term on earth to end". The Arabic here says "Inim wuta wafika" which literally means, "I will cause you to die". Also in Sura 19:33(mariam) Jesus is quoted as saying: "so peace be on me on the day I was born and on the day i die ; and may peace be upon me on the day when I shall be raised to life." the Koran bears testimony to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! 
What does the Koran say about the Bible
Sura 5:68(al-maida)- "say:people of the Book(Christians and Jews),you stand for nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord."
Sura 4:136(al-nisa)- "O believers, have faith in Allah and His Apostles, in the Book He formerly revealed(Bible). He that denies Allah, His angels, His apostles, and the last Day, has strayed far from the truth".
Sure 5:48(al-maida)- "And to you We have revealed the Book with truth confirming what was revealed before it in the other Books and standing as a guardian over it". The Koran was to be the Guardian of all the previously revealed Scripture. If the Bible is corrupted, then the Koran failed in its work. Sum 5:43(al-maida) the Koran confirms the truthfulness of the Torah(law of Moses, Old Testament) when prophet Mohammed met some Jews in Arabia, Allah said to him, "But why do they come to you for judgement when they already have the Torah in which is Allah's own judgement?". Furthermore, in Sura 5:47, the Koran says, "Let the followers of the Gospel judge according with what Allah has revealed therein. Evil doers are those who do not base their judgement on Allah's revelation". This confirms that the Bible was known to Prophet Mohammed and he had full confidence in its truthfulness. 
Mohammed was even told, "If thou(Mohammed) art in doubt concerning that which we revealed unto thee, then question those who read the Scriptures before thee."(Sura 10:94-yunus).
Prophet Mohammed was told to refer to the Christians for fuller spiritual understanding. The Bible was fully written, authenticated and compiled 500years before Mohammed was born. Sura 6:115(al-an'am) says: "perfected are the words of your Lord in truth and justice. None can change them. He is the Hearing, the Knowing". The Torah and the Gospel are the word of the Lord, according to the Koran, so no one can change them! If the Bible has been changed then Koran is not true. But the Bible has not been changed; it must be studied and respected as the Word of God.
Sura 29:46(al-ankabut) says: "And do not argue with the people of the Books(Jews and Christians) except in the best way,unless it be with those among them who do evil, say:we believe in that which is revealed to us which was revealed to you. Our God and your God is One. To Him we surrender ourselves."
The Koran says in Sum 35:18(fatir): "No soul shall bear another's burden. If a laden soul cries out for help, nothing of its burden will be carried even by a relative.".meaning salvation is by a Messiah and not by self effort.
The work of Christians is to help these precious people discover who the Messiah is.
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Friday, November 11, 2016

WERE THERE OTHER PERSONS BESIDES ADAM AND EVE?

