Activism, Education, Must Reads, Social Science

The New Evolution Deniers

Evolutionary biology has always been controversial. Not controversial among biologists, but controversial among the general public. This is largely because Darwin’s theory directly contradicted the supernatural accounts of human origins rooted in religious tradition and replaced them with fully natural ones. The philosopher Daniel Dennett has described evolution as a sort of “universal acid” that “eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most of the old landmarks still recognizable, but transformed in fundamental ways.” Fearing this corrosive idea, opposition in the US to evolution mainly came from Right-wing evangelical Christians who believed God created life in its present form, as described in Genesis.

In the 1990s and 2000s there were repeated attempts by evangelicals to ban evolution in public schools or teach the so-called “controversy” by including Intelligent Design—the belief that life is too complex to have evolved without the aid of some “Intelligent Designer” (i.e. God)—in the biology curriculum alongside evolution. But these attempts failed when scientists demonstrated in court that Intelligent Design was nothing more than Biblical Creationism gussied up in scientific-sounding prose. Since then, however, Creationism and Intelligent Design have lost a tremendous amount of momentum and influence. But while these right-wing anti-evolution movements withered to irrelevancy, a much more cryptic form of left-wing evolution denialism has been slowly growing.

At first, left-wing pushback to evolution appeared largely in response to the field of human evolutionary psychology. Since Darwin, scientists have successfully applied evolutionary principles to understand the behavior of animals, often with regard to sex differences. However, when scientists began applying their knowledge of the evolutionary underpinnings of animal behavior to humans, the advancing universal acid began to threaten beliefs held sacrosanct by the Left. The group that most fervently opposed, and still opposes, evolutionary explanations for behavioral sex differences in humans were/are social justice activists. Evolutionary explanations for human behavior challenge their a priori commitment to “Blank Slate” psychology—the belief that male and female brains in humans start out identical and that all behavior, sex-linked or otherwise, is entirely the result of differences in socialization.

This stance is maintained by the belief that evolutionary explanations for sex-linked behavioral differences are biologically essentialist, which is the fatalistic notion that biology alone directly determines our behavior. Blank Slate psychology, however, is universally rejected by experts, as the evidence for innate sex-linked personality differences in humans is overwhelmingly strong. But experts also universally reject that this view demands we embrace biological essentialism, because the environment does play a role, and observed sex differences are simply averages and overlap tremendously between the sexes. Sex no more determines one’s personality than it determines one’s height. Sex certainly influences these traits, but it does not determine them. For instance, most of us know females who are taller than most males, and males who are shorter than most females, though we are all aware that males are, on average, taller than females. In humans, the same is true for behavioral traits.

I am an evolutionary behavioral ecologist, and most of my work is concerned with how individual differences in behavior (i.e. personality) influence individual fitness, and the collective behavior and success of animal societies. Most are probably not aware, but animal personality research is a vibrant field within behavioral ecology due to the ubiquity of personality as a phenomenon in nature, and its ability to explain interactions both within and between species. In nearly every species tested to date for the presence of personality, we’ve found it, and sex-linked personality differences are frequently the most striking. Sex-linked personality differences are very well documented in our closest primate relatives, too, and the presence of sexual dimorphism (i.e. size differences between males and females) in primates, and mammals generally, dramatically intensifies these differences, especially in traits like aggression, female choosiness, territoriality, grooming behavior, and parental care.

Given that humans are sexually dimorphic and exhibit many of the typical sex-linked behavioral traits that any objective observer would predict, based on the mammalian trends, the claim that our behavioral differences have arisen purely via socialization is dubious at best. For that to be true, we would have to posit that the selective forces for these traits inexplicably and uniquely vanished in just our lineage, leading to the elimination of these traits without any vestiges of their past, only to have these traits fully recapitulated in the present due to socialization. Of course, the more evidenced and straightforward explanation is that we exhibit these classic sex-linked behavioral traits because we inherited them from our closest primate ancestors.

Counterintuitively, the social justice stance on human evolution closely resembles that of the Catholic Church. The Catholic view of evolution generally accepts biological evolution for all organisms, yet holds that the human soul (however defined) had been specially created and thus has no evolutionary precursor. Similarly, the social justice view has no problem with evolutionary explanations for shaping the bodies and minds of all organisms both between and within a species regarding sex, yet insists that humans are special in that evolution has played no role in shaping observed sex-linked behavioral differences. Why the biological forces that shape all of life should be uniquely suspended for humans is unclear. What is clear is that both the Catholic Church and well-intentioned social justice activists are guilty of gerrymandering evolutionary biology to make humans special, and keep the universal acid at bay.

Despite there being zero evidence in favor of Blank Slate psychology, and a mountain of evidence to the contrary, this belief has entrenched itself within the walls of many university humanities departments where it is often taught as fact. Now, armed with what they perceive to be an indisputable truth questioned only by sexist bigots, they respond with well-practiced outrage to alternative views. This has resulted in a chilling effect that causes scientists to self-censor, lest these activists accuse them of bigotry and petition their departments for their dismissal. I’ve been privately contacted by close, like-minded colleagues warning me that my public feuds with social justice activists on social media could be occupational suicide, and that I should disengage and delete my comments immediately. My experience is anything but unique, and the problem is intensifying. Having successfully cultivated power over administrations and silenced faculty by inflicting reputational terrorism on their critics and weaponizing their own fragility and outrage, social justice activists now justifiably think there is no belief or claim too dubious that administrations won’t cater to it. Recently, this fear has been realized as social justice activists attempt to jump the epistemological shark by claiming that the very notion of biological sex, too, is a social construct.

As a biologist, it is hard to understand how anyone could believe something so outlandish. It’s a belief on a par with the belief in a flat Earth. I first saw this claim being made this year by anthropology graduate students on Facebook. At first I thought they mistyped and were simply referring to gender. But as I began to pay closer attention, it was clear that they were indeed talking about biological sex. Over the next several months it became apparent that this view was not isolated to this small friend circle, as it began cropping up all over the Internet. In support of this view, recent editorials from Scientific American—an ostensibly trustworthy, scientific, and apolitical online magazine—are often referenced. The titles read, “Sex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly Simplistic,” and “Visualizing Sex as a Spectrum.”

Even more recently, the most prestigious scientific journal in the world, Nature, published an editorial claiming that classifying people’s sex “on the basis of anatomy or genetics should be abandoned” and “has no basis in science” and that “the research and medical community now sees sex as more complex than male and female.” In the Nature article, the motive is stated clearly enough: acknowledging the reality of biological sex will “undermine efforts to reduce discrimination against transgender people and those who do not fall into the binary categories of male or female.” But while there is evidence for the fluidity of sex in many organisms, this is simply not the case in humans. We can acknowledge the existence of very rare cases in humans where sex is ambiguous, but this does not negate the reality that sex in humans is functionally binary. These editorials are nothing more than a form of politically motivated, scientific sophistry.

The formula for each of these articles is straightforward. First, they list a multitude of intersex conditions. Second, they detail the genes, hormones, and complex developmental processes leading to these conditions. And, third and finally, they throw their hands up and insist this complexity means scientists have no clue what sex really is. This is all highly misleading and deceiving (self-deceiving?), since the developmental processes involved in creating any organ are enormously complex, yet almost always produce fully functional end products. Making a hand is complicated too, but the vast majority of us end up with the functional, five-fingered variety.

What these articles leave out is the fact that the final result of sex development in humans are unambiguously male or female over 99.98 percent of the time. Thus, the claim that “2 sexes is overly simplistic” is misleading, because intersex conditions correspond to less than 0.02 percent of all births, and intersex people are not a third sex. Intersex is simply a catch-all category for sex ambiguity and/or a mismatch between sex genotype and phenotype, regardless of its etiology. Furthermore, the claim that “sex is a spectrum” is also misleading, as a spectrum implies a continuous distribution, and maybe even an amodal one (one in which no specific outcome is more likely than others). Biological sex in humans, however, is clear-cut over 99.98 percent of the time. Lastly, the claim that classifying people’s sex based on anatomy and genetics “has no basis in science” has itself no basis in reality, as any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98 percent would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences. We revise medical care practices and change world economic plans on far lower confidence than that.

Despite the unquestionable reality of biological sex in humans, social justice and trans activists continue to push this belief, and respond with outrage when challenged. Pointing out any of the above facts is now considered synonymous with transphobia. The massive social media website Twitter—the central hub for cultural discourse and debate—is now actively banning users for stating true facts about basic human biology. And biologists like myself often sit quietly, afraid to defend our own field out of fear that our decade of education followed by continued research, job searches, and the quest for tenure might be made obsolete overnight if the mob decides to target one of us for speaking up. Because of this, our objections take place almost entirely between one another in private whisper networks, despite the fact that a majority of biologists are extremely troubled by these attacks to our field by social justice activists. This is an untenable situation.

It is undoubtedly true that trans people lead very difficult lives, which are only made more difficult by the bigotry of others. But social justice activists appear completely unwilling or unable to distinguish between people who criticize their ideology and people who criticize their humanity. Their social immune system appears so sensitive that it consumes itself. We need to acknowledge that trans issues and ideology are complex, and concern one of the most marginalized communities in the world. Because of this, we must give these issues the respect they deserve by approaching them with nuance and compassion instead of crudeness and cruelty. But we must not jettison truth in this process. If social justice activists require scientists to reject evolution and the reality of biological sex to be considered good allies, then we can never be good allies.

Back when evolution was under attack from proponents of Biblical Creation and Intelligent Design, academic scientists were under no pressure to hold back criticism. This is because these anti-evolution movements were almost exclusively a product of right-wing evangelicals who held no power in academia. Now we have a much bigger problem, because evolution denialism is back, but this time it’s coming from left-wing activists who do hold power in academia. This makes the issue both harder to ignore and harder to remove. Social justice and hyper-militant trans activism now seems to act as a kind of anti-universal acid, and not merely a strong buffer solution. While the universal acid of evolution eats through old cherished beliefs and replaces them with deeper understanding and a clearer picture of reality, the anti-universal acid of social justice ideology is a recklessly destructive force, aiming to abolish scientific truth and replace it with relativistic postmodern nonsense.

I did not train to be a scientist for over a decade just to sit quietly while science in general, and my field in particular, comes under attack from activists who subvert truth to ideology and narrative. When I reflect on my initial reasons over a decade ago for choosing a career as an academic scientist, it was largely due to the inspiration I felt from outspoken public intellectuals like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Stephen Fry, and the late Christopher Hitchens, who led by example and followed reason wherever it took them. At the time, it seemed to me that a career as an academic scientist would be the most intellectually satisfying profession imaginable. It would allow me to dive deep into questions at the frontier of human knowledge, teach and train students to think critically, and pass on the virtues of boldly engaging with unreason in the search for truth to a new generation.

But it seems clear to me that academia now is not as it was advertised a decade ago when I started down this path. It is no longer a refuge for outspoken, free-thinking intellectuals. Instead, it seems one must now choose between living a zipper-lipped life as an academic scientist, or living a life as a fulfilled intellectual. Currently, one cannot do both.

 

Colin Wright has a PhD in evolutionary biology from UC Santa Barbara. He currently studies the social behavior of ant, wasp, and spider societies at Penn State. You can follow him on Twitter @SwipeWright

444 Comments

  1. markbul says

    The problem with this is its implication: that what are called transgender people are simply delusional. Maybe perfectly nice people otherwise, but delusional. There are two sexes, male and female. If you are one, and sincerely believe that you are the other, then you are delusional. Not seeing things, not paranoid or psychotic, but delusional. As delusional as was the Man Who MIstook His Wife For A Hat. And so, you can’t stand firm for simple biological facts without blowing up the transgender delusion. And few even on the right will stand up and do that.

        • BenBen says

          Follow the diagnostic path, you are diagnosed as having gender dysphoria a disorder which is treated by a relabeling as transgender which is not a disorder. The panacea for which is the indulgence of the dissociative identity disorder of the patient through hormone therapy and later a potential sexual reassignment surgery. Wow, if only they treated schizophrenics this way dinner parties would be far more interesting with my uncle Emperor Constantine.

          Nevermind the parallels to transableism which is not supported by the LGBTQ community at all. This is not because of it having no relation to sexual identity but rather the idea that someone was meant to be born disabled is difficult to legislate on, even in progressive academia. So you were meant to be a women no problem, but if you were meant to be blind, have one leg, or paralyzed; this raises questions about mental health and left has no interest in defending that position.

          • Ironically I dont think most trans people would even say gender reassigment actually cures their gender dysphoria. Id imagine most would say it just makes it a certain degree better the same way klonopin doesnt actually cure me of my anxiety disorder.

        • Theyre absolutely disordered and that shouldnt be controversial in anyway. I’m mentally ill in that I suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder. I dont demand that society redefine normal mental health to pretend that I’m not suffering from a disorder. The same thing is true for people with gender dysphoria.

          • That is what irks me the most about this whole debate, how those who claim tolerance are actually contributing to the stigmatization of mental illness.

      • “Evolutionary biology has always been controversial. Not controversial among biologists, but controversial among the general public. This is largely because Darwin’s theory directly contradicted the supernatural accounts of human origins rooted in religious tradition and replaced them with fully natural ones.”

        Man, from Word One, this guy fucks it up and gets it exactly bass ackwards. The above is a gross historical inaccuracy and oversimplification in several ways:

        Evolutionary biology was VERY controversial among biologists when it was put forward and for a long time afterward. Darwin was involved in that controversy, not the originator of it (evolution was put forward before Darwin was born; Darwin added natural and sexual selection to it).

        The general public couldn’t have cared less, until militant secularists in the US started their Glorious Revolution to rid the schools of any religious material based on a willfully cockeyed reading of 1A, and enforce evolutionary theories in schools.

        A relatively few evangelicals took a willful stance the other way to fight the secularists, but they were not “the general public.”

        Jewish and Christian thinkers for hundreds–and in many cases thousands–of years have widely agreed that the Genesis story is an allegory about the mixed blessing of knowledge; a counter to Gnosticism and its promise of total freedom through mystical knowledge, not natural history. Biblical literalism, fundamentalism, and creationism are not nearly so widespread nor clear cut as this article seems to assume.

        This is–how do the French say?–“stupide”. This twat needs to read some of those big, papery, brick-like things called “bEyooks” and take a break from the Sam Harris sermons on the YouTube.

        Quillette, you’re doing this a lot now. Stop doing this. Stupid is boring. I don’t like boring.

        • Sneed Urn says

          Jewish and christian “thinkers” would do well to inform their fellow jewish and christian non-thinkers that abrahamism is not to be taken literally from the canon. Suggesting that biblical literalism, and fundamentalism is not a serious cultural malady, certainly in the US, seems from a ballparking perspective, wrong. Maybe you have some data that a noticeable portion of national and regional US political leaders do Not “ask god” for advice. Or hew to biblical dooms-day-ism. Or simply pretend to “believe” as a pretext for doing whatever damage they can get away with. That counts as evangelical.

          The religious actual thinkers can get pretty sophisticated, emphasis on sophist. But I’ve known a couple that were actually clever enough to think themselves out of their fundamental delusion. An admirable feat of intellect.

          I will agree with you that there is a lot of “fear of SJW” and “my coming out story of defying SJW”. But it is a real thing that does alarm me and has damaged a number of honest intellectuals. Angry abrahamists are a real thing too. And still no more persuasive than any other abrahamist.

          • Just Me says

            Americans in general insist on equating all Christian religions with fundamentalists, evangelicals, etc., because those are the most vocal in the US. More American narcissism.

            There is a developed world outside the US, where there are Christian believers but where evangelicals are not dominant.

            There are many Protestant denominations that are not fundamentalist, are even very liberal, and Catholicism also teaches that the Bible is metaphorical, not to be taken literally.

            I am not a believer, but get upset at simplistic thinking and misinformation wherever it comes from.

            Please get your nose out of your navel.

        • BLITZKING says

          Jewish and Christian thinkers for hundreds–and in many cases thousands–of years have widely agreed that the Genesis story is an allegory COMPLETE BULLXXXX

          • is that BullXXXX – other than these guys…

            Philo (10 BC – AD 50), wrote a treatise titled On the Account of the World’s Creation Given by Moses. In this work, Philo says that God probably created everything simultaneously and that the reference to ‘six days’ in Genesis indicates not temporal sequence but divine orderliness (On the Creation 13, 28).

            Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215), for whom the six days are symbolic (Stromata VI, 16).

            Origen (185-254), the most influential theologian of the third century—again, an Alexandrian—understood Days 2-6 of the Genesis account as days in time. However, he regarded Day 1 as a non-temporal day. He reasoned that without matter, which was created on the second day, there could be no time; hence, no true ‘day’.

            Ambrose (AD 339-397), taught a fully symbolic understanding of Genesis 1.

            Augustine
            understood the ‘days’ in Genesis 1 as successive epochs in which the substance of matter, which God had created in an instant in the distant past, was fashioned into the various forms we now recognise.

            Medieval church
            Augustine’s view was endorsed by some of the biggest names in the medieval church, including the Venerable Bede in the 8th century (Hexaemeron 1, 1), St Albert the Great (Commentary on the Sentence 12, B, I) and the incomparable Thomas Aquinas (II Sentences 12, 3, I) in the 13th century.

          • BLITZKING says

            gospelshapedcharacter
            December 10, 2018

            “is that BullXXXX – other than these guys”…

            EXACTLY LIKE I SAID.. QUOTING 5 IGNORANT FOOLS WHO THINK THEY KNOW BETTER THAN GOD DOES ABOUT HIS CREATION IS NOT ” “HAVE WIDELY AGREED”…
            YOU MADE MY POINT..

            “Jewish and Christian thinkers for hundreds–and in many cases thousands–of years have widely agreed” LIKE I SAID THAT SENTENCE IS COMPLETE BULLXXXX

            Philo (10 BC – AD 50), wrote a treatise titled On the Account of the World’s Creation Given by Moses. In this work, Philo says that God probably created everything simultaneously and that the reference to ‘six days’ in Genesis indicates not temporal sequence but divine orderliness (On the Creation 13, 28).
            Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215), for whom the six days are symbolic (Stromata VI, 16).
            Origen (185-254), the most influential theologian of the third century—again, an Alexandrian—understood Days 2-6 of the Genesis account as days in time. However, he regarded Day 1 as a non-temporal day. He reasoned that without matter, which was created on the second day, there could be no time; hence, no true ‘day’.
            Ambrose (AD 339-397), taught a fully symbolic understanding of Genesis 1.
            Augustine
            understood the ‘days’ in Genesis 1 as successive epochs in which the substance of matter, which God had created in an instant in the distant past, was fashioned into the various forms we now recognise.
            Medieval church

        • Edster says

          I don’t think Professor Wright has written anything here that would merit the name-calling, you mean-spirited POS. If you have nothing substantive to add, stfu…and go troll elsewither.

    • Andrew Mcguiness says

      My understanding of transgenderism is that it is generally argued as being a different gender from the physical sex of the individual. There does seem to be some woolliness around the whole concept, though, where being ‘intersex’ is taken to bear on the matter somehow.

      • Honey says

        Intersex conditions, which are better termed developmental sex disorders, have absolutely nothing to do with transgenderism. The vast majority of intersex/DSD conditions occur in people who are unambiguously male or female at birth. An incredibly small percentage have genitalia that are at odds with their chromosomes. Intersex people are still male or female, and (unsurprisingly) they don’t care for people implying otherwise in order to defend or attempt to “prove” transgenderism.

        • Sometimes the anomalous organs are due to a highly conjoined twin, these people are chimeras. Two very early stage embryos, just balls of cells, fused so your body is comprised of a mixture of cells. If the two embryos are male and female you can get a mixture of organs.

          In the genome age we can diagnose these. One of the first chimeras was a guy with a strange skin condition, it was patchy and those patches were mottled. The patches were genetically female and the mottling was due to X-inactivation (like tortoiseshell cats).

          Very occasionally twins fuse later, very closely conjoined, and this too can cause intersex. To pretend such people are not explicable by science therefore transgender rights is Intelligent Design again.

          Sure in the past such people had their organs surgically removed shortly after birth to ‘make them normal’ and such surgeries were often fairly arbitrary. Now we let intersex people grow up and decide. Some decide to stay intersex which is their right. But it’s a long stretch from this to forcing young children to take hormone blockers and even have realignment surgery. That is going in the other direction which is mad.

          I’m a Developmental Biologist, no longer practicing so I can say these things.

        • First of all, your sweeping generalization about intersex people is not correct; some identify as male or female, some choose to put themselves in neither camp. They are arguably well entitled to do so, regardless of whether their genitalia was ambiguous or not. Genitalia are far from the be all and end all of biological sex, which is not defined by a specific characteristic, but a set of them; intersex people by definition possess ambiguous or mixed traits.

