The ignorance of religious leaders towards the role of marriage
The UK government has plans to legalize gay marriage and the church of England reacted against it claiming that it would “alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as a union of a man and a woman“.
Again, one more example of the ignorance propagated by religion.
The institution of marriage exists to ensure paternity of the offspring and inheritance of the parental resources by those who carry the genes of the father.
In the animal world, where sexual reproduction occurs, behaviours have evolved to prevent parental investment in non-genetically related offspring. In mammals, there are no doubts about the identity of the mother, but there is no way one can be certain who the father is, thus males have evolved different types processes to ensure their paternity and that their energetic investment in feeding the offspring or leaving them their territory is not wasted in impostors.
Some insects leave post copulatory plugs in the female, others have specially adapted penis to clean the female from previously injected sperm. In many other species of invertebrates and vertebrates there is the occurrence of sperm competition where the presence of special sperm cells has been identified which fight and kill foreign sperm, and many males adopt a mate guarding behaviour, remaining closely beside the female until the offspring is due.
In mammals, less than 3% are monogamous. This is because internal fertilisation and incubation prevents the males from spreading their genes while the female has its womb occupied. Thus the males around will attempt to reach as many vacant females as possible while they are undergoing oestrus or their fertile period. Mammalian species may present social monogamy, but not genetic. This means that while some pairs may seem to stick around each other for long periods of life or even their whole life, in reality they are fooling around with others. This behaviour is in fact advantageous to both of them. Whereas female increases the genetic variability of her offspring, the male spreads his genes in as many fertile females as possible.
Since humans as mammals, and certainly NOT members of those 3% monogamous species, social and cultural evolution invented rules to ensure that the offspring of a man would be genetically related to him at the time they are to inherit the father’s property.
Marriage is about protecting investment and property, not about reproduction between a man and a woman. The Church of England and all the other religions for that matter, should pull their acolytes from the depths of ignorance and send them priests to biology classes.
The argument of the Church of England “the intrinsic nature of marriage as a union of a man and a woman” is a dangerous one as it could be extended to “the intrinsic nature of marriage as a union of a man and a woman where the man has all the rights to rape the woman and beat her up so he can ensure production of children”.
My message to the Church of England: Isn’t it about time you start learning some real scientific facts and stop promoting dogmatic lies?