 WHO WHERE THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND OF NOD ?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
            After Cain killed Abel and was declared a “fugitive and vagabond” by God (Genesis 4:12), the Bible says that he “went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod” (4:16). It was in this land that “Cain knew his wife” (4:17), and it was here that his son, Enoch, was born.
When a person reads about Nod in Genesis 4, he often pictures a land where a large group of people already were dwelling by the time Cain arrived. Because the Bible gives this land a name (“Nod”), many assume it was called such before Cain went there. Furthermore, many believe that it was in this land that Cain found his wife. Based upon these assumptions, some even claim that God must have specially created other humans besides Adam and Eve, otherwise there would not have been a land of Nod, nor would Cain have been able to find a wife there. Are these assumptions and conclusions correct? What can be said about these matters?
                It is very likely that when Moses wrote the name “Nod” (Genesis 4:16), he was using a figure of speech called “prolepsis” (the assignment of something, such as an event or name, to a time that precedes it). People often use prolepsis for the sake of convenience, so that the reader or audience can better understand what is being communicated. For example, I might say, “My wife and I dated two years before we got married,” when actually she was not my wife when we were dating, but a very dear friend. We may see a special on television about when President George W. Bush was a boy, but the fact is, George W. Bush was not President of the United States when he was a child. From time to time, even the Bible uses this kind of language. In John 11, the Bible speaks of a woman named Mary who “anointed the Lord with ointment” (11:1-2), yet this anointing actually did not occur for about three months. John merely spoke about it as having already happened because when he wrote his gospel account this event was generally known. Another example of pro­lepsis is found in Genesis 13:3 where we read that Abraham “went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel.” This area actually did not wear the name Bethel until years later when Jacob gave it that name (Genesis 28:19). However, when Moses wrote of this name hundreds of years later, he was free to use it even when writing about a time before the name actually was given.
            When Moses used the name Nod in Genesis 4, the reader must understand the land probably was not given that name until sometime after Cain moved there. This is consistent with the meaning of the name Nod (“wandering”), which in all probability was given because God told Cain he was to be a wanderer upon the Earth (Genesis 4:12). Thus, the land of Nod almost certainly was not an area filled with people whom Cain would eventually befriend. It would become that in time; nevertheless, it probably was not such a place upon his arrival.
               But, someone might ask, did Cain not find his wife in the land of Nod? Actually, the Bible never tells us that Cain’s wife came from Nod. The text simply says that Cain “dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch” (Genesis 4:16-17).
To conclude that God specially created others besides Adam and Eve because “there was a large group of people living in Nod when Cain arrived” and “from this group Cain got his wife” is faulty reasoning and sheer speculation. Scripture does not teach the above premises, nor does it ever hint that God specially created others than Adam and Eve. In fact, the Bible teaches the very opposite when it explicitly states that Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45) and that Eve would be the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20, emp. added). It seems clear that there could have been no other people on the Earth contemporaneous with them (except, of course, their own children). Even though some allege that God specially created other people in addition to Adam and Eve during the creation week, such cannot be defended logically in light of what Scripture teaches.
          Michael Benson Ajayi adds " according to the Guinness book of world records, the greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.
If a woman with a lesser health condition with respect to the quality of the environment and weather condition in comparison to Eve's who lived over 9000 years ago could give birth to 69 children within a space of say 30 years ,what then can we say of Eve within her over 900 years of existence under better weather conditions. Within a 400 year reproductive period , it would have been possible that Eve and her daughters would have produced over a twenty thousand persons.
             This number is sufficient enough to form many nomadic communities as seen in desert regions with some communities as few as 200 or less and since there was no law governing marriage they would have been cohabiting and having sexual relations with each other. For where there is no law , sin does not exist (Rom.5:13) therefore ,it will not be out of place to say Cain married a distant relative.
credit: Apologetics press

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

TEN REFUTATIONS AGAINST REINCARNATION



Below is information from A Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kareeft and Ronald Tacelli. (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove).

Six Basic Theories on Life After Death.

    The human race has come up with six basic theories about what happens to us when we die.

    1. Materialism: Nothing survives. Death ends all of me. Seldom held before the eighteenth century, materialism is now a strong minority view in industrialized nations. It is the natural accompaniment of atheism.

    2. Paganism: A vague, shadowy semi-self or ghost survives and goes to the place of the dead, the dark, gloomy Underworld. This is the standard pagan belief. Traces of it can be found even in the Old Testament Jewish notion of sheol. The “ghost” that survives is less alive, less substantial, less real than the flesh and blood organism now living. It is something like a “ghost image” on a TV set: a pale copy of the lost original.

    3. Reincarnation: The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body. Reincarnation is usually connected with the next belief, pantheism, by the notion of karma: that after the soul has fulfilled its destiny, and learned its lessons and become sufficiently enlightened, it reverts to a divine status or is absorbed into (or realizes its timeless identity with) the divine All.

    4. Pantheism: Death changes nothing, for what survives death is the same as what was real before death: only the one, changeless, eternal, perfect, spiritual, divine, all-inclusive Reality, sometimes called by a name (“Brahman”) and sometimes not (as in Buddhism). In this view—that of Eastern mysticism—all separateness, including time, is an illusion. Therefore, in this view, the very question of what happens after death is mistaken. The question is not solved but dissolved.

    5. Immortality: The individual soul survives death, but not the body. This soul eventually reaches its eternal destiny of heaven or hell, perhaps through intermediate stages, perhaps through reincarnation. But what survives is an individual, bodiless spirit. This is Platonism, often confused with Christianity.