          Transgender people are arguably claiming to have an intersex disorder of the brain. It is not unreasonable to suppose this can be the case, in fact quite the opposite. As Colin made clear in the article, we know that the brain is sexually differentiated; this by itself implies that legitimate trans people must exist, otherwise the implication would be that there is a part of the process of human development that is somehow magically protected from ever going wrong – which would be a delusion similar to the idea the evolution doesn’t apply to human behavior.

          The fact that we have not yet identified a specific gene or mechanism that causes this does not in any way invalidate it. We are a long way from having a complete understanding of human biology, and the brain is the most complex organ by far. This is an area of ongoing research, and evidence has been found that does support the existence of the condition. For example, fMRI studies have determined that some trans people’s brains appear to exhibit structural characteristics that combine elements of typical male and female brains. Neuroscience hasn’t yet reached a stage where we can say much more than that, but to say there is nothing to it is nonsense.

          There are often associated physical symptoms too. For example, male-to-female transsexuals often appear under-masculinized, with late and/or weak puberty, short stature, feminine facial features with underdeveloped jaws, etc. These symptoms are associated either with very low testosterone, or being resistant to its effects.

          Of course, what I’m describing to you here are actual transsexual people. You don’t see much of them. You don’t see them at all if they can help it, because their greatest wish is to pass as their self-identified sex and blend in. These are not the people talking about 57 genders, or a continuous spectrum, or demanding custom pronouns. These people’s desire to transition is usually based on a strong belief in the binary nature of biological sex, and being distressed to find themselves on the wrong side of it.

          Unfortunately, a consequence of the the stealthy nature of legitimate transsexuals is that it leaves a void in representation that charlatans are all too happy to step in to. These are generally mentally imbalanced people, often pushing a reinvented Marxist dogma called “intersectionality”, that seeks to define a hierarchy of “oppressors” and “oppressed”. Their own psychosomatic “transgenderism” wins them a high oppression score in this system, with an associated feeling of specialness and sense of entitlement to bend the world to their will.

          If you want to know the true origin of these people, I suggest you Google “Yuri Bezmenov”. They are agents of subversion brainwashed by Marxist professors; Western universities have been hopelessly corrupted for decades now. You can throw them out of helicopters for all I care, but please don’t confuse them for real transsexuals.

          • Robalt Mark says

            We do NOT know that the brain is sexually differentiated. In fact we can not tell a male from a female brain at all. What we have noticed and the lgbt have harped on. Is minute differences which OVERLAP. So much as we can say men ON AVERAGE are taller than women, but because so many women are taller than so many men, it is absolutely inpossible to determine if a person is a male or female based on height. And yet the lgbt brain studies do just that they say “m2f trans tend to be a bit shorter than cis men” as if that proves they really should have been born a woman. They totally ignore the fact that for every m2f trans that is a bit shorter than male average, there are 100,000 cis males even shorter than that.
            But because they use a brain scan even scientists barely understand for the overlapped trait, lgbt activists can get away with making it sound like “their brains have female traits so its a female brain in a male body” in truth the overlap is so high it is exactly the same as saying. “On average they might be a quarter inch shorter than the average man but there are tons of cis men even shorter than that. Because put that way, it would be dismissed as meaningless. As it is.

          • Lynn R. says

            As I understand it, genitalia are indeed quite close to the be all and end all of biological sex.

      • That used to be the case but these days people are claiming that transgender people are actually the sex they want to be not just the gender they want to be. The author talks about this shift in the article and it’s not just a few campus radicals it’s mainstream academic journals.

    • If they had a penis and argued it is a vagina – that’s a delusion.

      They acknowledge the penis they have – to the point of wanting it whacked surgically is not delusion. Bad decision maybe but not delusion

      • Man with the Axe says

        It’s delusional to think that a simple surgical whacking makes a man into a woman. It only makes him into a wounded man with a delusion. It is a form of bullying to insist that the rest of us have to pretend go along with that delusion.

        • BLITZKING says

          He is already a wounded man with a delusion BEFORE the whacking.. See Bruce Jenner…..

      • Editorius Maximus says

        I think this is basically correct, except that in the case the author is talking about, there are people out there who cannot even bring themselves to admit that in theory if 100% of observers agree that some specific person has a penis and testicles, that we should all feel comfortable making the statement “anatomically / biologically / medically this person is male.”

        That in their world, stating “this person we are observing with the well-formed and functional penis is anatomically / biologically / medically a female, because they said they are female. The penis is just a piece of flesh that has no objective maleness or femaleness,” is more accurate and socially “correct.”

        Which is analogous to saying “this person we are observing with the eyes that all people with color-correct eyesight would normally describe as “blue,” are really “red,” because the person said they are red.” See also: absurdity.

      • If they have a penis and argue – as many do – that it’s female organ, then what is that? A delusion – or just old-fashioned male entitlement?

        • Philip says

          Oh a resident radfem here? Surprised, but glad we can agree on this.

        • Philip says

          Hah I just googled you and you actually are a somewhat famous redeem. I was just half joking because of the male entitlment comment, but seems my spidey senses were correct. Crazy that your government tried to literally force you to use certain pronouns. Man how the world has changed in 10 years.

        • Philip says

          In a way though this is kind of karma though for all the radfems of the past who tried to force everyone to stop saying words like mankind.

      • Agreed, but when they think they literally become the female sex then we get back into delusion category and thats what the author is talking about. If everyone just accepted that theyre men who want to dress and look like women than the author would have no issues with it. The issues arise when they demand that everyone see them as actually becoming biological women.

        It used to just be that they wanted to create a difference between sex and gender and say they are actually the female gender, but weve gone way past even that to where theyre demanding everyone believe they are the female sex.

        I’m sure there are some transgender people who make no such demands btw I’m talking about the activists and their allies.

      • Pete Hollister says

        If they have a penis and would rather have had a vagina — that’s a desire.

    • Denise says

      I thought we had progressed and had more enlightened thinking about mental illness. Families have stopped hiding their ill members and the people suffering those illnesses have come out of the closet to a great extent. We recognize that these are illnesses like any other

      In so adamantly denying that they have a mental illness the transgender are saying that being labeled mentally ill is a gross insult. Do they stop to think about what they are implying about people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder? Those are biological conditions with a physical basis but they manifest themselves in thinking and behavior and so are called mental illnesses. How is transgenderism any different, and why is it an insult to say so?

      Too many false parallels are being drawn with homosexuality. True, homosexuality was once considered a mental illness and now isn’t. True, conversion therapies were once foisted on gay people and now aren’t. But homosexuality does not require multiple major surgeries and a lifetime of hormones to treat, and extending civil rights to gay people did not take any rights away from straight people. Changing the definition of woman to include people with penises definitely does affect women.

      • Agree. There is no “treatment” for homosexuals, because it’s not a disorder, but a natural sexual orientation. That there IS “treatment” (excessively so, considering the surgeries) for transgenderism indicates that it is a disorder.

        • Andrew says

          I would agree homosexuality is not a disorder, it’s a perversion, and if you (or anyone else) doesn’t like that then look up the word perversion. Truth never changes however much man(kind) may try to redefine it.

          • I have the definition of “Perversion here. Given that most people in most countries don’t consider Homosexuality abnormal AND unacceptable you are clearly wrong in your understanding. Waiting eagerly for your post accepting your error. 🙂

            1.
            distortion or corruption of the original course, meaning, or state of something.
            “the thing which most disturbed him was the perversion of language and truth”
            synonyms: distortion, misrepresentation, falsification, travesty, misinterpretation, misconstruction, twisting, corruption, subversion, misuse, misapplication, debasement
            “a twisted perversion of the truth”
            2.
            sexual behaviour that is considered abnormal and unacceptable.
            “his book revolutionized ideas about sexual perversion”
            synonyms: deviance, deviancy, deviation; More

          • Andrew says

            your quoted definition

            “distortion or corruption of the original course, meaning, or state of something.”

            – yep, that’ll do, “distortion and corruption of the original”, which is of course a man and a woman, unless of course you think the original could have been 2 men buggering each other, perhaps a course in biology might help . . .

            (couldn’t find ‘reply’ button on your post so just used mine)

            oh and by the way Truth is not defined by a majority vote

        • Agreed overall, but a mental illness not being treatable doesnt mean it’s not actually a mental illness. Personality disorders for example are untreatable but theyre still a mental illness.

      • BLITZKING says

        “I thought we had progressed and had more enlightened thinking about mental illness.”

        Unfortunately, mental illness is alive and well… We still have so many people who walk around believing that they are nothing more than an accidental ape that evolved from pond scum for no reason and therefore, their existence is meaningless…

        • Accepting the reality of evolutionary biology doesnt make life meaningless buddy.

          • BLITZKING says

            I guess we get to play the dishonest Darwinian game of semantics…. Before we continue… YOU need to clarify what you mean SPECIFICALLY when you use the duplicitous and purposely vague term “Evolutionary”.. DO YOU MEAN.. Variation, Adaptation, Speciation or ….De-volution?.. i.e. ..Finches beaks, Cave fish going blind, Moth colors, Weak bacteria lacking enzymes targeted by antibiotics, Dog ears, Mutated fruit flies with 2 WORTHLESS extra wings, Bear coats, Dog Ears and Squirrel tails? OR DO YOU MEAN Slow Microbe to Microbiologist (UCA for all flora and fauna)
            You will be required to put your cards on the table here….
            I just KNOW you are going to enjoy this discussion with me…
            Cant you feel it too?

          • BLITZKING says

            “Accepting the reality of evolutionary biology doesnt make life meaningless buddy.”

            Believing the LIE of “Evolution” will make you like THIS though…

            “I’m mentally ill in that I suffer from depression and an anxiety disorder”.

            I would suffer from those as well if I thought that Satan’s Greatest Lie of Evolution (Abiogenesis UCA) were to be true, I have good news though… I sleep like a baby with peace beyond comprehension.. If you don’t want to have this conversation in front of fair weather friends, here is my email.. jimthinnsen@gmail.com Regards Jim Thinnsen

          • Andrew says

            I presume that wasn’t for me but anyway, for the wider readership

            being conned by the “theory” of evolution does ultimately make life meaningless. For a really good set of videos de-bunking evolution see “creatures that defy evolution”, but these are only suitable for the open-minded, those that think evolution is proven, don’t waste your money. If anyone does see the dvd then please excuse the kinda corny presenter, focus in on the information presented by the doc/professor, I forget which. If anyone is interested I can send them dvd 1.
            kind regards,
            Andrew

    • ga gamba says

      Within the trans community it appears there are two camps. There are the transsexuals who, in compliance with meaning of the prefix trans, cross from one sex to another by taking hormones and having surgeries. I have no beef with them and I wish them well with their transitions.

      Then there are the gendertrenders, the intergenders, such as those who claim the feminine penis and male menstruation. They want to exist in some everlasting in-between state, one which is not trans at all. These are the genuinely delusional and are the ones who cause much of the uproar with their increasingly more outlandish assertions and strident demands for compliance. They tend to attract support from those with other axes to grind and see the gendertrenders as useful to subvert and topple the established order.

      • D-Rex says

        “Then there are the gendertrenders, the intergenders, such as those who claim the feminine penis and male menstruation. They want to exist in some everlasting in-between state, one which is not trans at all. These are the genuinely delusional and are the ones who cause much of the uproar with their increasingly more outlandish assertions and strident demands for compliance. They tend to attract support from those with other axes to grind and see the gendertrenders as useful to subvert and topple the established order.”

        I suspect that many of them aren’t actually delusional but narcissistic hedonists who just want their moment of fame and power. Blair White is someone I follow on youtube who fits into the first camp and acknowledges that gender dysphoria is a mental disorder.
        The question that is on everyone’s mind is, how did this 0.02% get so powerful that governments and universities are bowing to their demands?

        • Peter from Oz says

          D-Rex
          Maybe we should start calling the gendertrenders the .2%.

        • scribblerg says

          How they got this power is clear; the Left’s almost 100 year campaign to overtake academia in the West has succeeded. Along with numerous other institutions in our civic space, along with the administration of govt (85% of govt workers ID as democratic and/or progressive).

          When are we going to stop clutching our pearls and saying, “gosh, how did we get here?”

          The time for wondering is long past. We have lost the intellectual and power war. Unless we have a revolution of our own, we have lost.

          Best way to understand where we are at today is to see the Left as consolidating their gains and grasp on power. All their plans are working, all their ideas and institutions are winning when charted over any meaningful time horizon. Trump is definitely a huge block for them, but he will be overrun…

          I wonder, when will my fellow rightwingers get a grasp on the strategic situation? The “terrain in which we find ourselves” if you will. We’ve lost and are continuing to lose, even when we held all the reigns of power. Consider that the Republicans can’t govern when holding the executive and legislative branches. How can this be? It can be when one is defeated…

          We’ve lost. Wake up. This is what defeat feels like. When you can’t speak openly about political topics, due to your opposition making your views punishable in a variety of social, economic, civil, political and even criminal ways, you’ve lost. We’ve been beaten.

          Only once you digest that personally, and get how deluded you are as an individual about the tactical and strategic situation we find ourselves in will you begin to understand what might be sufficient to change course…Wake up, the time is long past for being surprised that the Left are the fascists that our nation must be protected from, it’s not the Right that is the threat to our social order.

          This alone may be the Left’s greatest victory: Blinding the Right to its own devastation.

          • tmr3608 says

            @scribbleberg — what do you think might be sufficient to change the course? I’m really asking.

        • deciduouswoulds says

          They are useful for those looking to use a powerful normative critique to advance their careers and advance their power interests. The constant push to create structured punishment for “hate speech” is really just the creation of a weapon for those willing to use it. The key to its value is its vague nature. Much like the Twitter or YouTube terms of service, ambiguous definitions enable greater ability to enforce your will and self interest. You need a keystone, however, to give a semblance of reification of the abstract. The bottomless suffering and shattered psyche of organized wailers is something no one wants to bully and forms a powerful shield against criticism. If post modern Marxism is essentially a power play, administrators are its central players.

          Consensus based science in climate studies didn’t help, with its clear tonal borrowing from “Holocaust-denial” to shame dissent as science-denial.

    • RadixLecti says

      Now you’ve swung the pendulum all the way over.

      The SJWs contend that the existence of outliers proves that there’s no such thing as biological sex. You (seem) to be suggesting the exact opposite: that the overwhelmingly binomial distribution of sex implies that there are no outliers. Please do correct me if I have misunderstood you.

      I contend that:
      1. The vast majority of people fit into the binary biological sex classification
      2. The vast majority of those people in (1) identify as their biological sex
      3. The vast majority of those people in (2) present as their biological sex
      4. The vast majority of those people in (3), (2) & (1) are heterosexual

      Accepting the outliers in (4) (i.e. homosexuals) is becoming more and more common around the world especially in cosmopolitan cities in otherwise conservative countries. I do believe we have to work to move our acceptance of outliers up my amateurish list, without adopting the all-or-nothing approach of the SJWs.

      Having said that, there are always outliers to the outliers, like the Gay British Iraqi Muslim something-or-other who thinks his inability to understand quantum theory explains his gender identity.

      • Pedantic but I think you mean bifocal distribution not binomial

    • @timo275 says

      That’s not the implication. The nature of expression at the sociological level is not requisite from the biological sex. Something happened some years ago when the community of people who have uncommon sexual orientations decided they would put a box around their behaviors instead of opting for freedom. If a person born male is more comfortable with expressing themselves as a female, they should simply do so. The attempt to deny the biological reality is effectively putting a box around the male biological sex and saying “this expression is verboten here.” So rather than acknowledge being a born male who has uncommon behavioral traits, they instead deny the possibility that males can behave that way.

    • No, the primary delusion here is your own. Either that or you intentionally misread critical passages of this article explicitly contradicting your statement.

    • The most obvious reply to the transgender delusion is mockery. I’d be hard pressed to imagine anyone more mockable.

      • Andrew says

        No, kindness and Truth are the answer,
        “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted”
        Brilliant, scripture bang up to date as usual.

    • Editorius Maximus says

      I don’t know about anyone else — and I’m no expert on the “agreed upon sexual taxonomy” of the day, if there is any agreement — but I took a different message away from this story.

      Maybe I got it wrong but the message I got was this:
      The author acknowledges and agrees with the idea that a person who is — for example — born with a well-formed and functional penis and a pair of testicles (i.e. “biological sex” indisputably = “male”), does not always identify themselves as male (i.e. “gender” could = female or both male and female and thus that person would qualify as “transgender” even if their “biological sex” is male). FWIW I don’t think a person has to choose to have re-assignment surgery for the classification of “transgender” to be applicable to that person, but I could be mistaken.

      BUT… NOW… some people within academia’s social justice brigade (my chosen label, not the author’s) went completely off the rails, stating that the concept of “biological sex” is really just another social construct, not objective reality. The author is saying that specific notion is absurd. That in this example the “biological sex” of a person who is born with a well-formed and functional penis and set of testicles, is indisputably male, even if that person’s “gender” may NOT be indisputably male, and that nobody (especially not scientists who need to debate this stuff openly without being shamed) should feel afraid to say as much.

      And I agree completely. It’s difficult for me to believe we now live in a world where such things even become a debate. Sorry, but “biological sex” is not something up for debate in that 99.98% of the population, anymore than their biological nose having two well-formed nostrils is up for debate.

      “Gender” on the other hand is something that can be amorphous for some people (i.e. people with well-formed penises feeling more like a “feminine” or “womanly” being, for lack of a better term, or people with well-formed vaginas and vulva feeling more “masculine” or “manly” — at least as society defines those archetypes)… AND… “sexuality” I guess could be seen as a THIRD and separate concept (i.e. a person with a penis who “identifies” as female gender, could still be attracted to only biological women, or only men, or both). And all of that possibility should be respected, not marginalized.

      But none of that means the identification (via eye sight) of “biological sex” is up for debate. It’s not, and THAT’s where the delusion comes into play in my mind. You don’t get to make up your own rules about how a person’s body was formed in the womb and came into the world. For 99.98% of all humans, there is a clear cut answer to the question of “biological sex” that only requires functional eye sight to determine, nothing else. Has nothing to do with how a person feels, identifies, or who they have sex with.

    • Designer says

      Don’t worry about the delusions of transgender people, you won’t even meet one in your lifetime. What is worth worrying are the delusions of these SJW about what is ‘progressive’ while they behave like their puritan grandfathers, piety devoutness as virtue signalling. And you meet them at any corner every of your lifetime.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Exactly right, Designer.
        This is not really about transgenders at all. It is about SJWs obtaining power. The fact that they can do it by pushing outright delusional thinking on the world is an indictment of the rest of us.
        It’s time to stop letting these extremists get their way. Courteousy is one thing, but refraining from telling these childish activists that they are wrong and restraining them when they go too far is ruining society for the rest of us.
        Sinistra delenda est.

    • Andrew Smedley says

      The implication is not that they are delusional. We don’t yet understand in full the mechanisms that lead to gender dysphoria but I believe (I’m sure there are sources available) there are studies that point to differences in the structure of specific brain regions in trans-folk. So a male who feels like a woman actually has the female version of these braiin regions.

      Now, you can call this delusional if you want, but I don’t think the word is appropriate. The difference between Dr. P and transfolk is that one could not get Dr. P to acknowledge the basic facts of the environment, like his wiife’s face, because this information was inaccessible to his conciousness. You can, however, get people with gender dysphoria to agree that they do in fact inhabit the body of the sex they were assigned at birth, but they will tell you that there is a mismatch between this body and significant aspects of their mind. Since we do not have direct access to the contents of their mind, we have no basis upon which to call them delusional.

      It may be that it is more humane and generally better for everyone to change the mind, rather than the body, of the dysphoric individual in such cases. But since we do not have the technology to change their mind (i.e. brain) yet, it seems to me that changing the body of the individual to match the mind (to the extent that we can) is a decent compromise for now. I am not advocating for sex reassignment interventions on young children, we should make sure it really is gender dysphoria before taking irreversable measures.

      • The problem with your statement is that we are quickly coming to an understanding that all mental illnesses have an underlying physical causation. Delusion is not a negative word, nor is mental illnrss. In fact the SJW rejection of this as a mental illness seems to stigmatize people with mental illness. One of the leading causes of the increase in suicides among males in the USA is non-treatment of mental illnesses such as depression. A lot is because society stigmatizes mental illness (and very few people with mental illness actually would benefit from institutionalization), and nonsense like the transgender rights movement does nothing to destigmatize mental illness. Isn’t it ironic that those who claim to be woke are helping to further one of our most entrenched and destructive stigmas in society?

    • It doesnt have to be cast as harshly as delusional. They’re men who want to live as women. That’s weird to me, but it doesnt bother me as long as they’re not trying to suppress science in the process.

