This one is very exciting. It will not only be challenging for creationists, but also for you, dear reader. Bear with us; all will be explained.
We found an astonishing article at the Phys.org website. It’s titled Dolphin females have working clitoris, anatomical evidence suggests. Assuming that got your attention, we’ll give you a few excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Like humans, female dolphins have a functional clitoris, according to a study appearing January 10 in the journal Current Biology. The findings are based on the discovery that the clitoris-like structure positioned in the vaginal entrance of bottlenose dolphins has lots of sensory nerves and erectile bodies.
We know that you’re intellectually stimulated, so here’s a link to the published paper: Evidence of a Functional Clitoris in Dolphins. Okay, back to PhysOrg. They say:
Scientists have known that dolphins are highly social. They have sex throughout the year as a way of forging and maintaining social bonds. It had been noted also that dolphin females have a clitoris in the vagina in a spot that would make stimulation during copulation likely. There’ve also been reports of females rubbing each other’s clitorises with their snouts, flippers, and flukes.
Shocking! Absolutely shocking. After skipping a bit to maintain our exceptional journalistic standards, they quote the published paper’s first author, Patricia Brennan. She’s an assistant professor of biological sciences at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts:
Brennan said they got curious about the dolphin clitoris while studying the evolution of vaginas in dolphins. “Every time we dissected a vagina, we would see this very large clitoris, and we were curious whether anyone had examined it in detail to see if it worked like a human clitoris,” she says. “We knew that dolphins have sex not just to reproduce, but also to solidify social bonds, so it seemed likely that the clitoris could be functional.”
We don’t need to give you any more excerpts, because we know you’ll be clicking over to PhysOrg to read it all for yourself. Oh wait — we can’t leave this out:
The researchers note that there’s been little study of the clitoris and female sexual pleasure in nature. In fact, even the human clitoris wasn’t fully described until the 1990s.
Okay, dear reader, now here’s your assignment: While keeping your remarks tasteful in accordance with this blog’s high standards, explain why none of the creationist websites we follow has yet mentioned this research. And also explain — if you can — why Yahweh (or the intelligent designer — blessed be he!) would create such a sinful feature for humans — and then bestow it on dolphins.
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More to the point, why has the great designer made the clitoris of human females (and other primates) situated *outside* of the vagina, rather than within its entrance as in most other mammals, where it can actually get stimulated during copulation?
(Note: this is evidently related to the higher up (closer to the body) position of the body wall in primates, along with the separate urethral and vaginal openings in females, and the possession of a pendulous non-retractile) penis in males. But WHY? Something to blame on God, along with the incredibly unfair loss of the baculum.)
@Christine Marie Janis: do you suppose the magical mystical sky fairy likes dolphins better than humans?
When creationists can invoke magic any time they feel like it, I don’t think there are any challenges for creationists. (Apparent creationist lack of interest in clitorises notwithstanding.)
But when a creationist invokes natural explanation for magic, what does that mean?
Well, now. Guess that explains the shape of the bottlenose dolphin’s nose, eh?
@TomS I dunno. Creation science attempts to gain legal inroads into school systems by looking sciency. That’s one incentive to tone down the magic.
For example, the operation of The Eye. The creationist tells us how eyes operate according to the laws of optics, with no magical exceptions.
@TomS I dunno. Theoretically the Omnipotent Optician could operate each eyeball by magic. (I suspect that’s not too far from what many of them believe–the laws themselves implying a lawgiver.) The overwhelming data that compels the recognition of physical laws coupled with the embarrassment of outright denying at least some of them gives me hope that more overwhelming data and further embarrassment will slowly, step by step, result in fewer creationists everywhere except America haha.
The trouble is, to a magical thinker – and creationists are of that description, almost by definition – the existence of what are called “physical laws” are indeed evidence of a lawgiver. The fact that the “law” is a necessary consequence of the fundamental properties of matter and energy is dismissed, or never considered at all. That an orderly cosmos with predictable effects from given causes exists at all is also evidence for a ruling intelligence. The idea that coherence is self-generating, an emergent property from any set of internally consistent principles which themselves could not exist unless they were internally consistent, is simply alien.
Humanity has always had a tendency to magical thought. It has not been so very long since the first reaction of a human community to any stress was to seek for who – not what, who – had caused it. I am ill. Who has “sung” me? The crop has failed. Who cursed it? The beasts have the murrain. Who cast the evil eye on them?
Or, at one remove: God has brought a plague, a storm, a flood. Who angered him?
Even now, over disasters like COVID, we see people searching for intent, for malign human cause. Or for a divine one. Something that is the product of intent, anyway.
So it should not surprise anyone that there are people who still think that way. As richard implies, that mindset is yielding only slowly to a more rational one.
But the clitoris – that’s a problem. If God created the female body, then He created the clitoris too. (Saying He didn’t create something – anything – is one of the big no-nos in Christian theology.) But the clitoris appears, in Dr Brennan’s words, “functional”, and its function appears to be to give pleasurable sensations when stimulated, in the right way under the right circumstances.
But this would imply that it was the intention of Almighty God for women (and, it would appear, female porpoises also) to take pleasure in sex!
What can a creationist say to that? Well, not a great deal. They can affirm that God created all the pleasures, but in each and every case limited their access to the circumstances and conditions of which He approved. C S Lewis made that point. I can add only one observation, which seems to have gone unmentioned by him: It would also appear that God enjoined women to call upon Him when engaged in that activity, for they often obey that injunction to this day.
I just saw that, against all odds, Turkey has more creationists than the USA. I wonder if this can somehow be correlated to the differences in the electoral systems of the two countries, where, in Turkey the President is elected by simple majority, or failing that, a runoff between the two top candidates, or in the USA where the President is determined by if a fly lands on their nose in the debates.
The human clitoris, by making sex more attractive for women, is part of JHVH’s curse on Eve:
Unto the woman he said, … thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
“While keeping your remarks tasteful …”
Well, that puts me at quite a loss for words! I know, shock, horror.
I do have a scientific question, though.
How did the researchers FIND it??? I mean, srsly …
Reminds me of an obscure Spanish language movie “Motorcycle Diaries”, about the communist Che Guevara’s tour of South America. At one point they are on a river ship or ferry, and the crew mentions that men would molest the dolphins because they look rather human below the belt. As for the movie, it was interesting to see the perspective and motivation of a budding communist largely motivated by the Spanish feudal economic system. (It didn’t turn me into a communist, but it is interesting to see how it originated.)