    6. Resurrection: At death, the soul separates from the body and is reunited at the end of the world to its new, immortal, resurrected body by a divine miracle. This is the Christian view. This view, the supernatural resurrection of the body rather than the natural immortality of the soul alone, is the only version of life after death in Scripture. It is dimly prophesied and hoped for in the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the New.

   
Ten Refutations of Reincarnation

    Christianity rejects reincarnation for ten reasons.

    1. It is contradicted by Scripture (Heb 9:27).

    2. It is contradicted by orthodox tradition in all churches.

    3. It would reduce the Incarnation (referring to Christ’s incarnation) to a mere appearance, the crucifixion to an accident, and Christ to one among many philosophers or avatars. It would also confuse what Christ did with what creatures do: incarnation with reincarnation.

    4. It implies that God made a mistake in designing our souls to live in bodies, that we are really pure spirits in prison or angels in costume.

    5. It is contradicted by psychology and common sense, for its view of souls as imprisoned in alien bodies denies the natural psychosomatic unity.

    6. It entails a very low view of the body, as a prison, a punishment.

    7. It usually blames sin on the body and the body’s power to confuse and darken the mind. This is passing the buck from soul to body, as well as from will to mind, and a confusion of sin with ignorance.

    8. The idea that we are reincarnated in order to learn lessons we failed to learn in a past earthly life is contrary to both common sense and basic educational psychology. I cannot learn something if there is no continuity of memory. I can learn from my mistakes only if I remember them. People do not usually remember these past “reincarnations.”

    9. The supposed evidence for reincarnation, rememberings from past lives that come out under hypnosis or “past life regression” can be explained—if they truly occur at all—as mental telepathy from other living beings, from the souls of dead humans

    10. Reincarnation cannot account for itself. Why are our souls imprisoned in bodies? Is it the just punishment for evils we committed in past reincarnations? But why were those past reincarnations necessary? For the same reason. But the beginning of the process that justly imprisoned our souls in bodies in the first place—this must have antedated the series of bodies. How could we have committed evil in the state of perfect, pure, heavenly spirituality? Further, if we sinned in that paradise, it is not paradisiacal after all. Yet that is the state that reincarnation is supposed to lead us back to after all our embodied yearnings are over

    If the answer is given that our bodies are not penalties for sin but illusions of individuality, the pantheistic One becoming many in human consciousness, no reason can possibly be given for this. Indeed, Hinduism calls it simply lila, divine play. What a stupid game for God to play! If Oneness is perfection, why would perfection play the game of imperfection? All the world’s sins and sufferings are reduced to a meaningless, inexplicable game.

    And if evil is itself only illusory (the answer given by many mystics) then the existence of this illusion is itself a real and not just illusory evil. Augustine makes this telling point.

    Where then is evil, and what is its source, and how has it crept into the creation? What is its root, what is its seed? Can it be that it is wholly without being? But why should we fear and be on guard against what is not? Or if our fear of it is groundless, then our very fear is itself an evil thing. For by it the heart is driven and tormented for no cause; and that evil is all the worse, if there is nothing to fear yet we do fear. Thus either there is evil which we fear, or the fact that we fear is evil. (Confessions, VII, 5)

    (See also Justin Martyr, Dialog with Trypho [ca. a.d. 180], and Albrecht, Reincarnation, for extended Christian critiques of this idea.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