      • BLITZKING says

        So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. Am I being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

    • The whole problem could be solved if they would jusy say they’re men who want to live as women. The problem only arises when they demand everyone believe they literally are biologically women. Until recently trans people seemed to be fine with everyone just acknowledging them as people who want to live as women, but things have gotten way off track the last 10 years.

    • Duane says

      No – transgenderism is not delusional, it exists, and it always has existed in all human cultures. It is not a dominant condition, however, being shared by something less than one percent of the human population, but it is and always has been a fact of life in humans.

      Where the LGBT activists and their sympathizers go off the rails is by claiming that the natural sexual dimorphism of humans is just a social construct, and not biological fact, and that sex is somehow just a flattened bell curve with equal probability of occurrence all across the entire spectrum of human sexuality.

      No, human sexuality IS strongly dimorphic, with a very strong bell curve with very small “tails” on the curve.

      Just as the author here describes. He gets roasted politically for stating the obvious truth .. but then, real science has always been in a struggle with religious dogma and ideological dogma – with the “true believers” who choose to ignore reality in favor of their manufactured unreality.

      • Andrew says

        Would that real science would be applied to the theory of say, evolution.
        Simple evidence contrary to “great age” theory of the universe

        1. amount of sediment on sea floor not consistent with ancient age of earth.
        2. ocean salt concentration inconsistent with ancient age of earth
        3. earth’s magnetic field inconsistent with ancient universe
        4. no. of observable super nova remnants inconsistent with ancient universe

        there’s lots more, these 4 evidences come to mind and ought to be enough to set those really interested in the honest search for truth questioning what they’ve been told. The rest may continue in their acceptance of deception. Sadly they can’t be helped at the moment.

        • BLITZKING says

          THERE ARE HUNDREDS MORE THAT EXPOSE THE FAIRYTALE OF EVOLUTION..

          “Darwin’s theory of evolution is the last of the great nineteenth-century mystery religions. And as we speak it is now following Freudians and Marxism into the Nether regions, and I’m quite sure that Freud, Marx and Darwin are commiserating one with the other in the dark dungeon where discarded gods gather.”
          (Dr. David Berlinski)

    • Puggles says

      2 sexes, 2 genders, and 30+ mental delusional disorders.

    • Tony Jeffs says

      Trans people are delusional. I often see them having come from broken backgrounds with a host of personal issues, then they turn to transgenderism in a search for meaning and belonging, and what do you know – they are still chaotic, angry and depressed. They are warped.

    • Jacob says

      I’m sorry, but you are simply wrong. There are structures in the brain that determine your self percieved gender, no matter what gonads you have. There are different structures in the brain that determine sexual attraction. These two factors, together with your body physical traits are 3 independent parameters yielding 8 possible outcomes. Embryo development link all 3 together most of the time, but some of the time they come out differently. The bit about attraction is much more commonly changed than the bit about gender identity, which is why there are many more homosexuals than transgender people. However, both of these are structural differences in the brain, that can be measured using MRI.

    • Thomas says

      What about the simple biological fact that brain differences are created by a hormonal process that can go wrong? It’s also a straw man since they don’t believe they are the other sex but want to be, which is not a delusion.

    • Even with the loving support of family and friends, Trans people suffer an extremely high suicide rate. They very likely suffer from an abnormal (a-typical) brain function and design, which is not completely understood. Pretending they are simply making a choice and their problems don’t exist because of genetic dysfunction for social reasons is not caring. Denying the science, scientific inquiry and explanation, regardless whether it conforms with subjective desires, is to deny better methods to help them cope,live better, and longer lives.

      • Thomas says

        Roez:

        Problem with all those suicide studies is

        1. Bad methodology (one example is they don’t adjust for self-harming behaviour which usually cuts any attempted rate in half, like they normally do in such studies, I don’t know which study you are referencing, the one from the Williams Institute is the most used one that I see in the papers).

        2. Anyone can claim to be trans and respond to those studies, and here is the crux of the problem, basically all the suicide lies among the autogynephiles and the autists and people with mental/emotional issues that have “latched on”, not the actual trans people, with whom I mean those who’s brain has not hormonally developed as one would expect (example being a boys brain not masculinizing due to the process being disrupted).

        So that kind of shuts down the whole suicide thing, I will hold my breath for a study that only looks at same-sex attracted trans people (birth sex), have not seen such a study so far.

        And I’m not sure who you are responding to? Jacob? No-one has mentioned genetic dysfunction.

      • ADM64 says

        Because well-intentioned people would recognize what’s happening and respond rationally.

        • Bingo. Were the Bolsheviks well intentioned? Some people still belief that. You’d think the gulags and mass starvation would have been a tip off that “well intentioned” has lost all meaning at that point.

          There is plenty of selfishness and pettiness in the SJW movement. Beyond that though, ignorance is a kind of sin. If there is some truth you choose not to know because you don’t want to that isn’t “well intentioned”.

          Ye shall know them by their fruits…

        • Barry Goldman says

          No – There are lots of well intentioned people, but they don’t all think rationally. Some are highly moral and altruistic in their outlook but still irrational.

      • ga gamba says

        Though the words were crafted to appear positive, social justice is a regressive movement designed to infringe of the rights of others. Don’t mistake it for good ol’ justice.

        What’s the difference between ending discrimination and reversing discrimination? If you understand that then you’ll see the deceit of social justice. Social justice is the establishment of discriminatory laws, policies, and norms that reverse rather than end.

        • Aerth says

          This. SJWs don’t want equality or justice. They are only aiming at taking privileges from one group and give it to another. And they started with right to free speech – while minorities can say whatever they want and can’t be confronted by any means for it, majorities must tip toe and think every word ten times over.

        • Social justice has become a phantasmogoric revenge fantasy of the terminally weak herd members. They have discovered the one tool they can actually manipulate effectively. It is a lasting shame on all other (marginally more competent, self-possessed) members of the herd to have allowed them to do so.

      • ShipAhoy says

        It’s practically impossible to call people out to destroy the lives of others for pointing out the truth as “well-intentioned.” They are tyrants, addicted to power, determined to destroy “tradition” and replace it with chaos. In a faculty meeting on this topic, where I was the only person brave enough to speak out (I could not believe the situation I was in, it was surreal, it still is…) I asked: So am I to understand that …what you’re saying is …the feelings of a few are more important than the feelings of many?

        The intake of breath — the sound of horror — that I should have dared to express the obvious…

        “Well-intentioned” indeed. I can’t wait for this to be over.

    • BLITZKING says

      So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. Am I being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

      • Jay Raskin says

        Your mistake, Blitzking, as I understand it, is to assume an exact same environment for all jellyfish. The jellyfish who lived in environments where jellyfish had the advantage stayed jellyfish, or something close, but the jellyfish living in environments where mutant-jellyfish had the advantage evolved into mutant-jellyfish, eventually the mutant-jellyfish who kept mutating and adopting better to their environments eventually became you and me.

        • Andrew says

          Leave me out of it mate, I ain’t no evolved jellyfish.
          kind regards,
          Andrew

        • BLITZKING says

          “eventually the mutant-jellyfish who kept mutating and adopting better to their environments eventually became you and me.”

          THAT IS QUITE A LOT OF CHANGE!! LOL ANY EVIDENCE? JUST KIDDING..

          “The miracles required to make evolution feasible are far greater in number and far harder to believe than the miracle of creation.”
          (Dr. Richard Bliss, former professor of biology and science education)

        • The jellyfish argument is not science. Science says that the latest common ancestor of humans and jellyfish (or any invertebrate) is way before the Cambrian explosion and close to the beginning of eukaryotic life. We are not descended from jellyfish.

          • BLITZKING says

            December 9, 2018
            The jellyfish argument is not science. Science says that the latest common ancestor of humans and jellyfish (or any invertebrate) is way before the Cambrian explosion and close to the beginning of eukaryotic life. We are not descended from jellyfish.

            Wow… You really don’t know much about your OWN science fiction novel about Long Ago and Far Away do you!

            Or are you claiming that YOU are the authority of how the Science Fiction of Darwin is supposed to be written and NOT The Scientists and Evolutionary Biologists from Vanderbilt and Wisconsin-Madison universities? LOL

            https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/790342/Scientists-jellyfish-sponges-origins-life-earth-evolution

            Oh, while you are at it, please write a letter to the scientists from the University of Miami and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in Maryland. Do me a favor and tell them to stop saying we descended from Jellyfish because YOU not only told me that their opinion doesn’t count because YOU are the self proclaimed spokesman for the “Evolutionary Scientific Community” and YOU are the authority of how the SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL is supposed to be written…

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2523249/Did-humans-descend-JELLYFISH.html

            Now THIS is the point where you are supposed to say that you were wrong and you are sorry for trying to pretend you know more about the subject than I do.. But.. It never happens because Evolutionists don’t care about the truth.

          • BLITZKING says

            Wow… You really don’t know much about your OWN science fiction novel about Long Ago and Far Away do you!

            Or are you claiming that YOU are the authority of how the Science Fiction of Darwin is supposed to be written and NOT The Scientists and Evolutionary Biologists from Vanderbilt and Wisconsin-Madison universities? LOL

            https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/790342/Scientists-jellyfish-sponges-origins-life-earth-evolution

            Oh, while you are at it, please write a letter to the scientists from the University of Miami and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in Maryland. Do me a favor and tell them to stop saying we descended from Jellyfish because YOU not only told me that their opinion doesn’t count because YOU are the self proclaimed spokesman for the “Evolutionary Scientific Community” and YOU are the authority of how the SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL is supposed to be written…

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2523249/Did-humans-descend-JELLYFISH.html

            Now THIS is the point where you are supposed to say that you were wrong and you are sorry for trying to pretend you know more about the subject than I do.. But.. It never happens because Evolutionists don’t care about the truth.

          • BLITZKING says

            “Science says that the latest common ancestor of humans and jellyfish”

            What do you mean “Science Says That” ?? Look up the logical fallacy of Reification for extra credit.. And DONT sit there and tell me it is just “Semantics” because it ISNT…. Am I clear? If you need help with this, let me know Regards JT

  2. I hope articles like this and people like yourself speaking out on the attempt by ideologous to censor speech and writing find sufficient fertile ground to eventually end their efforts. I applaud you.

    • BLITZKING says

      So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. And you believe I am being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

  3. Philip Davies says

    If you have a conflict between your physical condition and your own mental view of yourself, which of these is in error? And which needs to be corrected to bring both mental impression and physical realty back into harmony?

    Many people have mental views that don’t correspond with reality and we understand that as the definition of mental illness. Reality is what it is, and it cannot be changed to suit our personal view.

    To accept the idea that reality is something that should be subject to our personal determination is not only unscientific, it’s arrogant.
    Phil

    • @philip Davies.

      Physical or mental error. Wow, never thought of it that way!

      Thanks.

    • Yes, it is delusional to think one can become the opposite sex. But it is not always delusional to hope one can lead a happier life by transitioning to a different gender.

      • Stephanie says

        @ Ian, except that you cannot transition to a different gender. Aside from the fact “gender” is a grammatical term that’s been massaged to the point of uselessness, the way trans activists use it is increasingly synonymous with “sex.” Since it is impossible to transition to a different sex, so too with gender.

      • It’s not always delusional to think transition will improve your mental health, but its statistically likely to be delusional. Especially as trans expands from a fringe case treaded with caution to a fad.

      • markbul says

        You are right. And I have no problem with humoring such people, and treating them as they wish to be treated. But the devil is in the details, and the details are many and massive. Do you want a boy going in to the girl’s bathroom at your local primary school? It’s already happening, and a mother had her children separated from her and interviewed – for sexual abuse! – when she complained to the administrators that the boy had sexually attacked her daughter. So there’s more to your simple ‘happier life’ view, isn’t there?

  4. Steve says

    The fundamentalist bible-thumper “Jesus rode a dinosaur” crowd are indeed intellectually bankrupt, if not ludicrous.

    However the typical middlebrow atheist (which includes not a few Quillette readers) expends rather too much energy rolling their eyes at these simpletons rather than taking the time to understand more the far sophisticated theological responses to modern evolutionary biology available to anyone who is intelligent, honest and curious. René Girard or Pierre Teilhard de Chardin may or may not have ontologically sound cases to make, but their cases are nuanced, deep and by no means lacking in evidence. The bovine atheism and rank ignorance on display in this article (the parts having to do with the relationship between religion and evolutionary biology) is typical of the level of intellectual development skillfully eviscerated by John Gray, himself an atheist.

    For it is not atheism per se that is the problem, it is rather under-educated yet overconfident bores who are unable to even coherently state the opposing arguments much less refute them. Let’s make fun of low-IQ Christians instead of, you know, reading something hard.

    • Robert says

      To paraphrase a wonderful line by Jordan Peterson “Many people with IQs over 140 are completely useless. They know it and it drives them crazy.”

      • aaron says

        can anyone point me to the origin of this line? I’m 140+ and useless as F***.

      • Azathoth says

        The problem with people with IQs over 140 is that they are themselves outliers. They do not see the world the same way people with IQs in the more normal ranges do.

        One would attempt to suggest that they over-analyze everything, but this would be wrong because that which would be called ‘analysis’ in one with a normal IQ is simply a constant in the basic thought processes of one with a high abnormal IQ.

        They ‘see’ and ‘experience’ more and exist in a fairly constant state of frustration that others do not see the same way–even, and maybe especially– when they know that it is they who are the ones who are out of sync.

        This makes interaction delicate.

        Because society seems to default to this ‘smarter is better’ concept talking about the problems of high abnormal IQ seem like pomposity. As if complaining about these problems is bragging.

        And that’s a pity.

        • BLITZKING says

          My IQ is over 140.. Does that mean I should believe in evolution?

    • Steve – I agree that the author displays a kind of ignorance about the nature of religion and ideas of evolution which are both shallow and typical of those in his field. Though it is also true that this is not really the thrust of his essay and I congradulate him on his willingness to confront the immediate threat to scientific integrity.

      To get back to your original point, scientists in general and evolutionary biologists in particular have built whole careers beating up on convenient strawmen and never confronting more essential issues. Like cows in a fenceless pasture they routinely wander into areas of which they have litttle or no familiarity – gleefully chewing their cuds. In other words, they always think they are doing science when the are actually doing philosophy or indeed, religion . . . and usually doing it poorly. Do the likes of Dennett, Dawkins, Wilson etc. ever display any convincing understanding of Goethe, Nietzsche, Hiedegger, Whitehead, Eliade or, as you mention, de Chardin or Girard?.

      So, as much as I sympathize with the author’s current issues, I suspect that if he actually knew a little more of modern intellectual history he might be a little more modest and he might find it interesting to discover that the lunacy of which he complains was born around the same time as the birth of the lunacy that the world can be known by scientific methodologies.

      • Alan D White says

        Physicists may claim they know the way the physical world works because in many cases they can make extraordinarily good predictions about what will happen under certain circumstances in a wide range of physical events. Attempts to do the same with living creatures are impossible for well-understood reasons; no one has been able to characterize the complex behavior of living things accurately by the use of mathematical theory. Using math to characterize behavior does not mean the behavior is understood; but for physical things it does allow prediction. This ability to predict with great precision is what gives us the illusion we understand what is going on.
        Some famous physicists have wondered why mathematics is suited so beautifully to physical problems.

        • jakesbrain says

          Any computer capable of correctly predicting all the actions of a single organism would have to be capable of predicting the actions of all organisms, in order to account for every possible interaction — and thus would have to take not just the whole planet but the entire observable universe into account. And I suspect that any device complex enough to predict the complete future of the universe would have to be the size of the universe.

          Hard determinism, however, would hold that in principle such a device is possible, even if it is patently impossible to actually build.

          • tomoncapecod says

            the law of gravity is a law not a suggestion. – A. Einstein

      • Chuck says

        A true scientist SHOULD be ignorant of religion and philosophy when forming and testing theories because their day job is to discover falsehoods of reality. A good scientist should, at least, `check their philosophy at the door’ when entering their laboratory. A better scientist should be performing experiments that can prove their ideology wrong. Declaring a topic off limits because of religious and philosophical arguments is automatically anti-science. Theologians, philosophers, and other members of the Liberal Arts and Sciences are already failing at their responsibilities when they are ignorant of the scientific foundations at which their discipline depends on.

        So, it matters not to me that the author may be ignorant of LAS views, not his day job. I resigned my tenured position when my university hindered my science: I hope that academia can heal itself from the current `political theology is more important than science’ views forcing good scientists to work elsewhere. Note that anti-science did not cause me to resign my position, good old fashioned corruption and greed were the root cause. Lucky for me that my research skills brings in a good salary outside academia. But that is not always true for certain important scientific disciplines. There are plenty of academic institutions out there failing in their core mission by encouraging the anti-science actions discussed in the article.

    • BLITZKING says

      WHO REALLY BELIEVES IN MAGIC

      I thought it might be a good idea to set the record straight on who REALLY believes in “Magic”..

      Creationists believe that an Omnipotent God, Who lives outside the realm of Time / Matter / Space That HE Created was the causation for all of the wonderment, order, design and complexity we see in the world / universe today..

      Atheists have written the book on magic.. What must be considered Hypocrisy on Steroids..

      It goes something like this..

      In the beginning, NOTHING (Or a minuscule dot) Exploded (Or suddenly “Expanded) and created all of the matter in the known universe.. no “Magic” needed LOL..

      THEN, self replicating DNA molecules, encoded with millions of base pairs with specified / irreducibly complexity were able to mindlessly create themselves out of Dirt, Air, Heat and Water… when Man, with all of his knowledge, technology, resources, and the ability to artificially control atmospheric and chemical conditions CANT EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE how to create DNA,!!!! No “Magic” there ..LOL

      Or the fact that Man’s (Or his “Ancestor(s)) 10 Vital interdependent organs and their support systems have to ALL be working together in tandem or we DIE and GO EXTINCT.. Which was the “Order” for their “Evolution”? Stomach first? Brain second? Lungs third? Or did they all “Evolve” TOGETHER?? No “Magic” Required” LOL

      Oh.. How about the chicken or Egg,?? Which came first? Oh, The Egg?? OK, Just how did all of those genetic blueprints / Specified DNA for that “Proto” Chicken (Or it’s FIRST “Egg Laying” Ancestor) GET INSIDE THAT EGG?? WHO OR WHAT PUT IT THERE???? No.. No magic Needed huh??

      Or

      How about 100 MYO Dinosaur Red Blood Cells, Soft Tissue, and DNA fragments being able to last 100,000,000 Years WITHOUT BIODEGRADING COMPLETELY IN 10,000 YEARS!!!! Noo… No Magic required there….

      Or

      How about the European Green woodpecker that has a tongue that wraps around the back of its head, over the top of its brain and through its right nostril, We OBSERVE that WITHOUT that special tongue, The bird CANT EAT and DIES,,,, How did that tongue “Evolve” over millions of years? Nice MagicTrick HUH??

      Or

      The hummingbird has wings that flap at up to 100 times per second so it can hover at eat. Without those special wings, It CANT EAT and DIES, According to the Mindless MYO mud to Man Myth, That hummingbird supposedly evolved over 20 million years from a Tree Swift (Common glider) Who has enough Imagination to believe THAT level of Magic???

      Or

      How did the Bombardier Beetle manage to somehow “Evolve” the Explosive chemicals, inhibitor, enzymes, glands, combustion tubes, sensory communication, muscles to direct the combustion tubes and reflex nervous systems AT THE SAME TIME in order to be able to perfectly control his defense system YET not blow himself up? No”Magic” Necessary right? LOL

      Or

      During the course of “500 Million Years” While Living in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish Incredible!!! Of course no magic was necessary..

      I could go on and on about “Magic” but I hope you get the idea..

      I suggest you Atheists / Accidentalists take another look at your hypothetical hypothesis of Mindless MYO Mud to Man Myth

      We have been brainwashed and indoctrinated into believing a Lie that has ZERO Empirical Scientific Evidence to support it..

      I believe that you have an emotional attachment to an A Priori assumption that “Evolution” is true.. Not because it is part of science (Which it is NOT) but because…

      “Evolution made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”
      Richard Dawkins

      http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

      • M McEwan says

        BlitzKing, I basically agree with you.

        I strongly believe that nearly every thinking person on the planet maintains an infantile view of ‘God’ in their mind’s eye, a view that is never allowed to mature. He’s a big old man with a beard sitting on a stone/gold throne, and with a mighty temper, to boot. The fact that old paintings in old cathedrals depict exactly this, is proof enough.

        This ‘straw god’ is easy to discount for the imaginary image that it is.

        The real god cannot be conceptualized in our ‘modelling minds’ because we really don’t understand many things in terms of what they actually are, but rather, in terms of ‘what they remind us of’. Take light for example, being both a particle and a wave. Rest assured, it is NEITHER in actuality, but we don’t have anything else we can compare it to, that we understand. So we pretend to understand it as both a wave and a particle.

