Last month King's College, London, made news with the announcement that "...there is no evidence for the existence of the G-spot — supposedly a cluster of internal nerve endings — outside the imagination of women influenced by magazines and sex therapists."
The existence of the G-spot has been debated for decades; the King's College study was no surprise for many doctors. "“I think this study proves the difference between popular science and biological or anatomical science,” said Gedis Grudzinskas, consultant gynaecologist at London Bridge hospital." The issue is the type of evidence used- on one side, the G-spot deniers, to whom the only acceptable evidence is that obtained with a scalpel and camera: “This is by far the biggest study ever carried out and it shows fairly conclusively that the idea of a G-spot is subjective.” Those who believe the G-spot exists have the evidence of their own senses- they can feel their own or have found their partner's G-spots. Listen to their arguments:
"It is rather irresponsible to claim the existence of an entity that has never really been proven..." "The plural of anecdote is not data." "And you're basically telling people that they aren't experiencing what they're experiencing -- just because it isn't how you experience it." "Personal experience is not, by itself, enough reason to believe something is true." "I don't want to stigmatise at all but I think the Protestant, liberal, Anglo-Saxon character means you are very pragmatic. There has to be a cause for everything, a gene for everything,...I think it's totalitarian." "To be reasonably certain that what our experience tells us is probably true, we need to rely on rigorous testing of hypotheses."
Does that sound familiar to you? It should; some of those quotes are not from the G-spot debate, they're from the debate between those who have had personal experiences with the Divine, and atheists who argue that any such experiences are (at best) misunderstood psychological phenomena. Can you tell which are which?
Interesting, isn't it? There are atheists who dismiss the "personal experience" evidence of God out of hand, yet believe in, or believe they possess, a G-spot; there are theists who deny the existence of the G-spot... and yet the only convincing evidence for either is equally subjective. But both are convinced of the objectivity of their conclusions, regarding subjective testimony as mere anecdotes, or that science is inadequate in these matters. And neither one of them appreciate being told their experiences may have felt "real", but prove nothing. The only real difference I can see between them is that I know of people who have had profound religious experiences, but convinced themselves later that it "must" have been the result of some epiphenomenological stimulus of the limbic brain; I'm unaware of any women who have had earth-shattering orgasms through G-spot stimulation who later convinced themselves that there's no such thing as a G-spot.
Quotes 1 and 5 are from the recent G-spot debate: Timesonline and guardian.co.uk (hat tip to Ravenstone's Reflections for the Guardian story) Quotes 2, 4, and 6 are from Greta Christina's Blog , "Atheist Meme of the Day: Personal Experience /= Data" Quote 3 is also from Greta, but about sexuality, not God, in another discussion on Facebook, which I had trouble linking to- why don't you friend her? She's always a good read.