THE PROPHETIC MOVEMENTS AND POST HOC

       The prophetic ministry is important to the propagation of the gospel as long as it is tailored towards teaching God's righteous counsel. Prophesies must align with the objective and logical faith for it to be valid as truth from God.
       God does not contradict Himself neither does His word . Therefore , a prophet must be well grounded in God's written word to avoid misleading his or her audience. God reveals Himself through His word . The young prophet Samuel spent much time in God's word than the older prophet Eli did .The scriptures says 1 Sam 3:21KJV " And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord."
        Eli was operating by subjective logic like a lot of modern prophets do , he never saw the need for an in-dept analysis of God's word. He worked by signs while Samuel worked by faith that came from studying the revealed word of God. Eli;s ministry was soon replaced by the teaching prophetic ministry of young Samuel.
        The subjective analysis of God based on external manifestations is detrimental to a healthy spiritual growth, Jesus said in Luke 17:20 KJV..."The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:" The word observation is the Greek word.
'parateresis' which means: from inspection, i.e. ocular evidence (visions): A lot of persons have fallen into traps by following visions instead of logical reasoning .
One of such common traps is :Post Hoc Fallacy
Explanation
    The Latin phrase “post hoc ergo propter hoc” means, literally, “after this therefore because of this.” The post hoc fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because one thing occurred after another, it must have occurred as a result of it. Mere temporal succession, however, does not entail causal succession. Just because one thing follows another does not mean that it was caused by it. This fallacy is closely related to the cum hoc fallacy.
Example
(1) Most people who are read the last rites die shortly afterwards.
Therefore:
(2) Priests are going around killing people with magic words!
This argument commits the post hoc fallacy because it infers a causal connection based solely on temporal order.
Real-World Examples
        One example of the post hoc flaw is the evidence often given for the efficacy of prayer. Prayer does work but not all results are as a result of prayers.Satan answers prayers too.A typical example is the circumstance behind the birth of Ishmael in Gen.16:2-5 and the seer and evangelist in Acts 16:16-19 When someone reasons that as they prayed for something and it then happened, it therefore must have happened because they prayed for it, they commit the post hoc fallacy. The correlation between the prayer and the event could result from coincidence, rather than cause, so does not prove that a particular prayer worked . For example, praying that one should not get caught while smuggling cocaine aboard a U.S bound flight does not mean God answered if one was successful. 
       Superstitions often arise from people committing the post hoc fallacy. Consider, for example, a sportsman who adopts a pre-match ritual because one time he did something before a game he got a good result. The reasoning here is presumably that on the first occasion the activity preceded the success, so the activity must have contributed to the success, so repeating the activity is likely to lead to a recurrence of the success. This is a classic example of the post hoc fallacy in action.
Inputs by : logicalfallacies.info
By Rev. Michael Benson Ajayi.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

GOD MADE SOME OF US GAY- THE GAY- GENE (PART 3)




 credits
Dave Miller, Ph.D.
Brad Harrub, Ph.D.
 