        Similarly, God, whatever that is, cannot be modelled. God IS the universe, the entirety of the laws that govern matter and energy. Whether that is something God IS, or that God MADE that is somehow separate from himself, is a debating point.

        If evolution creates the complex from the simple (which I find logically outrageous), then we have yet to discover the laws that force that to happen. But if that can be discovered, then and only then, have we finally explained the existence of the universe, and essentially, will have defined what God was and is. And it won’t be a humanoid shape that thinks like we do.

        So far in my 60 some years of living, I have only seen biological evolutionists tinkering around with FULLY FORMED AND FUNCTIONING species, that drift a little this way, and a little that way. “Ahah, there’s the proof!” they exclaim. Bah, that’s a pretty simplistic extrapolation. But modern evolutionary theory doesn’t have to defend itself anymore, because ‘if something exists, then it must have evolved’, they say.

        I build stuff for a living. I’m constantly amazed at how many ways things can be screwed up in the crude processes I can control. To create beautiful working complex organisms, all ‘hands off with biochemistry working by natural law (and natural selection)’ is inconceivable to me. But, if we do finally figure how it must happen, then, that will be God. And again, it is not a humanoid.

        • Roman Marquez says

          My view of God was a revelation it wasn’t infantile at all , I was given a choice between God and Satan and I chose God( I’m non-religious not anti-religious ) there isn’t any way with words and I’ll never explain to you what it is like, it’s something everyone has to experience for themselves in their own without a doubt terms, it’s better to keep an open mind to possibility, and continue together Clues rather than be a doubting Thomas and try to prove yourself right and someone else wrong because you will bend over backwards to do it and push yourself away from a Revelation by your creator.

        • BLITZKING says

          So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. Am I being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

      • Roman Marquez says

        Evolution is evidence of God’s work how does anyone know if a day to God is a million years compared to a day to humans?

      • Azathoth says

        You know that there are answers for all of your ‘ors’, right?

        Self replicating DNA wasn’t created ‘out of nothing’. It came from amino acids. Which can be formed by running an electrical current (such as the type that comes with a lightening strike) through a mineral saturated solution.

        All multi-cellular animals started as colonies of single celled animals. Tasks were eventually done by specific sections of those colonies. Those sections became organs as they got more specialized. This process is still happening today and can be observed. A life form does not go from being considered a colony creature to an organism until the component cells can no longer live on their own.

        The ‘egg’ is a single cell with a hardened cell wall. That’s all it is. It contains genetic information(as a nucleus) attached to a vacuole filled with food(a yolk).It has a very short lifespan unless it meets another cell that has additional information, but no food.

        Anerobic preservation.

        The woodpecker and the hummingbird got the tongue/flying technique BEFORE their diets specialized to the point where they could no longer live any other way. They became the dominant strain of their species because they could get food that others couldn’t and could thus breed more.

        The bombardier beetle doesn’t actually combust. Their distinctive ‘popping’ sound is a result of released pressure. But, I do suspect that the pressure build up killed a lot of failed evolutionary paths for the beetle. But what it’s doing is expelling gas and what once were digestive juices. It farts. And caustic digestive juices are expelled with those farts. I don’t want to sound disgusting, but humans occasionally have the same reaction–particularly after a round of very spicy food.

        And finally, why are there STILL jellyfish? Because evolution is driven by breeding and feeding. If an animal hits an environmental niche that doesn’t change much THEY don’t change much. The naturally occurring variations don’t give advantages that create big enough population differences to allow speciation. So they stay pretty much the same. Sharks are in the same boat.

        But there are NEW jellyfish. As colony creatures move from being colonies to organisms their status changes. Bluebottles are working their way, ever so slowly, towards being actual jellyfish.

        Evolution just happens. Regardless of what anyone believes.

        And here’s the thing.

        It doesn’t preclude gods. It only precludes the stories men in ancient times told to try to describe what those gods were doing.

        • BLITZKING says

          “Evolution just happens”

          I guess we get to play the dishonest Darwinian game of semantics…. Before we continue… YOU need to clarify what you mean SPECIFICALLY when you use the duplicitous and purposely vague term “Evolution”.. DO YOU MEAN.. Variation, Adaptation, Speciation or ….De-volution?.. i.e. ..Finches beaks, Cave fish going blind, Moth colors, Weak bacteria lacking enzymes targeted by antibiotics, Dog ears, Mutated fruit flies with 2 WORTHLESS extra wings, Bear coats, Dog Ears and Squirrel tails? OR DO YOU MEAN Slow Microbe to Microbiologist (UCA for all flora and fauna)
          You will be required to put your cards on the table here….
          I just KNOW you are going to enjoy this discussion with me…
          Cant you feel it too?

          • Azathoth says

            What do I mean by evolution?

            Things change over time. The things that breed most become the prevailing life forms.

            That’s it.

            Humans like to think that there is some kind of ‘direction’ to evolution. But there isn’t. It’s happening at all stages all the time.

            That jellyfish line you love so much, about how come some jellyfish evolved further while others just stayed where they were. It’s because they was already someone standing on the ‘next step’. They’re still trying, the step is constantly being attempted–and sometimes it works and the ‘new’ form smacks into the life form that’s occupying the further step.

            Because they’re not actually ‘steps’. They’re ecological niches. A chance mutation allows a life form access to something it didn’t have access to before. And it flourishes. But it might not maintain, or it might not ever move the same way as others did.

            The thing that everyone treats as if it’s completely known and mapped out isn’t.

            But….is there a line from a microbe to a microbiologist? Absolutely.

        • BLITZKING says

          “It (“evolution”) doesn’t preclude gods” No, it merely attempts to eliminate the only God that happens to matter.. No one cares about the others as they are about as real as evolution is…

        • BLITZKING says

          “The ‘egg’ is a single cell with a hardened cell wall. That’s all it is. LOL It contains millions of self replicating DNA Molecules, Each one encoded with milliions of base pairs of specified and incredibly complex genetic information… But.. I guess you made your Ipse Dixit declaration.. “That all it is!!!!” LOL

        • BLITZKING says

          “Self replicating DNA wasn’t created ‘out of nothing’. It came from amino acids. Which can be formed by running an electrical current (such as the type that comes with a lightening strike) through a mineral saturated solution.” Sorry, you have been misled and have swallowed the lie. You are referring to the Miller Urey experiments (And similar ones till today) look up the word Chirality.. You need 20 amino acids with the same (L) in order to even have a functioning protein.. You DO Know that the Miller Urey experiment has been deemed a complete and utter failure I’m sure …. Or DID you… All they got were some (R) and (L) AAs and 90% Tar,,, All TOXIC TO LIFE… I really scratch me head when people bring this up.. What is next? The “Fossil Record”?? Here is a comprehensive explanation for you… don’t worry, I am just as mad as you are that these proven LIES are still taught in the schools…

          http://truthinscience.org.uk/content.cfm?id=3161

          “The probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is, 1 in 10-161 power, using all the atoms on earth and allowing all the time since the world began…for a minimum set of required 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life, the probability is, 1 in 10-119,879 power. It would take, 10-119,879 power, years on average to get a set of such proteins. That is 10-119,831 times the assumed age of the earth and is a figure with 119,831 zeros.”
          (Dr. James Coppege from, “The Farce of Evolution”

          “The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40,000 nought’s after it…It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of Evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.”
          (Sir Fred Hoyle, highly respected British astronomer and mathematician)

          “It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student….have now been debunked.”
          (Dr. Derek V. Ager, Department of Geology, Imperial College, London)

          “Darwin’s evolutionary explanation of the origins of man has been transformed into a modern myth, to the detriment of scientific and social progress…..The secular myths of evolution have had a damaging effect on scientific research, leading to distortion, to needless controversy, and to gross misuse of science….I mean the stories, the narratives about change over time. How the dinosaurs became extinct, how the mammals evolved, where man came from. These seem to me to be little more than story-telling.”
          (Dr. Colin Patterson, evolutionist and senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, which houses 60 million fossils)

    • Suhaib says

      “the time to understand more the far sophisticated theological responses to modern evolutionary biology available to anyone who is intelligent, honest and curious.” Like what, basically? Theology is not science; it’s mere hand-waving. A “science” of fictional beings cannot be in the same boat as a well-established and corroborated framework known as evolutionary biology. This fantasy of some people that evolution is just a belief of atheism is preposterous, and frankly, stale. It’s the same anti-scientific crowd; just that it’s sugarcoating BS, calling it “nuanced”.

      “deep and by no means lacking in evidence” For someone critical of “bovine atheism”, this is frankly bemusing for them to espouse. There is no evidence for a deity these theologians claim is the “Designer”, so what evidence are we talking about? Intelligent Design (ID) has been thoroughly debunked, but sadly people (maybe incl. you) keep falling for the same old and tired hogwash. So be it.

      As for John Gray; he’s just another pessimist and that’s it. I don’t really understand his beef with atheists, esp. when clearly he’s an atheist himself. This anti-atheism of his is weird and perplexing. For he criticizes (and rightly so, in many cases, or rather, some), but has no solutions of his own. The ones he call “New Atheists” are the ones who are just more vocal in their criticism of religion. I don’t see what’s his problem with that. Religion IS a problem more than a solution; it has more cons than pros. Fundamentally, it asks you to believe without evidence. That’s where the beef begins. No amount of sophistry which you call “nuance” can do away with it. It is a pity that in your quest to criticize atheism, you attack evolution. It is worthy of note that theologians only attack evolution (or as you claim “respond” to it), but not Einstein’s GR. There’s a reason for that, and it’s articulated well in the article.

      Atheism might be a problem too; but not as much as religion is (esp. Christianity and Islam).

      • BLITZKING says

        Atheism might be a problem too; but not as much as religion is (esp. Christianity and Islam).

        LOL

        Evolutionism is the Worst religion of all..

        So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Living in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. And you believe I am being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

    • Leads one to ask where exactly is the evidence of evolution?

      • BLITZKING says

        There is ZERO Scientific Evidence for the Religion of Evolutionism….. Don’t let anyone fool you… If someone thinks they have some, just post it in response to this post and see what happens to it..

        “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extant that it’s been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious a hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.” (Malcolm Muggeridge)

        “In conclusion, evolution is not observable, repeatable, or refutable, and thus does not qualify as either a scientific fact or theory.”
        (Dr. David N. Menton, PhD in Biology from Brown University)

        Evolution is sustained largely by a propaganda campaign that relies on all the usual tricks of rhetorical persuasion: hidden assumptions, question-begging statements of what is at issue, terms that are vaguely defined and change their meaning in midargument, attacks of straw men, selective citation of evidence, and so on. The theory is also protected by its cultural importance. It is the officially sanctioned creation story to modern society, and publicly funded educational authorities spare no effort to persuade people to believe it.”
        (Professor Phillip Johnson,

        “We have had enough of the Darwinian fallacy. It is time we cry, “The emperor has no clothes.” (Dr. Hsu, geologist at the Geological Institute in Zurich.)

    • Andrew says

      I believe the bible because it fully explains the state of mankind and the state of the world. I don’t subscribe to Jesus rode a dinosaur or any such idea, and I would beg to differ on the description of intellectually bankrupt.
      Now to brass tacks, the difference between evolutionists and creationists is not massive, they both believe – and it most definitely is a belief – it cannot be proved, that the world was created from nothing, the former in a “big bang” (wherever the heck that came from, we’ll pass over for now) and the latter by God. Unfortunately evolutionists have a problem explaining where all the matter came from, believers don’t, the answer is simple God created it from nothing, He is after all God, just maybe your idea of God is much much much too small, as you correctly surmise mine is quite large, but almost certainly still too small. (Sorry a tad philosophical there, forgive).
      But the earth is veryyyyyyyyyyyyy old you say, doesn’t fit a biblical time-frame, well here are a few facts for the real seeker after truth to mull over

      1. amount of sediment on sea floor not consistent with ancient age of earth.
      2. ocean salt concentration inconsistent with ancient age of earth
      3. earth’s magnetic field inconsistent with ancient universe/earth
      4. no. of observable super nova remnants inconsistent with ancient universe

      I could go on but that should be enough.

      Creation is a good place to start a discussion about God, once a person can see that there is an alternative explanation (to evolution) then they are open to further light.

      There is a caveat to any and all discussion of religion: faith is not a scientific subject, you have to put the idol of science aside, or at least accept its limitations before you can have a meaningful discussion about God, cos put v v simply, science is to do with the observable, and God Himself is not visible to us here and now. Think of it like this, an alien comes from another planet where they don’t have to eat to maintain their ‘body’, how are you going to “explain” eating to a being that has no concept of it, talking to non believers is similar, “spiritual things are spiritually discerned” spirituality is of the heart not the mind.
      I hope something of what I have tried to convey strikes a chord or maybe even chords with just one reader, every soul is equally precious, explain that scientifically !
      kind regards,
      Andrew
      (non-intellectually-bankrupt believer)

      • Azathoth says

        I am always amazed that so many humans firmly believe that god must conform to the writings of other humans. That god cannot be other than what humans experienced. That god is limited by the scope of human thought.

        God never said anything about this day or that day. Men did. Men trying to describe a process infinitely beyond their understanding. Just as they tried to describe the mind of a being that is, to them, at best, unfathomable.

        • BLITZKING says

          What do I mean by evolution?
          Things change over time. The things that breed most become the prevailing life forms.
          That’s it.

          WELL IF THAT IS ALL “EVOLUTION IS”
          THEN I GUESS THAT ALL 7 BILLION PEOPLE ON THE PLANET (INCLUDING ME) ARE EVOLUTIONISTS!!!!… SO YOU DONT BELIEVE THAT ALL FLORA AND FAUNA SHARE A SINGLE COMMON ANCESTOR THAT CAME FROM DEAD MATTER OVER 3 BILLION YEARS AGO? I GUESS ” THINGS CHANGE OVER TIME” SOUNDS LESS EMBARRASSINGM RIGHT? LOL

        • BLITZKING says

          “God never said anything about this day or that day.” HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT GOD DID OR DIDNT SAY? PARDON THE PUN,, BUT.. JUST WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

      • lightandshadow says

        @Andrew
        You seem to be under the assumption that a theory should be replaced merely because we have observations that conflict with it. However, observations are experiences interpreted in the light of explanatory theories, which themselves could be so mistaken. This could include theories about how sediment builds up over time in various scenarios. As such observations are theory laden. Second, even if we assume the amount of sediment actually inconsistent with an ancient earth, those observations, per se, do not result in a new explanatory theory. IOW, before the theory is actually replaced, what is needed is an explanation that explains the same phenomena just as well, in addition to explaining the supposed contradictory observations. After all, some new explanation could just as well explain why the earth really is ancient, despite the current amount of sediment on the sea floor.

        For example, in the 2001 OPERA experiment, results seemed to indicate that neutrinos were traveling faster than the speed of light. While this observation conflicted with “c”, the observation itself was was based on an explanation as to why the experiment would result in actuate readings. So, observations themselves were theory laden as well.

        More importantly, the mere presence of contradictory observations did not result in a new explanation as to why neutrinos traveled faster in the specific case of the OPERA experiment, as opposed to everywhere else. As such, the theory of “c” was not immediately overturned. Only the creation of a new theory that explains what the previous theory did – just as well – in addition to the explaning the exception, would result in overturning the speed limit of “c”. However, no such theory was presented.

        Again, when a theory conflicts with observations indicates a problem, that problem isn’t necessarily with the theory itself. It could be with the observations, etc.

        For example, in the case of the OPERA experiment, it ended up the theory that the experiment was setup in a way that was thought to return accurate results was found in error. Specially, a clock was incorrectly configured and a network cable was loose.

  5. Andrew Worth says

    Philip Davies, almost everyone has views that don’t correspond with reality, we don’t say almost everyone has a mental illness .

    • Brian Villanueva says

      Andrew Worth: “almost everyone has views that don’t correspond with reality, we don’t say almost everyone has a mental illness.”

      Andrew, you’re right. Lots of people do have beliefs that don’t correspond perfectly to reality. The problem with trans activists is that they want the rest of us to lie about reality simply to avoid damaging their beliefs.

      Let’s say I tell my doctor, “Doc, I think I’m a dragon.” In no rational world should my doctor’s response be “I can do your tail graft and scale transplants next Thursday, and here’s a reference for a great fire eating trainer.”

      If I have a human body but think I am a dragon, I am delusional.
      If I have a male body but think I am a woman, I am delusional.

      in either case, both the logical and compassionate response is for the saner members of my society to help me learn to accept reality as it is, not work to adjust reality to accommodate my delusions.

      • Andrew Worth says

        Brian Villanueva, thanks for the reply, even though most of it was not relevant to my point.

        • @Andrew Worth – Then perhaps you failed to make a point as you presented (in 2 comments) zero evidence with respect to your claim about “everyone.”
          While people may hold odd ideas, it’s untrue that “almost everyone” does not recognize their sex as being male/female, or that they are tall when short, or any other such thing. There are people who starve themselves because they think they are fat, but they do indeed have a mental illness.

          • Andrew Worth says

            David of Kirkland, read much of Jonathan Haidt’s work? Almost everyone rationalizes in defiance of reality.

          • I think I’m tall when I’m in Guatemala and short when I’m in the Netherlands. Do I have a mental illness or am I just a realist?

      • I agree with you in response to transwomen who wish to compete against bio females in say sports. it is undeniable, I understand sports sets a limit for tested testosterone – and maybe it needs to be lower or maybe if you want to transition that badly female sports must be given up. Like if lower testosterone limits excluded bio women not on supplements. That understanding of the difference already exists or they wouldn’t test.

        The others I have heard make a distinction – they know they have a penis but they feel like a woman. That’s different than thinking they are a woman.

        And really – you can’t say they don’t, I can’t say they do – they . say . they . do

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Andrew Worth

      That’s because we needn’t bother saying so with most such views because no one is trying to force us to believe them — except when it comes to the body of lies we call PC, and of which lies, the lies that make up the ‘trans’ orthodoxy are at the moment the most aggressive.

      • Andrew Worth says

        Ray Andrews, how is that relevant to whether or not it’s reasonable to label someone whose mental gender identity is different to their physical sex as having a mental illness?

        • Ray Andrews says

          @Andrew Worth

          You made a comparison between that mental illness and the other irrational beliefs we can hold and wondered why we do not call the latter mental illnesses too. I point out that we would if we felt the need to but since most of our mental illnesses have not be weaponized, we simply do not feel the need to do so. I person who does not feel comfortable with the facts of their existence is suffering from a disorder or an illness or — considering the literal meaning of the term — a dis-ease.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Ray Andrews, many people are dissatisfied with the realities of their lives. You’re just playing word games to try to define mental illness in a way that suits your argument, and avoiding the definitions that people who actually deal with mental illness would use.

        • Stoic Realist says

          @Andrew Worth

          Does it bother you less if you realize that by definition in psychology we are all mentally ill to some degree? As I recall most every human behavior gets classified under some neurosis which makes us all neurotic. Instead the point is to evaluate the coping behavior in terms of whether it had a positive or a negative impact on how we engage the world.

          Trans people have an issue that puts them in conflict with actual, physical reality. The question becomes what are positive coping mechanisms to help them deal with that and at what age should those options be available. That needs an open and honest discussion which we are not allowed to have at present. And the egregiously high suicide rate among trans people that is not significantly improved by transition shows that the lack of a real discussion is not helping them.

          I don’t support abuse of trans people but neither do I see morality in standing by and watching as my neighbor destroys themselves.

          • Andrew Worth says

            I urge you to put your money where your mouth is and tell the people you meet that they are mentally ill, I think you will find that most of us use a different definition from the one you’ve decided to use here today.

    • Stephanie says

      @ Andrew Worth. You’re taking “views that don’t correspond with reality” too broadly. Perhaps it would have been more clear if it said “perceptions that are plainly mismatched with easily-perceived objective reality.” People who think the unemployment rate is 15% when its 10% are misinformed, not mentally ill. Someone who thinks a frog is an angel is mentally ill. Someone who thinks they’re fat when they’re 80 lbs is mentally ill. Someone who thinks they are a woman when they are a man is mentally ill.

      • Andrew Worth says

        If a person of one race is raised in the culture of another race and identifies with the latter, even though they know they are physically a member of the former, does that make them mentally ill in your mind?

        • Brian Villanueva says

          Andrew, why are you so fixated on this question? Do you not agree that clearly, if someone who has a penis honestly believes he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, something is seriously wrong in his head?

          Call it confusion instead of mental illness. The term used above was “delusion”, which seems appropriate, but you can give it whatever label you want.

          The larger question is whether that assertion must trump objective reality. Whether the rest of us must be forced by law to agree that the sky really is green or the emperor does have clothes.

          • Andrew Worth says

            “. . .wrong in his head?” No I don’t agree, and I see no need to attach pejorative labels to such people to justify bigotry. The matter of SJW’S trying to force their views onto others is a different issue, one on which I agree with the articles author.

