Hatching a Bad News Story
The царица was reading the newspaper at breakfast Saturday morning, and hesitated at a story about gay penguins raising an egg together. How do they know the penguins are gay? she asked.
Is the story from AP? the Czar asked.
Yeah. How did you know?
How indeed. You can read the story above at the link, although your local paper probably reprinted the entire thing on its own, since everyone likes to copy and paste AP stories right in without fact-checking.
But the question is valid. So here is an exercise in futility for you. Try to find anyone who is not carrying the AP version of the story. BBCNews has one, but its a slightly skeptical re-write of the AP story based on the quotations from zoo keepers.
In addition, you will also notice an astonishing lack of scientific publications and journals carrying the story. Its obvious why: the penuins are not gay.
The penguins, who are properly Humboldt penguins, reside at Bremerhaven zoo, which hassince 2005been on a mission to prove that animals (notably Humboldts) enjoy homosexuality.
Full disclosure: unlike many conservatives, the Czar believes that there is sufficiently compelling evidence to accept the probability that homosexuality is a hard-wired trait that develops before birth. And in so doing, accepts the premise that such a trait should be found elsewhere in nature at near enough the same small percentages.
However, the Bremerhaven folks have been spectacularly unsuccessful finding proof of it. And, the Czar suggests, they still have not.
Here is something you should know about Humboldt penguins: they have an overwhelming age to pair up. This is a survival trait common to many penguins, because the brutal Antarctic winter will kill any living thing that does not huddle with others for warmth. If you place an unequal number of penguins together in captivity at mating seasonsuch as placing two more males in a group without females presentthey pair up. They have to. Its what Humboldts do.
And by so doing, Bremerhaven has created six allegedly gay penguins, although they could easily have removed the females and made all the males pair up. Maybe they didthe Czar cannot confirm how many total penguins of both genders the zoo claims to have. When the zoo allegedly introduced female penguins to test the idea that they would rather pair up with females, gay rights groups protexted, and zoo relented: they removed the females again. Take note of that: the gay community is promoting these penguins as gay, and damn anyone that tries to determine the truth either way.
Know what else Humboldts do? They will attempt to hatch any egg they find. Even if it isnt an egg: Humbolts, you see, will be happy to nurture a rock if the rock is the right size and shape, and indeed the Czar was interested to see the BBC News story even mention it. This is basic survival science: if your species produces one offspring at a time, you (male or female) attempt to hatch anything, be it an egg, a rejected or failed egg, or a rock that might be an egg.
So you have two male penguins, forced by gay protestors to live together in a zoo determined to prove homosexuality is common among animals, who instinctively attempt to hatch something egg-shaped (and is in fact an egg rejected by the original parent penguins).
See where this is going? There is a reason the scientific community rejects this discovery: it violates the ethics of science since it is a forced situation in which the testers are seeking to reach a desired conclusion, rather than observe phenomena to let the outcomes be what they are.
Proof? Certainly: where are the lesbian penguins? Why is it that gay penguins are only male? That seems odd. And why has this taken so long to occur in captivity? In four years, this is the first time male penguins raised an egg? Any why are there no stories of Humboldts in other zoos exhibiting similar behavior? And why Humboldts and not Emporers? And why do they try to hatch rocks and stones if not purely for an innate need to help the young survive? And since when is adoption proof of homosexuality? If a two male gray wolves let another adolescent male join their pack, are they gay? Do you begin to see where this is a non-scientific observation, and perhaps more of a we-wish-it-were-so-for-all-our-gay-friends-who-want-to-adopt fantasy?
And so AP, an organization that generally fails to understand fact-checking and the scientific process, is more than happy to take this bit of nonsense and promote it as an earth-shattering discovery about homosexuality. If you work for AP and are reading this now, allow the Czar to put it damned simply: two male Humboldts exhibiting normal survival instincts by adopting a stranded egg does not make them gay by itself, and your story has nothing else.
The Czar would welcome final news that gays deserve to be treated as people rather than a proselytizing lifestyle choice as feared by many. But this is totally the wrong way to go, because it is bad science from start to finish.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.