Posts Tagged ‘Fertility’

Odin’s Men on Chemical Pollution and the Possible Link between the Increase in LGBTQ+ Identification and Gay Frogs

March 1, 2022

Before I go any further, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am very definitely not trying to sneer at, deride or stigmatise anyone’s sexual identity, sexual orientation or gender presentation. I also condemn wholeheartedly persecution and discrimination against anyone, simply because they are gay, trans or whatever.

However, I am greatly concerned that the expansion of trans identification is being driven by other, malign factors rather than the unfortunate feeling by some individuals that their biology does not match their true identity. In the case of trans identification, I am afraid this is being pushed for ideological reasons and for the benefit of the medical industry without due care for the young patients. I am terribly afraid that many young people are being misdiagnosed and put on a path to drug and hormone treatment and very possibly surgery, that they don’t need and that will lead them to damaged health. I am also afraid that trans identification has now become a social contagion, in which psychological vulnerable young people have convinced themselves they suffer from what used to be called gender dysphoria, in the same way eating disorders emerged and spread in the past. And I am also deeply concerned about the malign influence of Queer Theory in deliberately destabilising young people’s gender and sexual identities for reasons purely of political ideology.

Added to this are concerns about the possible effects of chemical pollutants, which is the subject of the video below. Odin’s Men is a YouTuber, who posts videos laughing at and criticising woke people on Tiktok, especially those with particularly remarkable appearances. But here’s he’s commenting on the finding by a Black American scientist, Tyrone Hayes, whose research has shown that mad conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had a point when he said he didn’t like them putting chemicals in the water that were turning the fricken frogs gay.

Dr Hayes was tasked by his employer, a biochemical company Synergen, to investigate the possible effects of their pesticide, Atrazine, on frogs. There seems to have been a ‘nod and a wink’ from his employers that, of course, he wouldn’t find any. But Hayes did. He found biological male frogs developing multiple ovaries. This occurred even in specially biologically engineered amphibians that had no female genetic inheritance. This occurred at the levels Atrazine was normally present in the environment. The video compares the denials of the biochemical industry with those of the tobacco companies decades ago that nicotine was addictive. Odin’s Men then goes further, talking about the plunging levels of testosterone in western men and speculating whether this is also caused by such pollution. And finally he wonders if the increase in LGBTQ+ identification among young people to near 40 per cent is also due to it.

Amphibians are in crisis all over the world because their skins are water permeable and so more vulnerable to soaking up and absorbing the pollutants in the environment. Scientists have produced research for at least a decade that frogs are developing reproductive anomalies and disorders tied to environmental pollution. And as far back as the 90s there was concern about the dropping fertility levels in western men. This has also been linked to falling testosterone levels and supposedly shrinking genitals. The chemicals supposedly responsible for this are phthallates, a form of plastic that’s supposedly in everything. This is extremely controversial, and back in the ’90s the Wessex Sceptics over here in Britain took time out from criticising crop circles and the National Lottery to try to debunk it. However the fall in western male fertility appears to be well-established, regardless of the right-wing nonsense that claims it’s all due to people eating soya products instead of meat. And certain fertilisers do impede normal sexual development. Back in the early- and mid-80s the Observer published an article condemning the sale of such a chemical to Pakistan and other developing countries. The fertiliser was banned in the west because of a number of harmful side-effects. One of these was irreversible sex changes in girls.

There is a difference between the effects of these chemicals and gay and trans identification. The chemicals are having a physical effect in feminising the test frogs and turning them intersex. As far as I am aware, though, sexual orientation and gender identification are mental matters. There are a number of theories about the origins of homosexuality. These range from evolutionary theory, in which same-sex desire has emerged in nature because it confers a positive advantage on the animal at a species level. For example, one theory claims that it has emerged in humans and primates as it would allow the dominant male to keep a harem of fertile females without competition from other males, who could still nevertheless serve him. Some scientists have said that it is genetic in origin or perhaps is caused by abnormal levels of testosterone in the womb. And then there was Freud and his idea that it was all caused by dysfunctional family relationships, which I believe has now been discredited. I can’t say I’m convinced by any of these theories, and it may be that gay and trans identity isn’t due to chemical pollution.

But it now seems beyond question that toxic chemicals are being released into the environment which are damaging the ecosystem and which may be affecting humans. And you don’t have to be a mad conspiracist theorist like Jones to be worried about that.

Just to lighten this post up a bit, someone took Alex Jones’ notorious rant about gay frogs and turned it into a rave video on YouTube. Here it is from Placeboing’s channel.

