Since Chris and Jerry are back to religion, I’m reminded of my first foray into into the blogosphere in early 2007 when I discussed the topic. A subsequent storm of comments raged on for weeks over several posts. Initial argument persisted over terminology, but ultimately the conversation eroded into an inquisition over what I personally believe instead of a productive dialogue on science and religion. These days I don’t typically explore the relationship here because it mainly serves as sport and spectacle on the blogs. Still, Chris’ post today inspired me to look back at the words I wrote during my first week at The Intersection–re-posted after the fold. Upon reading again, I see that though my writing style has changed over the years, the point is just as relevant now…
I head west for a couple days and Chris up and creates a commotion… Of course he’s absolutely correct to do so. Coyne is entitled to his perspective, but in no way does he speak for science. But since we’re on the topic of Jerry Coyne, it’s good reason to bring up another idea of his that hit my radar recently. Readers know I’m exploring science and sexuality for my next book, and earlier this month I received several emails alerting me when Coyne shared his theory about the adaptive significance of semen flavor.
It is the conventional wisdom in human sexuality that semen tastes bad. Anyone with minimal sexual experience knows that although many women will perform fellatio on their partners, most bridle at the thought of swallowing the ejaculate. Its flavor is frequently characterized as revoltingly bitter or salty. The “swallow or spit” dilemma faces any woman who performs such an act, and whose partner regards swallowing as a gesture of love.
I’ll admit I was a bit surprised when the post hit my inbox, but since we’re reading Bonk, it’s an appropriate subject and one I have not considered before. Coyne took an informal poll by enlisting Dr. Fawzia Rasheed to ask her female acquaintances:
Sperm…would you spit or swallow? In other words, can you abide by or do you hate the taste?