Original Research

Oproep tot ’n neo-Kopernikaanse rewolusie: Wetenskaplike bevindinge oor seksualiteit

Ockie C. Vermeulen
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2037 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2037 | © 2020 Ockie C. Vermeulen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 July 2019 | Published: 24 February 2020

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Ockie C. Vermeulen, Musical Arts in South Africa: Resources and Applications (MASARA), School of Music, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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Call to a new-Copernican revolution: Scientific conclusions about sexuality. The debate on same-sex relationships in the Dutch Reformed Church (NGK) reached an all-time low with some calling gay people pedophiles. In the light of recent events it is clear that the church is deeply divided with regard to beliefs regarding sexuality: some still maintain that a deviation from heterosexuality is a sin and would be punished by God. This research does not aim to contribute to the hermeneutical debate and reinterpretation of the so-called gay texts in the Bible, but rather seeks to explore the scientific research on sexuality. It is stipulated that sexuality is determined in utero and that the person has no control over it and that varied sexualities are merely unique characteristics of human beings. It is further argued that the church cannot keep ignoring the sciences, as the Catholic church did with regard to heliocentrism, and that a neo-Copernican revolution is indeed at hand.

Intradisciplinary/interdisciplinary implications: This article looks at sexuality from a biological perspective and reaches the conclusion that sexuality is determined in utero, before birth. This challenges the traditional perspective that any non-heteronormative sexuality is a choice and hence sin in the eyes of God. This scientific approach strengthens newer hermeneutical interpretations of the so-called anti-gay texts in the Bible. The fields involved are biology and sexual ethics through the lens of critical qualitative research. The field of the traditional hermeneutics of sexuality is briefly mentioned, but the author does not endeavour to contribute to this field, but rather present the biological research as a challenging force to the more traditional approach.


sexuality; neo-Copernican; science; revolution; religion


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