BAILEY AND PILLARD—
THE FAMOUS “TWINS” STUDY
One of the most frequently cited studies used in promoting the genetics of sexual orientation is a 1952 study by Kallmann. In this famous work, he reported a concordance rate (or genetic association) of 100% for sexual orientation among monozygotic (identical) twins (1952, 115:283). This result, if true, would prove nearly insurmountable for those people who doubt the biological causation of homosexuality. However, Kallmann subsequently conjectured that this perfect concordance was an artifact, possibly due to the fact that his sample was drawn largely from mentally ill and institutionalized men (see Rainer, et al., 1960, 22:259). But Kallmann’s research opened the door to twin studies in regard to sexual orientation.
Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard, researchers at Northwestern University and the Boston University School of Medicine, carried out a similar experiment, examining 56 pairs of identical twins, 54 pairs of fraternal twins, 142 non-twin brothers of twins, and 57 pairs of adoptive brothers (1991, 48:1089-1096). Bailey and Pillard were looking to see if homosexuality was passed on through familial lines, or if one could point to environmental factors as the cause. Their hypothesis: if homosexuality is an inherited trait, then more twin brothers would be expected to have the same orientation than non-twin or non-biological brothers.
Their Reported Findings
  • 52% of identical (monozygotic) twins of homosexual men were homosexual
  • 22% of fraternal (dizygotic) twins were likewise homosexual
  • 11% of adoptive brothers of homosexual men were homosexual
  • 9.2% of non-twin biological siblings reported homosexual orientations (Bailey and Pillard, 1991, “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation”)
  • 48% of identical twins of homosexual women were likewise homosexual
  • 16% of fraternal (dizygotic) twins were likewise homosexual
  • 6% of adoptive sisters of homosexual women were likewise homosexual (Bailey and Benishay, 1993, “Familial Aggregation of Female Sexual Orientation”)
Problems with Bailey and Pillard’s Study
While the authors acknowledged some of the flaws with their research, they still were quoted in Science News as saying: “Our research shows that male sexual orientation is substantially genetic” (as quoted in Bower, 1992, 141:6). However, the most glaring observation is that clearly not 100% of the identical twins “inherited” homosexuality. If there was, in fact, a “gay gene,” then all of the identical twins should have reported a homosexual orientation. And yet, in nearly half of the twins studied, one brother was not homosexual. In a technical-comment letter in Science, Neil Risch and colleagues pointed out: “The biological brothers and adoptive brothers showed approximately the same rates. This latter observation suggests that there is no genetic component, but rather an environmental component shared in families” (1993, 262:2063). In fact, more adoptive brothers shared homosexuality than non-twin biological brothers. If there was a genetic factor, this result would be counter to the expected trend. Byne and Parsons noted:
However, the concordance rate for homosexuality in nontwin biologic brothers was only 9.2—significantly lower than that required by simple genetic hypothesis, which, on the basis of shared genetic material, would predict similar concordance rates for DZ [dizygotic] twins and nontwin biologic brothers. Furthermore, the fact that the concordance rates were similar for nontwin biologic brothers (9.2%) and genetically unrelated adoptive brothers (11.0%) is at odds with a simple genetic hypothesis, which would predict a higher concordance rate for biological siblings (1993, 50:229).
A more recently published twin study failed to find similar concordance rates. King and McDonald studied 46 homosexual men and women who were twins. The concordance rates that they reported were 10%, or 25% with monozygotic twins—depending on whether or not the bisexuals were included along with the homosexuals. The rates for dizygotic twins were 8% or 12%, again, depending on whether bisexuals were included (King and McDonald, 1992). Byne and Parsons commented: “These rates are significantly lower than those reported by Bailey and Pillard; in comparison of the MZ [monozygotic] concordance rate, including bisexuals (25%), with the comparable figure from Bailey and Pillard (52%)” (p. 230). They went on to observe: “Furthermore, if the concordance rate is similar for MZ and DZ twins, the importance of genetic factors would be considerably less than that suggested by Bailey and Pillard” (p. 230, emp. added).
Another factor that may have had a drastic affect on the results of this study (and other similar studies) centers on methodology. Bailey and Pillard did not study a random sample of homosexuals. Instead, the subjects were recruited through advertisements placed in homosexual publications. This method can be deemed questionable because it is highly dependent on the readership of those publications and on the motives of those who respond. Thus, it may lead to skewed results—for example, inflated rates of concordance in identical twins owing to preferential participation (see Baron, 1993). Hubbard and Wald observed:
The fact that fraternal twins of gay men were roughly twice as likely to be gay as other biological brothers shows that environmental factors are involved, since fraternal twins are no more similar biologically than are other biological brothers. If being a fraternal twin exerts an environmental influence, it does not seem surprising that this should be even truer for identical twins, who the world thinks of as “the same” and treats accordingly, and who often share those feelings of sameness (1997, p. 97).
In summarizing their findings, Byne and Parsons stated: “Critical review shows the evidence favoring a biologic theory to be lacking” (50:228). Commenting on Bailey and Pillard’s report, researchers Billings and Beckwith wrote:
While the authors interpreted their findings as evidence for a genetic basis for homosexuality, we think that the data in fact provide strong evidence for the influence of the environment (1993, p. 60).
When evaluated scientifically, twin studies fail to provide any valid support for the longed-for “gay gene.”