          • > Do you not agree that clearly, if someone who has a penis honestly believes he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, something is seriously wrong in his head?

            What do you mean by “a women”? What if you have more in common with typical women and prefer shopping for dresses to lifting weights and are attracted to men. Isn’t it rather like you have the soul of a woman?

            Most transgender people don’t literally think they have females guts inside the shell of a man. They just want to be women and act like women do.

        • D-Rex says

          Andrew, gender dysphoria IS classified as a mental disorder and many trans people acknowledge this and are aware that they have a condition and deal with it the best that they can, much like someone with bipolar disorder. Fortunately for them there are treatments which may alleviate some of their symptoms, such as hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.
          Trans people who deny that they have a disorder ARE delusional by definition.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Obviously someone who has gender dysphoria has a disorder – the mind doesn’t match the body, that’s a disorder, but that’s different to a mental illness – an illness of the mind.

  6. Stephen says

    Seems like intellectualism and science mostly takes place outside of Universities at this point. Youtube is a good spot.

    • Ryan G. says

      Imagine thinking and writing this unironically. Youtube is great when my lawnmower breaks, little else.

      • Qualia says

        You are sorely uninformed about YouTube if that is your impression.

        Check out 3blue1brown or Numberphile for fantastic mathematics tutorials. Minute Physics, Fermilab or PBS Spacetime for great physics videos (for the best non-mathematical presentation of Special Relativity look up minute physics spacetime globe). The Green brother”s Crash Course videos for any introductory series of just about any subject imaginable. Lost lectures of Fenymen, Spaloski’s Stanford courses on evolution, the Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures, Mark Blyth economic talks, and discussions between leading academics in just about every field.

        If you think YouTube is only good for fixing your lawn mower, you are seriously missing out.

        • X. Citoyen says

          @Qualia,

          You almost forgot MIT’s 5,152 OpenCourseWare videos and…well, I don’t have all night to list the half of it. Lawnmowers, indeed.

        • Bernard Hill says

          ….it’s also great for motorcycle maintenance…….

      • Heike says

        I used to think the same way about Youtube. And I was right. A bunch of drama queens and attention whores creating drama for people with no lives.

        Things have really changed the past 12-24 months. There is some astoundingly good material being produced. Just look at this video produced by a former Evergreen student. The culture is interpreting the climate of fear at universities as damage and routing around it.

        Of course, this is all fun and games until Google develops algorithms capable of detecting this kind of badthink and removing it. They do this manually right now and it’s already quite harmful. Just imagine when it’s automated.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Andrew Worth

      “justify bigotry”

      What do you mean by bigotry? If someone is delusional the label ‘pejorative’ is no reason to avoid pointing that fact out. If I think I am Napoleon, I am wrong in the head, calling that fact ‘pejorative’ makes no addition or subtraction from the fact.

      • Andrew Worth says

        No one here has produced a sound justification for applying words like delusional and mental illness to those whose mental and physical characteristics are not of the same sex.
        Terms like “mental illness” are often used by thugs and bigots to control or persecute people with views or characteristics seen as undesirable – a justification for discrimination and the abuse of power. I can give you numerous examples of such thuggery, but I’m sure you know of plenty of examples.

        • Bernard Hill says

          ….Andrew I think your point is is interesting for its irony, because one of the fastest growing industries in Australasia at least, is the mental health industry. We’re all encouraged to think we all have a mental illness if we think about it hard enough. And we are told to embrace our mental ills, especially people suffering from masculine toxicity. ( Men crying in public is now de rigueur btw.)The cure, apart from numbing pharmaceuticals, is to adopt kindness as the the salve.The irony lies in the fact that the Frankensteins this philosophy has spawned, are now eating their Feminist creators.

          • Andrew Worth says

            I’ve not noticed what you describe being that common in New Zealand, perhaps it’s more all Australian issue, a trend that’s been building over the decades from Bob Hawke’ s initiative?

        • I think the belief that you are actually of the opposite sex trapped in the wrong body is a delusion. It is a belief clearly contradicted by reality and rational argument. Everyone has beliefs that are incorrect but it becomes a delusion when it is a belief that has a major effect on life and not shaken by evidence and rational argument. This definition clearly fits.

          I am sure some do have mental illness but I agree it is too much as a generalisation.

          I worry particularly for the young. Historically almost all young people who felt out of place in their sex grew out of it in puberty and became comfortable and happy adults in their sex. We now take such children and apply irreversible medical treatments that prevent this natural resolution. This is severe medical used child abuse in the service of an ideology promoted by a tiny minority. Adults may do what they like but children need protection.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Aj
            “I think the belief that you are actually of the opposite sex trapped in the wrong body is a delusion.”
            On what is your belief based? I have a man’s mind in a man’s body, if my mind was in a woman’s body I’m certain my mind would feel it was in a body of the wrong sex for it. You’re saying that my mind would be deluded? That my mind was actually a woman’s mind and not a mans mind??

  7. Emmanuel says

    Regarding the binary opposition between men and women from the point of view of social anthropology, I believe it is important to remember that is opposition is universal. In every known society, past and present, human beings are divided at birth in the two same categories, always following the same criteria. It’s true in the Amazon, Papua New Guinea, Africa, Europe… There is no society where people are born as gender neutral individual. Always as men and women (or rather boys and girls), and the difference between the two is always made the same way.
    Later in life, in a minority of society, some individuals can move from one category to the other (most of the time for matter of social imperatives rather than personal preferences, as Evans Pritchard documented it about the Nuers from South Sudan) or move to a third category (such as the eunuchs) who are not socially seen as men or women.
    However, at the birth of a child, it is always the same two categories and the same classificatory standards.

    Furthermore, if you study social and cultural differences between men and women from a transcultural perspective, you will also find plenty of similarities between very different cultures : there has never been a society where women went to war while men took care of young children.

    In his amazing book Primeval Kinship, anthropologist and primatologist Bernard Chapais wrote that social anthropologists have been obsessed with the differences between societies and as a consequence have neglected the question of the similarities between those societies, the exception being Claude Lévi-Strauss and his work on the prohibition of incest, which unfortunately completely ignored the evolutionary paradigm. The modern “gender is a social construct” narrative is an example of what happens when you forget that kind of comparisons.

    I would say that the contrast between empirical observations of the universal character of the “men and women” categories and the silly assertions about those categories being arbitrary social constructs is a good proof of the intellectual collapse of the social sciences, even if you ignore their difficulties to integrate the evolutionary paradigm.

    • Hahaha here is a fascinating rumor – Iran won’t kill you if you’re a homo male and get yer weinie whacked – undergoing transgendered surgery makes everything more… palatable. It seems everyone has got a theory.

      It appears to me that heterosexuals have a lot of trouble in general, just accepting the minority of homos in their culture – and I mean adults with consenting adults – and that as a group heteros react to those of us who don’t fit the paradigm with theories and cures designed to make heterosexuals more comfortable – can you account in yer evolutionary theories for adaptations to hostile environments or varying degrees – from snap diagnoses to criminality to murder?

      I am not transgender. Not speaking for them but this argument was preceded by a similar one relating to homos.

      • Stephanie says

        @ Vicki, I don’t know who you hang around with, but most heterosexuals in the Western world don’t give a.s. about what homosexuals do in their bedrooms. The disdain you may feel is likely the result of unflattering LGB prolesthelyzation and the attack on religious institutions and individuals that is the LBG movement’s main hobby horse.

      • Brian Villanueva says

        Vicki, I don’t give a hoot what you do in your bedroom, and I don’t think most other people do either. I don’t care if a man wants to dress up as a woman. I don’t care if he wants to call himself a woman.

        I do care if he insists I must call him a woman. I do care if wants to take a shower in the women’s locker room with my wife. I do care if he wants to compete against my daughters in the Olympics.

        Today, trans activists threaten many people with financial and professional ruin for stating basic objective facts: women do not have penises and men can not give birth.

        That’s not tolerance; it’s totalitarianism.

        • Gloucester says

          > I do care if he insists I must call him a woman. I do care if wants to take a shower in the women’s locker room with my wife. I do care if he wants to compete against my daughters in the Olympics.

          Very well stated. This is the crux of the issue. Compelling people to share in a delusion is wrong. Forcing people to accept biological men in women’s spaces is wrong.

        • Unfortunately, I agree most people don’t care what I do in my bedroom – nevertheless, us homos as a shadow group be powerful. I lived in a county President Obama carried easily and gay initiatives lost. Gay marriage was not achieved by popular vote.

          Trannies have it even worse as far as murders go.

          I agree about the sports. Two of the greatest female tennis stars I admire – Navratilova and Serena – but I think McEnroe was correct- on the men’s circuit they might.. might rank in the top 50

          Transsexuals anyway didn’t just become a thing. If they live as a woman, go into bathrooms and do their thing, folks like you are more likely to be startled by me – and I have never had a penis

          • Damon says

            I am never surprised that a transgendered ‘woman’ beats a biological female in sporting competitions. What would amaze me is a transgendered ‘male’ beating a biological male. It’s not going to happen.

          • Bernard Hill says

            …Vicki, I’m in the club of not being offended or alarmed by homos etc, and in fact am generally happy when they are in entertaining mode. However like others in the accepting crowd, I get exasperated by the endless need of the non-heteros for public attention, and as you intimate for political and cultural power with reference to their difference. But we can’t all be queer, all of the time love, or our species ain’t going to survive.

          • Elmostest says

            Well statistically speaking trans people are less likely to get murdered than most groups, a trans identified man for example is less likely to get murdered than a man. What really plays a role in the likelihood of murered is ethnicity and lifestyle

      • Ciara says

        I wonder if it’s not about “heteros” being unwilling to accept “homos” as much as societies, in the past anyway, not knowing what to do with feminine men, really. I’m not sure that lesbians ever bothered society too much.

      • @Vicki What is your point about Iran? That wasn’t mentioned by the parent comment or article. Are you saying it’s not true? If so, how do you know and why bring it up?

      • Northern Observer says

        Of course society has trouble accepting homosexuals. Homos subvert and weaken a society’s ability to replicate itself through its grandchildren. There are only two kinds of acceptable homosexuals from a healthy heterosocial order; those that replicate the hetero family and conduct their homozex in the shadows with or without the consent of their opposite sex spouse and those that are exceptional and out, loud and brash but champions of the hetero normative culture and worldview; in other words traditionalists, socially conservative and in group champions.

        Everything else in current day queerdom upon examination appears deviant and destructive. It is no accident that crippled 1950s marxism found its way into the early post war gay advocacy movement and subverted the identity of homosexuals from misunderstood members of society into eternal social revolutionaries. Maxism well understood that here it had found a group of people that could be guided to turning against any existing social order because of their real biological marginalization and the impossibility of a biological gay family. Clever, and it will take a stronger smarter harder queer conciousness to overcome the marxist temptation and bring homosexuals back into a healthy symbiosis with heterosociety.

        • D-Rex says

          Northern Observer, interesting perspective worth further consideration.

  8. I don’t know you guys – it seems to me the author is saying the humanities dept is advancing a theory of blank slatism that is not backed up by the science dept’s current wealth of knowledge about biology. And that the problem is the biologist can’t say that it doesn’t see evidence to back up the prevailing theory without getting fired.

    The comments are all making determinations about the subjects of the theories- which doesn’t seem to me to be the problem.

    Surely there have been theory disagreements before amongst depts and honestly- if trans-gendered people are such a small portion of the population – it’s my guess this problem of enforcement is not because transgendered people have such power – some group of very powerful influencers has 1) told transgenders what their confusion means, how to address it, etc and 2) enforced the unquestioning acceptance of their theory over oh say, the theory of the commenters on this board.

    I think if they were in the animal kingdom you would observe the behavior and try to incorporate it into your body of evidence about that species.

    Instead, I hear it dismissed as mental illness.

    Maybe instead of arguing about transgenders you should start by accepting it as a given seeing as how they exist and assert a lack of delusion (they know whether or not they have a penis) – it appears to be the implications of that they are disputing – and seek to understand them. They certainly don’t seem shy about sharing.

    I am confused about one thing. What’s this got to do with the blank slate theory? Just that they are saying there is no component of sex or gender brought forward through biological evolution?

    These theories have evolved very quickly since the last I paid attention the point was to convince folks there was a lack of choice “born that way” aspect to being homo.

    • >I am confused about one thing. What’s this got to do with the blank slate theory?

      It’s because those involved in Social Justice Mobbings use blank slate theory as a weapon to silence those they oppose. I’ll quote from the above article:

      >”Despite there being zero evidence in favor of Blank Slate psychology, and a mountain of evidence to the contrary, this belief has entrenched itself within the walls of many university humanities departments where it is often taught as fact. Now, armed with what they perceive to be an indisputable truth questioned only by sexist bigots, they respond with well-practiced outrage to alternative views.”

      The other part is that Blank Slate gives trans people a “justification” if you will, that there is legitimate science that explains their condition. As the author notes, there is practically no basis in biology for transgenderism in humans, and the whole idea is anathema to evolution, so they’re using blank slate theory to “fill in the gaps” where legitimate science does not exist to bolster their cause.

      Maybe homosexuals are indeed “born that way” but it seems likely they were not, and that it is a choice, even if they did not make it consciously. Does it matter? Probably not as much as the transgender issue, because changing one’s gender has much more far reaching consequences than being gay or not.

      It’s obvious as to why those on the left practically need the Blank Slate theory to be true: so many of the left’s beliefs rely on it, and so many of their programs are built around it. It’s hard to just admit that you were wrong in the face of new evidence when you’ve spent your professional career basing decisions on it. That’s why leftists get so outraged when you dismiss Blank Slate theory, accusing those heretical non-believers of the worst kinds of things, like being a Nazi.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @zoolian

        But there is a paradox. Whereas almost everything is socially constructed, there is one thing that is not constructed and that is the ‘real’ sex of the trans-person. Whereas I have only chosen to be male, or maybe maleness was imposed on me via social conditioning and I might have been constructed to be anything, or I might myself choose another gender from the almost infinite number available, the same is not true of the transman, who’s gender is absolute and fixed and ‘real’, not constructed, and not alterable.

      • It matters to me when right wing nutjobs believe they are called by god to enforce conversion “manipulations”.

        Don’t forget – the genuises in psychology came up with lobotomies and electric shock as “therapeutic techniques” for those they deem mentally ill.

        The short version: some of you fuckers are terrifying – what won’t you do when convinced of your theories

        • BLITZKING says

          So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. And people likeyou believe I am being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

          “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”
          Richard Dawkins

          http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

    • RICK FREYrickoxo says

      Really interesting point about if we saw this type of behavior in nature, we’d just try to incorporate it into our body of evidence about the species and just note what observed percentage of population has those behaviors.

      I think the issue here has more to do with the theoretical claims being made by some members of the transgender community and its supporters, that biological gender does not exist–that it’s a social construct. This argument has become much more mainstream and is beginning to have an impact on the scientific community’s understanding and willingness to speak about the evidence related to this topic.

      As for what any of this has to do with the blank slate, it’s a foundational premise of that idea that there are no pre-determined preferences or inclinations built into human psychology, and that the only factors affecting human behavior are societal factors. Evolutionary psychology provides a strong critique of the blank slate argument. There’s extensive evidence from animal species demonstrating that biological sex does exist and that males and females frequently exhibit different behaviors.

    • BradG says

      Fear precedes acceptance, and perhaps there is in that fear the possibility one could become trans.

  9. What the author neglects to mention, is that the most vehement objection to Darwin wasn’t from the flat earthers in churches. It was from the religious people who recognized where the acid would end up.

    Among the most deeply held supernatural beliefs about the human species, is the concept that there exist such things as “rights”.

    The concepts which we moderns hold dear- individual rights, human dignity, the rule of law- are deeply unnatural and are found nowhere in the natural world.

    It is not a coincidence that the apologists for the Gilded Age leapt so eagerly to adapt Darwinian theory to social policy!

    The author seems to want to base social norms about human sexuality on biology. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to our gender and relationships than that.

    • Andrew Worth says

      Chip, are you sure you’re commenting on the right page. You seem to be making points not relevant to the article. For example the author makes no claims about social norms.

      • His entire point is about social norms, of how transgendered people are treated in our society.

        He wants our biology to have the last word on who is a woman and who is a man.

        Except that what clothes a person is allowed to wear, what pronouns are used, what names they are called, and bathrooms they use are all social norms, constructed things.

        • Andrew Worth says

          You’re describing him as being a biological essentialist after he clearly explained that he wasn’t and why he wasn’t.

        • Andrew Mcguiness says

          “… what clothes a person is allowed to wear, what pronouns are used, what names they are called, and bathrooms they use are all social norms, constructed things.” That’s absolutely true and points to a line of discussion which somehow gets ignored. Until quite recently, the generally accepted argument among gender progressives was that gender is culturally constructed and that (most of) the differences between men and women are the result of that. The fact of binary sex was accepted, on the understanding that the differences it made to capabilities was minimal. On that basis, transgenderism should make no difference – if male and female genders are constructed, the position that one can be essentially a different gender from one’s sex shouldn’t matter. In fact, a blurring of perceptions about who is male and who is female should be welcome.

          Instead, though, there is a tenacious insistence on the differences between genders. Sometimes the objection is made on the basis of physiology (the complaint about people with male anatomy in female changing rooms). But things like changing rooms and toilets could surely be managed somehow – the ferocity of the opposition to transgender people by feminists suggests a deeper motivation. Sometimes the objection is that men who become women don’t have the history of oppression which a woman who was born and grew up as female has, and so can’t claim to be one (Germaine Greer has made that argument, for instance). That argument seems to make being oppressed not only part of the definition of being a woman, but the most important feature of womanhood. Taken overall, if many men become (transgender) women, then we could reasonably expect a breakdown of the idea of gender in our society over time, more of a tendency to treat people as people, to take them as individuals, regardless of their sex. There might be a few men who unfairly benefit from affirmative action policies intended to address women’s lower participation in some areas (such as the UK man who identifies as a woman only on Wednesdays, which is the day he fulfills his duties as Women’s Officer at a branch of the Labor Party) but the need for such policies would disappear over time.

          So what’s going on? Amongst all the furore over transgenderism, I have never seen these issues addressed at length and discussed reasonably and insightfully in an article – only mentioned briefly in comments.

          • Oh no. In my experience that is nonsense. i say that as a butch female frequently called sir over 55 years. I can’t believe they changed theories so quickly – didn’t find a gene so they made a uturn?

            If that’s what the theorists are saying in support of transgendered – I would find that very dubious. I know it’s different than being a homo – but hormones in utero, etc are more likely to me.

        • Stephanie says

          @ Chip, people in the west are “allowed” to wear whatever they want. This isn’t Saudi Arabia… yet.

          Clothing, pronouns, names, and bathrooms are all irrelevant to what makes a man or a woman. If I use the male washroom or put on a male T-shirt, that does not make me a man. Even if I do it repeatedly. Even if I demand everyone call me by different names and pronouns. These “socially constructed” things are all irrelevant to sex.

        • Ciara says

          No, he’s saying that male and female are easily distinguished, biologically speaking. He didn’t say that we couldn’t have different definitions of “man” and “woman”.

    • well, I didn’t get that the author wants to base our social norms on human sexuality on biology. If he did and he includes homosexuality as a biologically inspired normal expression of human sexuality for a persistent, if small, part of the population, I concur. As a homo, I think homosexuality is rooted in biology. I don’t know about transgenders.

    • Didn’t the author precisely state that it wasn’t discussions about socially constructed (and recent human mental invention) gender, but biological sex also isn’t real.
      Yet before there was a single human civilization (just small tribes), there were males and females, likely not dressed in any particular socially constructed clothing line. Yet genes worked on those humans just like they do today.

    • Azathoth says

      “The author seems to want to base social norms about human sexuality on biology. ”

      I would say rather that the author wants to base social norms about human sexuality on the established biological sexual norms extant across the animal kingdom instead of basing them on the needs of sexual outliers.

      It is simply insane to restructure the entirety of society to meet the needs of only at most .02% of the population.

      It is that kind of thinking that has produced handicapped parking signs with raised icons and the words ‘handicapped parking’ on them for the blind.

    • BLITZKING says

      So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. And people likeyou believe I am being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

      “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”
      Richard Dawkins

      http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

  10. Philoctetes says

    “… scientists demonstrated in court that Intelligent Design was nothing more than Biblical Creationism gussied up in scientific-sounding prose.”
    Kind of like this piece, scientific-sounding prose gussied up as a political screed. It relies on readers who are not scientists to have – wait for it – faith that the assertions by the writer are accurate and scientifically verified; maybe some are, maybe some are not. In the end the scientific claims become irrelevant, undercut by one dominant verifiable fact – the effort to harness science to support one ideology by vilifying another. Abusing the objectivity of science in this way makes the writer no better than the “social justice warriors” and “the Left” he condemns. All that results is one whacky ideology calling out another. Certainly, the insanity around academic censorship and obviously stupid recent claims about gender and sex need to challenged. This ain’t it. This is an abuse of scientific inquiry that makes him as guilty of of pushing an untenable ideology as those he says are doing the same.