Human Fertility and the Problem of the Origin of Religion

June 2, 2013

One of the other arguments I had with the atheists on this blog a few years ago was about the role of human fertility as the origin of religion. According to one atheist, religion evolved so that humans would have more children. It’s easy to see how this idea came about. There are religions that encourage their members to have many children. In the West, Roman Catholicism is the best known example. In the ancient world, including the Bible, people hoped that God or the gods would provide them with many children and as well as abundant crops and livestock. Children and descendants and agricultural fertility were not just benefits, they were absolute necessities as famine and starvation were all too real. One estimate of child mortality in the ancient world at the time of Carthage suggests that 5-6 out of ten children died in infancy. People, tribes and states thus wished to have plenty of children not just to remain wealthy, powerful, with a strong army and an abundant labour forces, but also simply to survive. The Canaanite religion of ancient Syria made the conflict against sterility and death part of its religion. In its mythology, Baal fought a long battle against his adversary, Mot, whose name meant sterility or death.

There are certainly scholars of religion, such as John Bowker, who do consider the encouragement of fertility as the origin, but not the total explanation, of religion. In his article, ‘Religion’ in The oxford Dictionary of World Religions, states ‘Religions are the earliest cultural systems of which we have evidence for theprotection of gene-replication and the nurture of children.’ This is true even of those religions that consider celibacy to be a higher vocation. Boker himself is certainly not uncritical of this explanation. He states clearly that ‘there is much that is clearly wrong’, and has written a book tackling the subject, Is God a Virus? Genes, Culture and Relgion. His view is that genetic inheritance and Darwinian evolution can only explain the emergence of humans capacity for certain activities and behaviours. This accounts why religions frequently share similar features. It does not, however, determine what people do with this biological preparedness.

Religions are also multi-faceted and include a number of different features. This means it is difficult for materialist explanations of religion to reduce its origin and function to any single factor. Early attempts to explain religion materialistically viewed them as attempts by early humans to explain natural phenomena. The sociologist Emile Durkheim believed religion served to organise society and create a vital sense of social solidarity. The view that religion emerged to encourage fertility appears to have been advanced in the 1990s as an attempt by socio-biology and later evolutionary psychology to provide an explanation of religion in accorance with evolutionary biology. This view also has its flaws. Bowker himself was aware that this evolutionary biological theory of the origin of religion was problematic and had its opponents. One of the problems of this view is the role of asceticism in many religions. If religion evolved solely to encourage increased reproduction, it would not explain the ascetism that also forms part of many faiths. Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, for example, have members who withdraw from the world to lead celibate lives. In Christianity this includes the clergy in Roman Catholicism, and the higher clergy in eastern Orthodoxy. Monasticism is a part of both Christianity and Buddhism, while Hinduism has sadhus, yogis and yoginis, ascetics, who pursue their devotions in solitude. The ancient Babylonians also had orders of priestesses, who were required to remain celibate. They were aware of the dangers of overpopulation, and these religious orders, as well as disease, natural disasters and infertility, were viewed as being divinely established to prevent it.

The Atrahasis epic, the earliest flood myth from Mesopotamia, states that the humans were originally created by the gods to do their work for them. Over the centuries humanity increased so that

‘Twelve hundred years had not yet passed
When the land extended and the people multiplied.
The earth was bellowing like a bull,
The gods got distressed with their uproar.’

The gods then attempted to reduce humanity’s numbers with disease, followed by a drought. Humans go on breeding, however, and soon are reduced to starvation and cannibalism. People are forced to eat their children. The gods then send a flood to wipe them out completely, but the god Ea warns, and so saves, Atrahasis. The epic ends with Ea advising the mother-goddess Mami/ Nintu on how the danger of overpopulation is to be avoided in the future through the Malthusian checks of sterility, infant mortality and celibacy. He says to her

‘O Lady of Birth, creatress of the Fates…
Let there be among the people bearing women and barren women,
Let there be among the people a Pahittu-demon,
Let is seize the baby from the mother’s lap,
Establish Ugbabtu priestesses, Entu priestesses and Igisitu-priestesses.
They shall indeed be tabooed, and thus cut-off child-bearing.

Now this awareness and desire to avoid overpopulation is just one aspect of Babylonian religion. Nevertheless it, and asceticism and celibacy in other religions, as well as the incredibly varied nature of religion and religious experience, suggest that while fertility generally remains an important part of religion, it cannot be considered its origin.

Sources

John Bowker, ‘Religion’, in John Bowker, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1997) xv-xxiv.

Anton Jirku, The World of the Bible (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1967)

Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq 3rd edition (London: Penguin 1992).