DEAN HAMER—THE GAY GENE
ON THE X CHROMOSOME
Two years after Simon LeVay’s report, a group led by Dean H. Hamer of the National Cancer Institute allegedly linked male homosexuality to a gene on the X chromosome. His team investigated 114 families of homosexual men. Hamer and his colleagues collected family history information from 76 gay male individuals and 40 gay brother pairs as they searched for incidences of homosexuality among relatives of gay men.
In many families, gay men had gay relatives through maternal lines. Thus, they concluded that a gene for homosexuality might be found on the X chromosome, which is passed from the mother alone. They then used DNA linkage analysis in an effort to find a correlation between inheritance and homosexual orientation.
Their Reported Findings
Because many of the families with a prevalence of homosexual relatives had a common set of DNA markers on the X chromosome, Hamer’s group assumed a genetic etiology. Of the 40 pairs of homosexual brothers he analyzed, Hamer found that 33 exhibited a matching DNA region called q28—a gene located at the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome. In summarizing their findings, Hamer and colleagues noted: “Our experiments suggest that a locus (or loci) related to sexual orientation lies within approximately 4 million base pairs of DNA on the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome” (1993, 261:326, parenthetical item in orig.). This discovery prompted Hamer and his colleagues to speculate:
The linkage to markers on Xq28, the subtelomeric region of the long arm of the sex chromosome, had a multipoint lod score of 4.0, indicating a statistical confidence level of more than 99 percent that at least one subtype of male sexual orientation is genetically influenced (261:321, emp. added).
It is important to note that Hamer did not claim to have found a “gay gene,” or even the set of genes, that might contribute to a propensity for homosexuality. According to Chicago Tribune staff writer, John Crewdson, what Hamer claimed to have found was “statistical evidence that such genes exist” (1995).
Problems with Hamer’s Study
One of the most significant problems with Hamer’s approach is that he and his colleagues did not feel that it was necessary to check whether any of the heterosexual men in these families shared the marker in question! Would it not be useful to know whether or not this “gay gene” is found in heterosexuals? Even if only a few of them possess the gene, it calls into question what the gene or the self-identification signifies. Additionally, Hamer never explained why the other seven pairs of brothers did not display the same genetic marker. If this is “the gene” for homosexuality, then one must assume all homosexual individuals would possess that particular marker—and yet that was not the case in Hamer’s study.
In a letter to Science, Anne Fausto-Sterling and Evan Balaban pointed out some of the additional problems with Hamer’s study. They noted:
Despite our praise for aspects of Hamer, et al.’s work, we feel it is also important to recognize some of its weaknesses. The most obvious of these is the lack of an adequate control group. Their study demonstrates cosegregation of a trait (which Hamer, et al. have labeled “homosexuality”) with X chromosome markers and the trait’s concordance in homosexual brothers. This cosegregation is potentially meaningful if the mother is heterozygous for the trait. In this case, segregating chromosomes without the markers should show up in nonhomosexual brothers, but Hamer, et al. present no data to that effect (1993, 261:1257, emp. added).
Fausto-Sterling and Balaban continued:
This sensitivity to assumptions about background levels makes Hamer, et al.’s data less robust than the summary in their abstract indicates.... Finally we wish to emphasize a point with which we are sure Hamer, et al. would agree: correlation does not necessarily indicate causation (261:1257).
In other words, Hamer’s methodology leaves something to be desired. One also should keep in mind that Hamer’s sampling was not random, and, as a result, his data may not reflect the real population.
George Rice and his colleagues from Canada looked intently at the gene Xq28. They then observed: “Allele and halotype sharing for these markers was not increased over expectation. These results do not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality” (1999, 284:665, emp. added). Rice, et al., included 182 families in their study. They noted:
It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer’s original study. Because our study was larger than that of Hamer et al., we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as was reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position Xq28 (284:667).
That is a tactful way of saying that any claims of having found a “gay gene” were overblown, if not outright false, and that Hamer’s results are dubious at best. Commenting on the study of Rice and his colleagues, Ingrid Wickelgren remarked: “...the Ontario team found that gay brothers were no more likely to share the Xq28 markers than would be expected by chance.... Ebers interprets all these results to mean that the X linkage is all but dead” (1999, 284:571, emp. added).
In June of 1998, University of Chicago psychiatrist Alan Sanders reported at the meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that he, too, had been unable to verify Hamer’s results. Looking for an increase in Xq28 linkage, Sanders’ team studied 54 pairs of gay brothers. As Wickelgren indicated, Sanders’ team had found “only a weak hint—that wasn’t statistically significant—of an Xq28 linkage among 54 gay brother pairs” (284:571). Commenting on the validity of Hamer’s study, Wickelgren quoted George Rice: “Taken together, Rice says, the results ‘suggest that if there is a linkage it’s so weak it’s not important’” (1999, emp. added). Two independent labs failed to reproduce anything even remotely resembling Hamer’s results.