    • Andrew Mcguiness says

      Philoctetes, what ideology do you see the author pushing? I took his main point to be that scientific discussion, publishing and inquiry should not be censored in the name of social justice. He does assert that humans are sexually dimorphic – you can disagree with that, but his point is that argueing for such a view should not ut scientists’ careers and livelihoods at risk.

      • Philoctetes says

        The fact that his essay is sprinkled through with dog whistle references to “the Left” and “social justice activists” – to which commenters are responding in the affirmative – is all the evidence required to know he’s not using science to back up arguments of fact, but to appeal to those who adhere to conservative ideology. He argues against tabula rasa scientific theory in connection with gender – fine. It’s a field far from settled with some very complicated research, as he points out. But he is making political points based on his beliefs arising from scientific assertions he either agrees or disagrees with. All cloaked in his own scientific experience. It’s a variation on “I’m an expert, I know better than you.” And he does. Regrettably, he uses that position to attack “the Left” and “social justice activists” with his personal conclusions rather than clarifing and asserting facts, as a good scientist would. Either give us the science or give us a right wing polemic – don’t try to pass one off as the other.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Philoctetes
          The only problem with your comment is that the author could have substituted all rereferences to SJWs and the left with references to “some people” and his argument would still be valid.
          The problem with the English language is that it lends itself to describing people more easily than it does to describing ideas. What the author here is doing is confronting the blank slate theory. In order to do so he has to show that the putting of that theory into practice is wrong and harmful. For ease of reference he needs therefore to characterise those people who push this theory most vociferously. Convention has it that SJW and left are well known terms for such people.
          Similarly, you use the term “right wing” to make it simpler to make your argument.its hardy fair to criticise the author for using the same rhetorical shortcut that you did.

      • Vincent says

        The ideology the author is pushing is sociobiology, which is far from settled science, as he attempts to assert. The scientists/philosophers he uses to support his position, such as Dawkins and Dennett, are the Social Darwinists of the modern era. Basically, they hold that there are adaptationist explanations for practically every aspect of an organism, including human behavior.

        Using the premises of the author and his ilk, for example, it’s assumed that there must be some evolutionary explanation for language. The “blank slate” theory would argue that we just learn it—grammar, vocabulary, and all. Chomsky, however, would argue neither of these theories (basically, the grammar is rooted in our nature while the vocabulary is arbitrary).

        The above example demonstrates the two fallacies being employed by the author:

        1) The straw man. It’s not true that most liberal academics support the “blank slate” theory but he asserts they do.

        2) The false dichotomy. As the Chomsky case illustrates, this isn’t an either/or debate. The extreme Darwinism of guys like E.O. Wilson, Steve Pinker, and Richard Dawkins aren’t the only alternative to the blank slate theory (Pinker wrote an entire book about this, the entire time attacking the blank slate boogeyman that doesn’t exist). It’s very possible (and I would argue probably) that human consciousness didn’t develop as an evolutionary adaptation. Humans happen to have large brains and the neurological complexity of these brains led to all sorts of non-adaptive behaviors. Did we make use of these behaviors for our benefit? Sure. But that doesn’t mean they were originally an adaptation to our environment. In fact, there are all sorts of side-effects of large brains that make one rather unfit: existential dread, suicidal thoughts, etc.

        The entire field of science this guy is involved in is based on faulty premises. Perhaps the most ironic thing about this article is that his dogmatic adherence to a tenuous theory is very similar to the Creationist whackos he criticizes at the beginning.

        • D-Rex says

          @Vincent
          “Humans happen to have large brains and the neurological complexity of these brains led to all sorts of non-adaptive behaviors. Did we make use of these behaviors for our benefit? Sure. But that doesn’t mean they were originally an adaptation to our environment.”
          When I went to uni there was a Cambodian lad who came to Australia when he was 11. Before that he thought that the mountains around his country were the edge of the world and he couldn’t read or write. 6 years later and he is doing his honors in theoretical Physics. What adaptation or evolutionary drive would produce a brain capable of achieving that?

          • Vincent says

            @D-Rex

            My point was that there probably wasn’t. A mutation caused human jaws to be smaller than our ape cousins, which opened up space for more brain. I would say that your Cambodian friend demonstrates that humans rely on cultural transferences of knowledge in able to be able to take advantage of our neurological potential. But I don’t think that any adaptation or evolutionary drive would be responsible. Sometimes, in genetics, things just randomly happen and there are all sorts of odd side-effects.

        • BLITZKING says

          THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IS FALSE

          “The theory of evolution is false. It is simply not true. Actually, it is just a fairy tale for adults based on ancient pagan religious philosophy that hundreds of millions of people around the world choose to believe with blind faith. When asked to produce evidence for the theory of evolution, most adults in the western world come up totally blank. When pressed, most people will mumble something about how “most scientists believe it” and how that is good enough for them. This kind of anti-intellectualism even runs rampant on our college campuses. If you doubt this, just go to a college campus some time and start asking students why they believe in evolution. Very few of them will actually be able to give you any real reasons why they believe it. Most of them just have blind faith in the priest class in our society (“the scientists”). But is what our priest class telling us actually true? When Charles Darwin popularized the theory of evolution, he didn’t actually have any evidence that it was true. And since then the missing evidence has still not materialized. Most Americans would be absolutely shocked to learn that most of what is taught as “truth” about evolution is actually the product of the overactive imaginations of members of the scientific community. They so badly want to believe that it is true that they will go to extraordinary lengths to defend their fairy tale. They keep insisting that the theory of evolution has been “proven” and that it is beyond debate. Meanwhile, most average people are intimidated into accepting the “truth” about evolution because they don’t want to appear to be “stupid” to everyone else. In this day and age, it is imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves. Don’t let me tell you what to think, and don’t let anyone else tell you what to think either. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions. The following are 44 reasons why evolution is just a fairy tale for adults…”

          http://thetruthwins.com/archives/44-reasons-why-evolution-is-just-a-fairy-tale-for-adults

    • Andrew Worth says

      Do you have an ideology based opinion in the topic? From your comments I’m picking that you do and that it’s left wing.

      • Philoctetes says

        No problem saying I am what you would call left wing. And I have no issues with well crafted and persuasive arguments with which I disagree. Funny though, in this case I do agree that various claims about gender from certain quarters labelled left, progressive, etc., are stupid, dangerous and destructive to the social fabric. In the matter at hand I agree with Germaine Greer that surgery and hormone therapy do not a woman make – ever. Guess I’m a “TERF”. What concerns me about this piece is the inference the author is making: that science disproves the tabula rasa theory in regard to gender. But he does no such thing as prove his claim scientifically, and could not since no one knows. It’s one thing to say (or in this case infer) a theory is wrong. It’s another to prove it. So, he uses the cover of scientific objectivity to make an ideological argument, namely that those on the left are wrong and conservatives right. This sort of deception serves no one well – not science or those on either side of the debate seeking the truth. A right winger claiming science proves his point just because he says so, when the science remains undetermined, is no better than lefties or social activists claiming science proves their point just because they say so when the science remains undetermined. As I said, give us either the science or the ideological argument. Cloaking ideology in scientific claims only results in a disservice to both – and to readers seeking either accurate information or persuasive political arguments.

        • Declan says

          Hi Philoctetes. Have you read Stephen Pinker’s Blank State? And I mean actually read it. It delves into a lot of the science regarding the tabula rasa theory.

          I don’t really agree with your point that the author of this piece should have to over the science again in order to make the point he’s making here. Since he’s a biologist, I’m sure he has published scientific literature elsewhere.

          The science is out there for people who actually want to make the effort to read and understand it. I’m lucky enough to have access to academic journals, so I can check some of these studies and make up my own mind.

          Where I have difficulty interpreting papers, there are plenty of online scientific communites where a paper can be posted and a sort of informal peer review can take place.

          If you’re really interested in proving or disproving tabula rasa theory, go take a look, make an effort.

          Your assertion that the author is engaging in deception is just lazy.

        • Andrew Worth says

          Philoctetes, I re-read the article just to make sure I hadn’t misinterpreted anything and I re-read your two comments above. I can only conclude that you also need to re-read the article. The author does not imply “that science disproves the tabular rasa theory in regard to gender”, he clearly is referring to and only to biological sex, in fact he labors that this is his point and that he is not claiming that he is disputing sexual orientation or gender.

        • augustine says

          The idea that scientific discourse and political argumentation should be surgically partitioned is absurd. Had the author taken the pains to expunge all traces of ideological bent from this piece, would it have been of greater service to the reader? He did not claim to be presenting a scientific paper here. It takes a subjective viewpoint to deliver anything meaningful. And no, that is not science, but science qua science is not meaningful. Its pursuit and application have meaning for the people involved, but there is no inherent value in abstract knowledge that is void of context. Perfectly neutral writing, which you seem to be advocating, is sterile and unhelpful to those who, by imagination or in reality, have a stake in life.

    • Indeed! The author undermines his valid point about sex dualism by ranting against religion first. It sounds like he needs all the goodwill and support he can get, and not just from atheists.

  11. This is one of those articles in Quillette that’s probably not going to get the attention it deserves but it’s also one of the most important because it goes toward the heart of the problem with the progressive-left, and that is its core dogma -– its foundational philosophy of the “blank slate.” It is at this point of contact –- at its mushy, science-free core –- that it is most vulnerable, and, ultimately, most susceptible to defeat. If you want to kill off the modern far left, or at least profoundly weaken it, it is at this soft underbelly of wishful thinking that you need to most energetically direct your attack, i.e., at its quasi-religious faith that all of us, including all groups, emerge from the womb with the same innate capabilities and characteristics, and therefore any differences in life outcomes must necessarily be explained by oppressive social forces like racism and sexism. The progressive-left has built itself on this foundation, but it is becoming increasingly clear that that foundation has very little scientific support.

    Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve started paying less attention to all the culture war minutia that clogs up Twitter and the blogosphere, and most of the other transitory and surface conflicts in politics. These are light skirmishes in a war of attrition, and a bad place to engage with the enemy. You’re just going to be lobbing harmless projectiles at them, easy for them to ignore as they bounce off the ideological fortress they’ve built, now sustained and protected largely by successful social media strategies of bullying and shaming, and a near-total control of the mainstream media and the humanities and social sciences in academia.

    So, why not instead engage with them by striking the very foundation upon which their whole ludicrous and destructive enterprise has been built, especially since science –- now fortified with rapidly accumulating advances in areas like molecular biology and genomics, and technologies like cutting-edge brain imaging -– is so increasingly in opposition to any notion of a “blank slate”? Well, to be frank, it’s because most people don’t have the stomach for it. To publicly express, for example, the majority view among researchers in human cognition that genes explain the majority of the wide deficits in IQ between races, is to touch the ultimate “third rail” in American life. You go into these discussions at your own peril, and it doesn’t matter if the best science is on your side. No one likes being called a racist or a sexist, being set upon by Twitter vigilantes, or wants to risk losing to their job.

    Let me give you a personal, if small, example. On a public Facebook group that I moderate –- which started out as a way for me to post items relating to my ideas for a less dogmatic politics (hence its name “A New Radical Centrism”), but increasingly became, as I widened my reading, a place to attack the blank slate by posting links to articles in scientific journals -– most of the personal messages I receive are from people (many of them grad students) thanking me for posting information that they had no idea actually existed, having been kept away from it not because of any scientific controversy but rather because disseminating such information is politically untenable in the current climate on US campuses. But the great majority of these same people thanking me won’t join the group officially as “members” because, I suspect, since it is a public group, they fear the potential consequences of being publicly associated with something that goes against the prevailing “right think.” Facebook Analytics tells me that for every official member of the group, there are at least twelve unique Facebook accounts (individuals) visiting the page each week. In this small and fairly indirect way, I have come to understand, as the author has, that we live in a world in which even near-consensus scientific findings will have difficulty making headway into the public consciousness as long as the modern left has so masterfully perfected the art of instilling fear in those who might seek to discuss the knowledge they have acquired.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/242266202906909/permalink/522346678232192/

    • Hajim says

      New Radical Centrism, Nice to read finally a comment that sees the big picture, the forest and not just the trees.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @A New Radical Centrism

      Just found you on facebook, this looks good.

      • Pedro S says

        @ Ray Andrews

        As a group member of A New Radical Centrism, I can confirm that it is indeed good. I’ve learned a lot from it – including about the existence of Quillette.

    • AsksTooManyQuestions says

      @a_centrism, you FB page sounds interesting. Can you make it so people, like me, who don’t have a FB account, can read it? I just get a page telling me I must be logged in to view it.

      • @ AsksTooManyQuestions

        I’m afraid that Facebook makes it impossible for anyone to see it who doesn’t have an account. If you don’t already have an account, you can always create an ‘anonymous” one under a fake name. It only takes a few minutes to set one up.

    • D-Rex says

      @-centrism

      Superb comment, one that I fully endorse. I would join your facebook group in a heartbeat but I don’t do social media. I’ve seen firsthand as a high school teacher the devastation that social media can inflict on girls in particular and i won’t go near it.
      But more power to you and I hope your efforts bear fruit.

    • Andrew Leonard says

      So, why not instead engage with them by striking the very foundation upon which their whole ludicrous and destructive enterprise has been built, especially since science […] is so increasingly in opposition to any notion of a “blank slate”?

      What if the fear of the science and its social impacts is what actually creates and drives the blank slatism? Attacking it might make it grow stronger, somewhat paradoxically.

      The other issue is that blank slatism probably draws on more fundamental ideas – like universal equality – that are so deep within the culture of the West that they may be impossible to root out.

      • Universal Equality has no limiting principles and thus no way to stop from ending in a self destructive ideological spiral. We literally just did this with “class” and communism for most of a century. Do we need to do the exact same thing substituting “race/gender” for “class”. The same arguments about how harmful acknowldging innate differences between races/genders could be could easily be made about IQ differences between classes.

        The truth is lots of unprincipled exceptions and a lack of “true belief” in universal equality kept it from going out of control. Kind of like how all sorts of exceptions and contradictions were present in Christianity for 2000 years (hint: because without them you couldn’t run a society).

        The sweet spot seems to be pretending people are equal so they feel good, but then organizing society as if they are not equal. Then everyone agrees to keep quiet about it and go along to get along. Unfortunately lots of ideological activists have free time on their hands and want to constantly point out and push on these coping mechanisms until they break and cause an ideological spiral without limits.

        • Andrew Leonard says

          @asdf

          The sweet spot seems to be pretending people are equal so they feel good, but then organizing society as if they are not equal.

          Have to say I disagree on this point. I think the pretending has ultimately caused a lot of trouble. In the aftermath of the holocaust, there was a concerted effort, going all the way to the United Nations, to pretend that all races and both sexes are intellectually equal in all respects. This was a very bureaucratic attempt to undermine racism and sexism.

          It failed. Agreeing to pretend we are all cognitively equal runs into trouble as soon as it is noticed that that equality does not extend to outcomes. The combination of pretend beliefs and unequal outcomes creates an environment in which practitioners of soft subjects like racism and sexism can thrive. Notions of systemic and unconscious biases can only soar in popularity when science backed explanations of inequality are deemed out-of-bounds.

          The great irony of all this is that the bias based explanations have generated so much animosity to certain groups, that they are now responsible for causing the very things they claim to oppose.

          • Every society has “true truth” and a “public truth”. In Japanese they even have words for these. Your correct that maintaining both of these at the same time is very difficult for a culture to do. When they fail you either get Hobbesian reality or fantasy death spiral.

          • Andrew Leonard says

            That’s interesting.
            I wonder how the true/public truth split works in the case of the IPCC?

  12. X. Citoyen says

    If you want to be a public intellectual, here’s a tip from your audience. Recognize that you have a case of the intellectual’s conceit—i.e., thinking your expertise in one domain makes you an expert in all domains—and that you must choose between sticking to your knitting and reading a book or two on subjects you presume to expound upon. You acknowledge that it took you over decade to become an expert in evolutionary biology. Yet you assumed the ten hours you spent reading Daniel Dennett and infidels.org somehow made you an expert in metaphysics, theology—both Catholic and Protestant no less, and the hundred-year history of the debate over evolution in schools.

    Steve’s advice above was right on the mark. Go read John Gray.

  13. Thomas Barnidge says

    Just another example of the full-court press that the social justice crowd demands. At one time if a person said “homosexuality is abnormal, but I believe homosexuals should have the same rights as all other individuals” would have been seen as “live and let live”. But no, one has to toe the social justice line or be damned to a secular hell.

  14. D.B. Cooper says

    Lastly, the claim that classifying people’s sex based on anatomy and genetics ‘has no basis in science’ has itself no basis in reality, as any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98 percent would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences. We revise medical care practices and change world economic plans on far lower confidence than that.

    Nailed it!

  15. Asparagus Tip says

    The genome was completely mapped in 2003 (The Genome Project). This is what it found conclusively: there are only two sexes — MALE and FEMALE — and there is NO gay gene. Anyone who says anything else is a SCIENCE DENIER.

    • Yeah. That’s 80’s and 90’s theory.

      Frankly, as threatened as hetero cultures are by the mere existence of homos, a big part of me doesn’t trust y’all “investigating” causes – for the whole history of the world heteros have been trying to eliminate homos. It wouldn’t surprise me if the research was to avoid having homo children.

      And frankly again, that would eliminate some very creative members of our culture so again, when a lobster fisherman catches a rare blue lobster he makes the news… but I don’t hear a bunch of scientists trying to “cure” it…. the antagonism may be because of the militancy of the left, which I understand, but I don’t think it would hurt to counter the prevailing right wing narrative about abnormal being negative amongst humans.

      • Well said Vicki (well except the casual use of the term “homo” which comes off a bit caustic)

      • Damon says

        This is true, as far as it goes – there in no gene labelled ‘gay’. But the issue is far from settled. Relevant studies have not been done. Many homosexual men have children, and it would not be difficult to do family studies. Their complete absence is quite suggestive. We readily accept that genes influence susceptibility to disease, but the idea that they might influence behaviour is completely anathema.

    • D-Rex says

      There may well not be a Gay gene but it’s more complex than that. See Debra Soh’s interview with Joe Rogan for some interesting insight into the formation of gays and transgender people.

        • D-Rex says

          @ Heike
          Apologies, you are correct and I was just being lazy. Thank you for providing the link.
          BTW, Rogan’s interview with Soh became quite annoying as he kept talking and barely gave her a chance to have her say and what she had to say was fascinating.

    • The idea that gender is a social construct without a biological foundation is science denial against strong evidence from biology, medicine and psychology. It is not settled whether homosexuality has a genetic or non genetic cause of causes. It would be surprising if there was not some genetic factor.

  16. I have always found the left’s use in politics of (neo-)Darwinian evolution as sort of shibboleth somewhat amusing. Republican politicians are asked if they “believe in evolution” — they should all learn the reply “Yes, allele frequencies change over time, next question…” — but Democrats never are.

    This is actually strange, because as bears on public policy, the opposition between Darwin and Genesis is actually less stark than the opposition between Darwin and Rousseau. Sound policies for a society of hairless apes who are capable of raising Gothic cathedrals, formulating quantum mechanics and conceiving of universal rights are very similar to sound policies for a society of fallen lynch-pins between the spiritual and material realms bearing a marred image of their Creator, while sound polices for a society of socially conditioned and conditionable blank slates are very different.

    • Brian Villanueva says

      @DNY: “the opposition between Darwin and Genesis is actually less stark than the opposition between Darwin and Rousseau”

      I’m using that one somewhere at some point. Absolutely true, and no one ever talks about it.

  17. Ray Andrews says

    “scientists demonstrated in court that Intelligent Design was nothing more than Biblical Creationism gussied up in scientific-sounding prose”

    They succeeded in convincing the Judge of that, but it was a slander just the same, actually a very seedy example of guilt by association. I’m an ID proponent but I’m sure no Creationist. Notwithstanding that some Creationists do peddle themselves as IDers — and I suppose very technically they are — the converse does not hold. One can be persuaded by the arguments of the IDers without being a Creationist.

    • D-Rex says

      Interesting point Ray. I used to be a recent earth creationist but then went to uni and discovered a whole new world (there’s a song in there somewhere) that I’ve spent the last 30 years exploring. I believe in evolution but haven’t lost my faith and still think God created the universe, maybe through the big bang but whatever. I teach both evolution from a macro or big picture sense and senior Biology. I had a look at ID a few years ago but found it unconvincing at the time and ignored it, although I still use some of their graphics on protein synthesis. Recently I’ve seen a number of animations of molecular biology that have significant implications for current evolutionary dogma and are pointing me once again in the ID direction, at least in some capacity.
      It’s not an either or question for me but a matter of fine tuning as far as evolution is concerned, the journey continues.

          • BLITZKING says

            So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. And you believe I am being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

      • BLITZKING says

        “I used to be a recent earth creationist but then went to uni and discovered a whole new world (there’s a song in there somewhere) that I’ve spent the last 30 years exploring.”

        THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING!
        BY JIM THINNSEN

        “Evolution” “Predicts” EVERYTHING

        So they have ALL THE BASES COVERED!!!!

        1 Instant “Evolution” (One Generation) Hopeful Monsters / SALTATION

        2 Fast “Evolution” PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM

        3 Slow ..Plodding Methodological “Evolution” DARWINIAN MODEL

        4 Non Existent “Evolution” 500 MYO LIVING FOSSILS

        So evolution happens….

        INSTANTLY

        QUICKLY

        SLOWLY

        NEVER

        The predictive power of “Evolution” is sure amazing isnt it? LOL

        “It is impossible bu micro-mutation to form any new species”

        Richard Goldschmidt

        EVOLUTIONARY SCIENTIST AND INVENTOR OF HOPEFUL MONSTERS

        “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”

        Richard Dawkins

        http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

      • BLITZKING says

        “It’s not an either or question for me but a matter of fine tuning as far as evolution is concerned, the journey continues”

        I guess we get to play the dishonest Darwinian (Not your fault) game of semantics…. Before we continue… Please clarify what is meant SPECIFICALLY when you use the duplicitous and purposely vague term “Evolution”.. (again, I dont blame you) DO YOU MEAN.. Variation, Adaptation, Speciation or ….De-volution?.. i.e. ..Finches beaks, Cave fish going blind, Moth colors, Weak bacteria lacking enzymes targeted by antibiotics, Dog ears, Mutated fruit flies with 2 WORTHLESS extra wings, Bear coats, Dog Ears and Squirrel tails? OR DO YOU MEAN Slow Microbe to Microbiologist (UCA for all flora and fauna)

        We have been lied to.. The emperor has no clothes,

        BY THE WAY..

        ARENT YOU AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT CURIOUS AS TO WHY NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO ANSWER MY QUESTION ASKING FOR A PLAUSIBLE EVOLUTIONARY ORDER OF THE 10 VITAL ORGANS FROM MICROBE TO MICROBIOLOGIST THAT PASSES THE LAUGH TEST????
        RIP DARWINISM 1851 – 2017 (BY JIM THINNSEN)
        >
        > MY QUESTION HERE PUTS THE KNIFE INTO THE HEART OF THE DYING DOG OF DARWIN..
        > .
        > I have a REASONABLE question that I would like answered if you wish ANYONE to take Evolution seriously..
        > .
        > Man has 10 INTERDEPENDENT VITAL Organs and support systems. FACT
        > .
        > Man NEEDS all 10 of his VITAL Organs or he dies. FACT
        > .
        > Either those 10 VITAL Organs came together ALL AT ONCE .. OR… they Evolved separately.. FACT
        > .
        > If they “Evolved” Separately, they must have had an order of Evolution from 1 through 10..FACT
        > .
        > For “Evolution” to be even considered to qualify as a hypothetical hypothesis There MUST BE a PLAUSIBLE or FEASABLE Explanation as to an evolutionary ORDER that would be possible.
        > For Example.. What Vital organ comes First? Second? Third? Man is Irreducibly Complex (BY DEFINITION)
        > .
        > Stomach? Skin? Heart? Lungs? Brain? Upper Intestine? Liver? Lower Intestine? Pancreas? Kidneys? Remove just ONE and Man Dies.. And Bye Bye Evolution.
        > .
        > So which one do we start with..? Here, let me help you out.. 1 Skin? 2 Stomach? 3 Brain? 4 Heart? You see… Whatever way you start you cause more problems for the myth.. Because ALL 10 NEED TO BE THERE.. TOGETHER, WORKING IN TANDEM, AT THE SAME TIME.. (Please provide an order that passes the laugh test!)
        > .
        > Atheists like to point out Lungfish or Nematodes that don’t have all ten organs as if that helps their case. IT DOES NOT… Lungfish and Nematodes are ALSO IRREDUCIBLY COMPLEX!!! So unless you can show a FEASIBLE OR PLAUSIBLE Pathway for them to turn into a Human, they are a NON SEQUITUR…
        > .
        > THEREFORE
        > .
        > If UCA for all flora and fauna were to somehow be true, and If we slowly go back in time, Our “Ancestor(s)” would, at some point, have 9 Interdependent vital organs, then 8, then 7, then 6 5 4 3 2…
        > .
        > THE MATH IS NOT HARD HERE!.
        > .
        > Allow me to give you a BIG head start.. I will allow you to start out with Abiogenesis (Quite generous don’t you think?) AND a bag of skin…. Now you have 1 billion years to turn it into a Man… What are the next “Steps” in the Evolutionary ladder? Come on.. Just give me something!!! Let us analyze it together using logic and critical thinking…. You guys are starting to make me think this really isn’t about “Science” Anymore, Rather a Religious belief in godless Metaphysical Naturalism,..
        > .
        > A Microbe has ZERO interdependent interlocked VITAL Organs and their support systems. A Microbiologist has TEN interdependent. interlocked. VITAL Organs and their support systems.
        > .
        > 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 THE MATH IS SIMPLE HERE. Please Provide an Order for VITAL Organs for Microbe to Microbiologist from 1 through 10 that passes the LAUGH TEST!!)

        > On the billion year journey from Organless Microbes to Organ Dependent (10!) Microbiologists there had to be an ORDER (Unless you believe that ALL TEN “Evolved” at the EXACT SAME MOMENT) AKA Creationism.. STOMACH- SKIN- HEART- LUNGS- BRAIN- UPPER / LOWER INTESTINE LIVER PANCREAS – KIDNEYS
        > .
        > The inability to answer this simple question is what reduces the Microbes to Microbiologists fairytale to the joke that it is…
        > .
        > THE PROBLEM IS.. All of the Observable Creatures that we see are fully formed, complete, and complex that merely Vary or Adapt…. For example.. there are 5000 “Species” of Ladybugs. 2000 “Species” of Cichlids” 9000 “Species” of Birds, 6000 “Species” of Lizards..Where is the Evolution? Nowhere…(I could go on all day) But here is the catch… By going back into the Nebulousphere of “Long ago and far away” they are trying to use slow minute changes to account for a Microbe turning into a Microbiologist.. What good is a barely or partially formed VITAL organ?? My thesis here puts everything in perspective… As of now.. NO ONE has even TRIED to answer It
        Show less

      • BLITZKING says

        FREE WILL AND SCIENTIFIC LAWS
        By Jim Thinnsen

        I am sure that God knew the consequences of giving his created beings FREE WILL..

        But, without free will, there is no choice, even humans know that Forced Love is Meaningless Love.. God desires a relationship with us in Spirit and in Truth based on us choosing to do so..

        Atheists have obviously decided to say no.. That is why they have such a powerful emotional attachment to the fairytale of “Evolution”.. Deep down inside, they (And everyone else) know that God Exists.. They know that all of us here are not due to an accidental fortuitous coincidence of chemicals that miraculously came together when nothing / small dot suddenly expanded for no reason..

        Atheists pretend that by trying to convince themselves that, in spite of the pure preposterousness of it all, that they can somehow still believe it because several “Scientists” and many other like minded people who have entered into a neurotic agreement and happen to control the POPULAR message due to intellectual Fascism, can allow them to lead their life without having to concern themselves with bothersome inconveniences like accountability, moral mandates of Christ, behaviour toward yourself and others, and other unwanted restrictions on one’s life..

        This whole fairytale of Metaphysical Naturalism (Big Bang / Abiogenesis / UCA ) has nothing to do with Science.. And never did.. REAL Scientific Rigor doesnt require “Mulligans” to help their hypotheses along.. Ignoring Scientific Laws and principles like these ONLY for Philosophical Reasons is NOT SCIENTIFIC..

        Law of Cause and Effect, You have to violate this AT LEAST ONCE!

        Law of Biogenesis, You have to violate this AT LEAST ONCE!

        LAW of “No Free Lunch” FLOT You have to violate this AT LEAST ONCE

        Law of Entropy/ Disorder NOT Order SLOT. Must be CONTINUALLY VIOLATED

        Information Science..Sender / Receiver of Info ALWAYS requires a Mental Source! VIOLATED

        This is not about science and truth.. And it never has been.. It is about the IMPLICATIONS of it..

        Richard Dawkins summed it up perfectly..

        “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”

        As did the Bible itself 2000 years ago..

        “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy

        “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 2 Peter

      • BLITZKING says

        WHO REALLY BELIEVES IN MAGIC

        By Jim Thinnsen

        I thought it might be a good idea to set the record straight on who REALLY believes in “Magic”..

        Creationists believe that an Supernatural Intelligence Agent (God), Who lives outside the realm of Time / Matter / Space That HE Created was the causation for all of the wonderment, order, design and complexity we see in the world / universe today..

        Atheists have written the book on magic.. What must be considered Hypocrisy on Steroids..

        It goes something like this..

        In the beginning, NOTHING (Or a minuscule dot) Exploded (Or suddenly “Expanded) and created all of the matter in the known universe.. no “Magic” needed LOL..

        THEN, self replicating DNA molecules, encoded with millions of base pairs with specified / irreducibly complexity were able to mindlessly create themselves out of Dirt, Air, Heat and Random Chemicals… when Man, with all of his knowledge, technology, resources, and the ability to artificially control atmospheric and chemical conditions CANT EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE how to create DNA,!!!! No “Magic” there ..LOL

        Or the fact that Man’s (Or his “Ancestor(s)) 10 Vital interdependent organs and their support systems have to ALL be working together in tandem or we DIE and GO EXTINCT.. Which was the “Order” for their “Evolution”? Stomach first? Brain second? Lungs third? Or did they all “Evolve” TOGETHER?? No “Magic” Required” LOL

        Oh.. How about the chicken or Egg,?? Which came first? Oh, The Egg?? OK, Just how did all of those genetic blueprints / Specified DNA for that “Proto” Chicken (Or it’s FIRST “Egg Laying” Ancestor) GET INSIDE THAT EGG?? WHO OR WHAT PUT IT THERE???? No.. No magic Needed huh??

        Or

        How about 100 MYO Dinosaur Red Blood Cells, Soft Tissue, and DNA fragments being able to last 100,000,000 Years WITHOUT BIODEGRADING COMPLETELY IN 100,000 YEARS!!!! Noo… No Magic required there….

        Or

        How about the European Green woodpecker that has a tongue that wraps around the back of its head, over the top of its brain and through its right nostril, We OBSERVE that WITHOUT that special tongue, The bird CANT EAT and DIES,,,, How did that tongue “Evolve” over millions of years? Nice MagicTrick HUH??

        Or

        The hummingbird has wings that flap at up to 100 times per second so it can hover at eat. Without those special wings, It CANT EAT and DIES, According to the Mindless MYO mud to Man Myth, That hummingbird supposedly evolved over 20 million years from a Tree Swift (Common glider) Who has enough Imagination to believe THAT level of Magic???

        Or

        How did the Bombardier Beetle manage to somehow “Evolve” the Explosive chemicals, inhibitor, enzymes, glands, combustion tubes, sensory communication, muscles to direct the combustion tubes and reflex nervous systems AT THE SAME TIME in order to be able to perfectly control his defense system YET not blow himself up? No”Magic” Necessary right? LOL

        Or

        During the course of “500 Million Years” While Living in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish… Incredible!!! Of course no magic was necessary..

        I could go on and on about “Magic” but I hope you get the idea..

        I suggest you Atheists / Accidentalists take another look at your hypothetical hypothesis of Mindless MYO Mud to Man Myth

        We have been brainwashed and indoctrinated into believing a Lie that has ZERO Scientific Evidence to support it..

        I believe that people have an emotional attachment to an A Priori assumption that “Evolution” is true.. Not because it is part of science (Which it is NOT) but because…

        “Evolution made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”
        Richard Dawkins

        http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

  18. Conner M. Steacy says

    I know it’s easy for us non academics to chime in and say “never apologize”. We’ve seen the results with Bret Weinstein, Heather Heyer and Michael Rectenwald. But, as well, we’ve seen the meteoric rise of Jordan Peterson. Admittedly Peterson had to, more or less, abandon his academic life at U of T.

    Again, with a full understanding of the ramifications for you personally and professionally, we need a ground swell of academics to say enough is enough. I believe once a critical mass is achieved the power of the anti science mob will no longer hold sway. It will be their tenures that will be subject to scrutiny, not for their positions on science but for their lack of evidence to support it.

    I do what I can. I challenge these narratives with whomever would listen, write comments and post answers on Quora and other social media. I lose “friends” along the way. Luckily my job that I love is, for the most part, immune to such inanity. My livelihood is, and will be, intact.

  19. Reluctant reactionary says

    Some good comments here on the main game versus distractions and fighting points. Transgender issues are amusing (or more often sad) mostly internal fights amongst the enemy. they expose the hypocrisy between identity as an automatic cause of irredeemable oppression hierarchies and the same people who also argue for blank state. I would argue that extreme outlier variability is a evolutionary norm if not requirement and I am happy to include a genetic or environmentally caused confused 0.02% in the long tails of a clear bi modal distribution. The main game, as the article sets out is human biological & social evolution, day to day fashion aside (maybe), the latter being entirely caused by the former. The social interaction differences between us and our primate and even mammalian cousins are very small but they are also everything and still biological. Baboons, chimps, orangs, elephants, mere cats, and dumb old wilderbeast all have their own different social structures . The difference is that our evolutionary strategy is to be adaptable & eclectic above all others and we can live like all those creatures and change from one social structure to another overnight. We can do this because we are bipedal, dexterous, omnivores, who can communicate complex ideas, travel huge distances, and exist in nearly every environment on earth. We can do this alone, in small groups or in great mega cities. We have evolved to do this (pity our small blue planet). Problem is that this includes the evolved ability to think beyond our needs and its a bastard to understand we are both mere lumps of flesh who need to eat, shit, have sex and then die and at the same time we can invent the wheel and study the origins of the universe. Religion (including blank statism) is just a perverse human add on to our eclectic social structure management regime which soothes this horrific contradiction in our minds. Our basic biological social imperatives are also contradictory. Democracy and “rights” both represent the need for the individual and society to thrive but are a threat to the more “natural” social hierarchies of the rule of the strong which allowed the tribe to thrive (up to a point.) Luckily not only has nature given us the ability to think we have a cumulative memory of those who came before us and some of us understand that in order to rise to the “better angels of our nature” we need to know what that nature is without shame or delusion.

  20. Farris says

    If the is a third or even more sex, shouldn’t there be a gene which identifies it?

    If a gene ever existed for a third or more sex wouldn’t natural selection have removed it from the population as those possessing this gene would be less likely to procreate?

  21. Dellingdog says

    This is a tremendous article. However, I wish more commenters would follow the author’s advice:

    “It is undoubtedly true that trans people lead very difficult lives, which are only made more difficult by the bigotry of others …. We need to acknowledge that trans issues and ideology are complex, and concern one of the most marginalized communities in the world. Because of this, we must give these issues the respect they deserve by approaching them with nuance and compassion instead of crudeness and cruelty.”

    • Brian Villanueva says

      That’s a little hard to do when trans activists are screaming “TERF” and “bigot”, and demanding your employer fire you.

      I very much acknowledge the complexity of the issues. I’m not convinced that trans people do the same.

      • Have you had trans activists yell at you, screaming “TERF” and “bigot,” and demanding that you personally be fired?

        In more than twenty years in academia, it never happened to me.

      • Andrew Worth says

        I’ve never been a fan of identity politics, and see only hypocrisy in those that complain about other people using identity while building a case by using it themselves.

    • Evander says

      @Dellingdog

      I agree.

      People who claim trans-status should be treated with dignity because they’re human beings. Name-calling, stereotyping, etc. are therefore out. The problem is the conflation of humanity with ideas, so that criticism of the latter is seen as denigration of the former. But to speak of conflation as I did is already to red-flag myself, according to their view, as a transphobe.

      Solving the issue, or at least our best chance of that, depends on respectful dialogue. I don’t see how shouting ‘TERF’ is any help, nor how treating every trans-identifying person as delusional is any better.

      That said, if trans-identifying people want to be taken seriously as a group, they shouldn’t engage in illiberal modes of activism, especially not attacking scientists for dispassionately pursuing science. Doing so communicates hypocrisy: you demand openmindedness and yet refuse it to others.

      • dellingdog says

        I agree, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume that radical trans activists represent the views of most trans people. As James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose wrote in their excellent article on trans issues, “Reasonable people manage to be critical of intersectional feminism … without being hostile to women and of critical race theory without antagonism towards non-white people. It may seem as though the Venn diagram which would show trans people and trans activists is almost a single circle but this is largely wrong because most trans people aren’t activists. They simply want to identify as their gender and not draw attention to the fact that it is also trans.”

        https://areomagazine.com/2017/09/27/an-argument-for-a-liberal-and-rational-approach-to-transgender-rights-and-inclusion/

        • Peter from Oz says

          Dd
          I think most people are tolerant of the average trans person. But on these boards when we use the word “trans” in a negative way we are referring to the activists, who are an evil bunch of thugs.

  22. LAURIE LYON says

    Colin Wright, I’m curious what you think about Dr. Debra Soh, who is a sexologist and claims that transgenderism is real just in very small numbers. I think it is somewhere in the vicinity of 1 in 4500 births. Something to do with brain matter corresponding to how they claim they feel that they are in the wrong sexed body. The rest of what you describe sounds like she would agree with. Whatever the case may be even if there is some validity to what transgenders claim I do not think it means what even sexologists or biological scientists who may be on the same page as the transgenderists claim is what they say it is. I think something else is going on and we haven’t figured it out yet. Not transgender. I don’t think their is any such thing as this idea of trans.

    • Well research if there is still a decent gay bar in America. You’ll meet some transsexuals.

      Then start a podcast and call up Chaz Bono. Or Caitlyn Jenner.

      Or just keep judging their validity without any interactions.

      Caitlyn was pretty old and had caught the admiration and imagination of every boy on my street as Bruce at the Olympics. Peculiar choice at her age on a lark.

  23. Forrest says

    Well if narrowly argued, and by being narrow Wright suggests more problems than he solves. Let’s begin with what seems, to me, to be tenable in his arguments:

    * I agree that an absolutist belief in the blank slate is illogical and utterly dismissible.
    * I agree that a position stating “sex does not exist” is prima facie idiotic, unless we’re going to start down a road of theoretical physics or metaphysics to construct an argument that “nothing exists,” which is am imbecilic exercise that has nothing to do with this conversation.

    To the degree that *some* limited number of academics want to die on the molehill of the blank slate, we should be wary of those individuals and those arguments. Let’s not, however, make a mountain of it.

    Wright makes an excellent statement here:

    “We need to acknowledge that trans issues and ideology are complex, and concern one of the most marginalized communities in the world. Because of this, we must give these issues the respect they deserve by approaching them with nuance and compassion instead of crudeness and cruelty.”

    And then more than a few commenters here went right on to crudeness and cruelty. You know who you are.

    Let’s be clear: Evolutionary biology is a shitty place from which to make appeals about ethical or philosophical possibilities in the human condition. It is helpful to know where we’ve come from, evolutionarily speaking, but it is a retrograde and terrible thing to state that evolutionary biology has anything to say about what is possible, or what is right or wrong, in humanity’s future, or for the lives of individuals and communities right now.

    Any argument for an ethics from “naturalism” is on corrupt, sad, bigoted ground from the get-go, and it’s sad to see some of the comments in response to this article reach for such a shameful position.

    One commenter writes, “[What] are called transgender people are simply delusional. Maybe perfectly nice people otherwise, but delusional. There are two sexes, male and female.”

    Another responds, “Trans people are delusional. I’ll say it sitting or standing.”

    How much you sound like the bigots of any other era, talking about any other creed or color. Most trans people know very much their predicament, and there’s no delusion about it. They err if they think there’s no such thing as biological sex, but they’re on perfectly solid ground to state, for themselves, that their internal reality does not match the exterior. So long as they can contribute to society, feed themselves, and participate in their communities, a trans drag queen is no more insane than a drag racer, who must imagine his body is made of titanium or his life extremely cheap. In fact, I’d argue it’s the drag racer who’s on shakier ground.

    First, let’s not give evolutionary biology more due than it deserves. We are not blank slates, but we are cognitively flexible creatures. Lévi-Strauss went looking for similarities, and he found them, but if you think we’re all the same, by all means go say hi to the Sentinelese. Our cultures mold us, and they change at lightning speed compared to evolution by natural selection. Ask a Parisian how much they’re like a native of Alabama and see what answers you get. Our social structures matter a lot, at least as much as our biology, and some of those structures are much freer in interpreting sexuality than others.