CHANGEABILITY OF HOMOSEXUALS—
EVIDENCE AGAINST GENETICS
An individual born with diabetes has no hope of changing that condition. Likewise, a child born with Down’s syndrome will carry that chromosomal abnormality throughout his or her life. These individuals are a product of the genes they inherited from their parents. Homosexuality appears to be vastly different. Many people have been able to successfully change their sexual orientation. [Truth be told, some individuals experiment with a variety of sexual partners—male/female—often, going back and forth. One might inquire if the bisexuality denotes the existence of a “bisexual gene?”] Ironically, however, the removal of homosexuality as a designation from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association has kept many physicians from attempting to provide reparative therapy to homosexuals.
Robert Spitzer conducted a study on 200 self-selected individuals (143 males, 57 females) in an effort to see if participants could change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual (2003, 32:403-417). He reported some minimal change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation that lasted at least five years (p. 403). Spitzer observed:
The majority of participants gave reports of change from a predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year (p. 403).
In summarizing his findings, Spitzer declared: “Thus, there is evidence that change in sexual orientation following some form of reparative therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians.” He thus concluded: “This study provides evidence that some gay men and lesbians are able to also change the core features of sexual orientation” (p. 415).
Six years earlier, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) released the results of a two-year study stating:
Before treatment, 68 percent of the respondents perceived themselves as exclusively or almost entirely homosexual, with another 22 percent stating that they were more homosexual than heterosexual. After treatment, only 13 percent perceived themselves as exclusively or almost entirely homosexual, while 33 percent described themselves as either exclusively or almost entirely heterosexual (see Nicolosi, 2000, 86:1071).
The study also reported:
Although 83 percent of respondents indicated that they entered therapy primarily because of homosexuality, 99 percent of those who participated in the survey said they now believe treatment to change homosexuality can be effective and valuable (p. 1071).
These data are consistent with the ongoing research project of Rob Goetze, who has identified 84 articles or books that contain some relevance to the possibility of sexual orientation change (2004). Of the data reported, 31 of the 84 studies showed a quantitative outcome of individuals able to change sexual orientation. These are not studies that merely speculate on the ability to change; they actually have the numbers to back it up! All of these data come on the heels of warnings from the Surgeon General, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and all of the major mental health associations, which have issued position statements warning of possible harm from such therapy, and have asserted that there is no evidence that such therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation. For instance, the 1998 American Psychiatric Association Position Statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation noted:
...there is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation.... The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior (see American Psychiatric Association, 1999, p. 1131).
Thus, physicians are caught in a quandary of a double standard. On the one hand, they are told that it is “unethical” for a clinician to provide reparative therapy because homosexuality is not a diagnosable disorder, and thus one should not seek to change. Yet, they contend that not enough studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of reparative therapy. The message is loud and clear: “Do not do this because it is unethical to ask a homosexual person to change. However, truth be told, we have not collected enough data to know if a person can safely change his or her sexual orientation.”
In situations where sexual orientation is being measured, studies face serious methodological problems (i.e., follow-up assessment, possible bias, no detailed sexual history, random sampling, etc.). But even given these serious shortcomings from behavioral studies such as these, there are sufficient data to indicate that an individual can change his or her sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual—something that would be an impossibility if homosexuality were caused by genetics.
CONCLUSION
Consider the obvious problem of survival for individuals who allegedly possess a gay gene: individuals who have partners of the same sex are biologically unable to reproduce (without resorting to artificial means). Therefore, if an alleged “gay gene” did exist, the homosexual population eventually would disappear altogether. We now know that it is not scientifically accurate to refer to a “gay gene” as the causative agent in homosexuality. The available evidence clearly establishes that no such gene has been identified. Additionally, evidence exists which documents that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation. Future decisions regarding policies about, and/or treatment of, homosexuals should reflect this knowledge.