    Second, if ever there was a creature which might escape its evolutionary heritage, humans are it. We have shown, more than any other being, an ability to imagine a different reality and to make it so. If trans people are delusional, so is anyone who drives a car. We evolved to walk on two legs, didn’t we? How unnatural to drive a car! Perhaps we should put anyone who flies an airplane into a mental institution? How dare they break the natural order of evolution! Let us take the medicines from anyone dying of any disease—after all, dying of diseases is what fucking evolutionary biology wants us to do.

    We. Are. Not. Our. Biology. Not entirely.

    Have some bigger minds, people. And have some bigger hearts.

    • @Forest – Impressive and a lot to unpack though I am not sure I agree with every word….simply the most impressive and nuanced of the comments one may read on the subject…

    • X. Citoyen says

      It’s funny you should say that arguments from “naturalism” are “corrupt, sad, bigoted” and “shameful.” Back in the late 80s and early 90s, good liberals took the same line in defending homosexuality. They invoked the naturalistic fallacy so often it became a cliche. Only primitive rubes thought that you could infer norms from nature!

      Then in the late 90s and into the 00s, some findings came out suggesting that there was a biological basis for homosexuality. Suddenly, the naturalistic fallacy disappeared and the argument for homosexuality was that it was natural—people are just wired that way. Only primitive rubes would expect people to go against nature!

      Now, I don’t care much about this debate. But you’ve suggested that the liberals’ main justification for the social acceptance of gay and lesbian people—i.e., that it’s natural—is “corrupt, sad, bigoted.”

      • Which is why I thought arguing for the acceptance of homosexuality based on genetics was a bad idea then too.

        That was just a convenient tool, and convenient tools often aren’t the best over time.

        • X. Citoyen says

          First, I’m not sure whether you meant it was the wrong tool or whether you meant that using tools is unprincipled. In either case, you’re implying that people who defend homosexuality using naturalism are bad people.

          Second, aspersing others for their want of charity is not the virtue of charity; it’s the vice of self-righteousness, or what the kids call virtue-signalling. You’re not helping anyone but yourself.

    • >> a retrograde and terrible thing to state that evolutionary biology has anything to say about what is possible

      But it has much to say about what is impossible. We have an underlying genome with which culture cannot work at orthogonal purposes. A cultural trend banning ingestion of all liquids will be finished within a cpl days. Most ridiculous popular culture takes months to evaporate. Some such culture might take years, but often we can reasonably predict the outcome. I predict that this trans-culture will collide with reality within a cpl of years – but collide with reality it eventually will.

      (“retrograde” and “terrible” are rather value-ridden in a rational discussion, don’t you think?)

      • You write, “I predict that this trans-culture will collide with reality within a cpl of years – but collide with reality it eventually will.”

        I’m not at all convinced that it will, but only time could tell that. Anyone who denies evolutionary biology, or biological sex, is in for a rude awakening—I agree with you there—but the phenomenon of trans-ness, or the idea of changing sex, isn’t going anywhere. Hell, check back in fifty years or so, and I’ll bet the sex-change technology will be vastly ahead of where it is today. Implantable 3D-printed organs are approached FDA-approved primetime, and the coming decades are going to make that seem like a tiny afterthought. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that 3D-printed wombs could be a thing, and that’s just one angle of one aspect of one particular developing technology.

        The trans phenomenon is essentially about individuals’ sexuality and their freedom in their expression of self, which one would think rational liberalism would defend. Also, comparing sexual expression to a “cultural trend banning ingestion of all liquids” is a little disingenuous, don’t you think? A little bit apples vs. toupees?

        As far as “retrograde and terrible,” I stand by those; they’re not irrational at all. Adopting a position which rests on evolutionary determinism, which some commenters here seem to support, is unethical in the extreme; i.e., retrograde and terrible. A rationalism without an ethical basis is irrational indeed, because without it we fall back into that proverbial Hobbesian state of nature or find ourselves under boot of tyrants, every time.

        “But it has much to say about what is impossible,” you write. Well, time will tell.

        They told the Wright brothers that they’d never fly.

        • D-Rex says

          “Implantable 3D-printed organs are approached FDA-approved primetime, and the coming decades are going to make that seem like a tiny afterthought. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that 3D-printed wombs could be a thing,”

          Seriously? If you believe that, you don’t know anything about biology. You can’t 3D print cells, you can only 3D print a scaffold for the cells to bind to and actual organs are a LONG way off. Something as complex as a womb? Pfffft!

    • Damon says

      ” if ever there was a creature which might escape its evolutionary heritage, humans are it”. A fatuous argument. We drive cars. Birds use tools. You think they have broken the natural order of evolution?

    • Declan says

      That’s a very welcome comment Forrest. Some of the cruder utterances really bring down the quality of the comments section here on Quillette. They add nothing to any debate and are just needlessly cruel.

    • Andrew Worth says

      Excellent comment Forrest, I disagree on only one point, human behaviour is confined by our evolutionary instinctive boundaries just like any other animal, our boundaries are wider because our brains are larger (the least sentient animals more restricted by their smaller range of instinctive behavior) and our range of instinct consistent behavior comparatively vast.

    • Peter from Oz says

      And yet …
      We seem to want to let the tail wag tg dog on so many issues these days. Do we really have to change all our thinking on sex because a few people believe their sex doesn’t match their “gender”? We surely can accept the outliers without the need for any adjustment by the rest in terms of social practice or customs.
      The fact that people obtain power by being prejudiced against the norms is an insidious poison that must be broken. No one should be punished for making a statement that offends or is incorrect. Punishment should be reserved for the self righteous, power-hungry ideologues who seek to punish others.
      We need to get a few lefties sacked and sent to Coventry for making left wing remarks. Then we might see them understand what havoc they have caused to civilised discourse.

  24. It’s the French Revolution: “Denounce the criminals, a double reward awaits you: the voice of your conscience, for denunciation is a virtue; and a legitimate reward.” -Commission Temporaire, 1793

    My hobby: Attend a meeting of revolutionaries. Sit in the front row. Gently offer “I’m a free thinker”, for example, enough to identify you as an alien. Then fall silent.Your presence will disrupt the meeting, and if you’re lucky somebody will denounce you for taking notes and demand that you leave. Be a polite pest, and leave.

    Not to worry. Those vast majority of “whisperers” will prevail.

  25. “[S]ocial justice activists appear completely unwilling or unable to distinguish between people who criticize their ideology and people who criticize their humanity.”

    And that, my friend, is about the most succinct statement of the problem of the postmodern left that I’ve seen. For the postmodern left, their ideology is 100% a function of their humanity, that is to say the particular subset of humanity with which they identify. There is nothing else, their identity commands a certain set of beliefs; anyone with the same identity and other beliefs is just a self-hating victim of internalized oppression. So if you criticize those beliefs, then you are criticizing their humanity. There’s no difference.

    I don’t think it will stop until we do away with diversity admissions. Diversity admissions means that everyone on campus who is not a “cisgender straight white male” believes that were it not for their identity they would not be there, and the rationale for diversity admissions (diverse perspectives make for a better educational experience) commands that they justify their presence by faithfully representing that identity. Combine that with cultural Marxism and identity politics more broadly, and you end up with a group of people for whom ideology and identity are one and the same.

  26. Farris says

    Referring to trans persons as delusional is not particularly helpful in advancing a dialogue. Likewise labeling the mere mention that there is no genetic or evolutionary basis for transgenderism as “bigoted” confirms the point of the article. Everyone crafts their own persona. To the extent society should accommodate those who long to be more or different from their apparent genetic make is a separate question from the subject of the article.

    • Morgan Foster says

      “Referring to trans persons as delusional is not particularly helpful in advancing a dialogue.”

      It is if one takes the position that trans people are delusional.

      • Andrew Worth says

        Perhaps you’re confused by the expression “advancing dialogue”.

        • Morgan Foster says

          Andrew Worth:

          If directed to Farris, you’re right.

          If directed to me, you’re wrong. Silencing oneself does not advance a dialogue. Quite the opposite.

          • Andrew Worth says

            If all you’ve got to contribute is name calling you’re not even part of the dialogue.

  27. If a child suddenly claims they are Spider-Man, are they Spider-man?

    If a female suddenly claims they are a male, are they male?

    Either the truth in both cases is independent of the claimants claims or it is not.

    Humanities departments seem to be breeding science denialism.

  28. Andrew Leonard says

    Despite there being zero evidence in favor of Blank Slate psychology, and a mountain of evidence to the contrary, this belief has entrenched itself within the walls of many university humanities departments where it is often taught as fact. Now, armed with what they perceive to be an indisputable truth questioned only by sexist bigots, they respond with well-practiced outrage to alternative views.

    The lack of evidence would suggest that Blank Slatism is a subjective belief, because there is no other form of belief. However, I think there is a third variety – the pragmatic belief. A pragmatic belief is held and promoted for its effects, as compared to the objective alternative, rather than its truth. In this case, the thinking is something like:

    We believe in Blank Slate psychology because to believe in any form of genetic determinism, even partial, would result in society doing really bad things, with genetic determinism serving as the justification.

    Similarly;

    We believe that all races have exactly identical IQ distributions, because to believe otherwise would inevitably result in racial genocide, with the statistics and related science serving as the justification.

    So what I think is happening is that activists and their numerous sympathizers, in general think like this:

    1. Consider the scientific consensus within a given field that concerns itself with human nature
    2. Next consider how that consensus could be used to justify anti-social political ideals and policies
    3. If the absolute public value of the scientific knowledge is lower than the politically related threat the science could support, regard the scientific consensus as false, and the people promoting and funding it, as bad people who must be punished and silenced
    4. Proceed to believe in and proudly support whatever most undermines the political power of the rejected consensus, regardless of a complete lack of supporting evidence

    I reckon if you were to put the above scenario to one of the blank slate activists, the result would be quite revealing.

    • rickoxo says

      I love the idea of pragmatic belief, especially if you include choosing a belief because of the political power or advantage it provides.

      But I’m skeptical about the idea of a cabal of transgender activists who voted at a secret meeting to adopt the platform that biological gender is a social construct.

      I would argue that beliefs and theories go through a form of natural selection as well, and the theories and ideas that have the most explanatory power, organizational power, political power, social media trendingness or some combination of these end up getting “selected”.

      Someone earlier talked about transgenderism bumping into reality at some point. For me I see that as the environmental pressures increasing/changing, challenging the fitness of the idea and forcing it to respond to new challenges. I think two specific challenges will spell the eventual extinction (or at least radical curtailment) of this way of thinking:

      1. When the first transitioned male wins a major women’s sporting event (or takes a scholarship to an elite university) and someone sues the event and the courts have to weigh in.

      2. The second will be the conflict between sides arguing that biological sex is a social construct and can be selected but racial identity is a biological reality, not socially constructed and cannot be chosen. I cannot for the life of me see how anyone will come up with a way that both of those can be true at the same time.

      In both cases, I think the pragmatic component of the arguments, primarily about the money and advantage provided by the relative designations, will be the driving force leading to the conflict.

      • Andrew Leonard says

        @rickoxo

        I like!

        But I’m sceptical about the idea of a cabal of transgender activists who voted at a secret meeting to adopt the platform that biological gender is a social construct.

        ‘We believe …’ is not meant to suggest collusion, just a common position.

        I would argue that beliefs and theories go through a form of natural selection as well, and the theories and ideas that have the most explanatory power, organizational power, political power, social media trendingness or some combination of these end up getting “selected”.

        Perhaps we could say that beliefs must fulfil multiple criteria, to some degree. However, in a modern society with a strong science culture, the main criterion is fidelity to the truth, but there are others.

        Interestingly, blank slatism seems to promote the minor criteria above truth. Is this a throwback to earlier eras, when other criteria like those you mention, were often more important than truth? What would that suggest?

        • Peter from Oz says

          Andrew
          As someone pointed out above, the left (for want of a better term) has always been very ambivalent about science. To them truth is politics. If the science can be made to suit their agenda, then the left will happily push the idea that scientific knowledge is paramount. However, if the science doesn’t suit them, they will dismiss it more quickly than any Christian fundamentalist on the basis of “fairness” or some other moral factor.
          The truth of course is that in both cases the left is making a moral argument, but it is a moral argument designed to provide more power to those who make it.
          The question isn’t really one of science so much as how we make use of scientific knowledge. The fact is that over the centuries science has been wrong on many occasions.moral arguments cannot always wait for science to catch up.
          It’s interesting that the author made a caregorical error by stating that scientists took intelligent design and proved it wrong in the courts. Of course they didn’t. Their lawyers actually did the proving. The human race long ago realised that decision making needs more than scientific knowledge, it also needs logic and a broad moral understanding. That is how the law developed. Scientists are expert witnesses, but cannot be allowed to be finders of fact in a legal sense.

    • Scotto says

      Spot on…self-delusion is nothing new, but in our age of tolerance we’ve now reached the point where it is intolerant to disagree with self-evident delusion.

      • Morgan Foster says

        It simply isn’t possible to find a euphemism for delusion that will not trigger a social justice warrior.

        It then becomes impossible to discuss the very idea of delusion at all.

        • Andrew Worth says

          Morgan Foster I assume your rationalization for calling trans people delusional is because their inside gender identity doesn’t match their physical identity. I asked someone earlier if, in their opinion, a person born of one race but raised in another races culture was delusional because their cultural identity was different from their physical racial identity. I’ve had no reply, perhaps you could give your opinion and explain it’s basis.

          • Morgan Foster says

            @Andrew Worth

            There is a reason why, in my original comment, I said “one”, instead of “I”.

            I may or I may not personally believe that trans persons are delusional, but the reason for my original comment was to protest the idea that someone, anyone, should be discouraged from saying they believe trans people are delusional for the purpose of discussion.

            Why else, does Quillete exist, other than to allow discussion that is not permitted elsewhere? Using words and concepts that are not permitted elsewhere?

            “One” is free to argue that trans people are not delusional as part of a dialogue. Surely others may be allowed to disagree within that same dialogue.

            Your question about race and cultural identity is interesting, but, I think, an imperfect analogy. I try to avoid them. Analogy leads to counter-analogy.

          • Peter from Oz says

            Andrew
            The Duke of Wellington, when asked if he was Irish as a result of being born in Ireland retorted: that is like saying that because I was born in a stable I am a horse.
            Culture, unlike sex, is not immutable. A trans person born male may wish to take on the cultural aspect of being a woman. That is not the delusion. The delusion is believing that the cultural aspects of being a woman (what many now call the female gender) are all there is to claiming womanhood.
            I suspect that in most situations a trans person can and should pass as the sex they want to be. But they must realise that they are “trans women” or “trans men” and that in some regards the world will have to treat them as their birth sex dictates. Medicine is a classic example. It’s no use pretending that a trans man has a prostate or that a trans woman has ovaries. Sport is another example of where we can’t acknowledge trans women to be women.
            On the lavatory and changing room issue, I am not certain. I am not offended by a trans man using the same facilities as me. If that makes him happy, I can’t see any problem. But I can see why it is different for women. They are generally weaker than men and feel more vulnerable when it comes nudity. And whereas I’m sure that most women would be quite happy to share facilities with a trans woman, they rightly are concerned that some men may disguise themselves as trans in order to get some sexual thrill by changing with the ladies. In addition there are those trans women who are lesbians. Whereas you might not worry too much sharing facilities with a female lesbian, it would be different if the lesbian was 6 feet tall and had a penis.
            There are a lot of problems to work out.
            What we mustn’t do is let activists decree what we can and can’t say on these matters.

          • Nominalist says

            “Morgan Foster I assume your rationalization for calling trans people delusional is because their inside gender identity doesn’t match their physical identity. I asked someone earlier if, in their opinion, a person born of one race but raised in another races culture was delusional because their cultural identity was different from their physical racial identity.”

            The use of “identity” in this comment is exemplary of the logical vacuity of this debate. People don’t have “inside gender identity” they have inside feelings and impulses which come and go and vary from time to time. As for the notion that each person has both a “racial identity” and a “cultural identity” but that it makes sense to speak of those two things being “different”, as if that only occasionally happens so that what one would expect to be the usual situation is that they would be the same, further illuminates the logical ambiguity of the word “identity” as it is used in these discussions. “Identity” is being used to mean “the itself-ness of the entity which denotes itself with ‘I'”, or the things – attributes or opinions – which the people to whom I have given my loyalty jointly approbate with me, or “my inside feelings which strongly move me on a fairly regular basis”, or “etc, etc, etc,”.

            Think about it: the physicists tell us that we are all just complex heaps of protons, neutrons, electrons and photons. Their names denote their genders. The only things which differentiate us are our individual space-time locations, the elaborately differentiated complex forms into which those simple objects are assembled, and the absolute numbers of said objects in each collection. Each body is made of the same “stuff” and each body is intrinsically different. Our names denote our genders. Beyond that it’s all politics.

    • 1) Economic usefulness is mostly a function of genetics, and in our modern world the rich are generally the people with better skills based on their biology.
      2) If the rich are rich because they are just better, what claim do the poor have on their productivity. Welfare is pointless. Investing resources in the poor can’t be justified based on ROI. Even eugenics makes sense if you care about long run net utilitarianism.
      3) This knowledge will obviously lead to a gilded age of massive inequality. Not to mention hurting the poor’s feelings.
      4) Any difference in wealth must come from oppression/cheating/monopoly power, etc.

      Of course this leads to the labor theory of value, marxism, and eventually an ideology that pushed half the world into darkness for most of a century. Because once you deny reality, you need some other “explanation”. That explanation will have no limiting principle that can stop it, and we’ve already ruled out scientific evidence as a curb on the ideological spiral.

      Every argument you have for denying racial/gender differences in biology already got used to deny class differences in biology. It was a disaster. If you deny the (benign, unchangeable) reality of why the world is how it is, all that is left is evil people/oppression/lack of wokeness.

    • Stoic Realist says

      @Andrew Leonard

      You make an interesting argument but prejudice the terms in your favor. Pragmatic Belief is better swapped for a Moral Assertion in this instance as it separates you from implying that there is an inherent good in the belief. It is also necessary to point out what you left out that such Moral Assertions are as capable of causing harm as the outcomes they claim to foresee that they claim to be trying to prevent.

      We must face the historical facts that such denials have ended in tragedy via their political realizations. The truth is that we must find and face the facts in order to assess how it is possible top deal with them and which option among those possibilities is preferred.

      The course you postulate creates exactly the religion based society people claim committed terrible crimes. It simply changes the name of the religion while accepting the same justification of ‘the truth is too hard for them so we must lie to them to protect them.’ It infantilizes the world and puts things back into the hands of the few, powerful elite. Everyone else being left too ignorant to contribute but asserted to be happier in their ignorance.

      • Andrew Leonard says

        @Stoic Realist

        I assumed the fear driven, fatalistic, simplistic, authoritarian and formulaic mindset I was describing was enough to implicitly separate me from it. No?

        As for ignoring the harm that pragmatic beliefs can and have had, that’s a fair enough point, but sometimes I just want to get across a single idea, and others can take it from there if they think it has merit. Not going to write a mini essay every time.

  29. Daniel says

    I remember being utterly baffled when I learned that the Romans would regularly make up a new god, build him or her a temple, and then proceed to offer sacrifices and worship, and generally to take their newly “discovered” god seriously. It’s so ridiculous, I thought. They were all there when they decided to just HAVE a new god! They know for a fact that it is a human invention. How can they delude themselves into thinking it’s real?

    Cue the bitter, mirthless laughter. Because we’re still doing that as humans. (And by “we” I mean “those shmucks on The Ugly Left”). They make some dumb nonsense up — in this case, that we are blank slates, that male and female are social constructs, and then religiously, fervently decide to enforce it as “truth”.

    A University that is devoted to diversity may well decide to have such professors on faculty. But they damn well better have some flat-earthers, and some Cthulhu eschatologists teaching core classes too, because SJWs are all of a piece with those freaks.

  30. Peter wilson says

    A fulsome discussion. But for those of us who believe that the real person is neither a blank slate nor the collection of biological processes, most of this has been beside the point. This is founded on the idea that the physical aspect of the person contains and can manifest the nature of the soul within. To believe that the physical body somehow generates a consciousness is like believing that clay gives rise to the pot. Where is the consciousness of the comatose? Science has its place but it fails as a means to explain much beyond the physical.

    • Jeremy H says

      “To believe that the physical body somehow generates a consciousness is like believing that clay gives rise to the pot.”

      What kind of convoluted logic is this? I would say that’s like comparing apples and oranges but at least they’re both a type of fruit. Because plastic and silicon don’t spontaneously combine into components to form a monitor means that a monitor can’t possibly generate an image? (I wonder what I’m currently looking at as I type then…)

      “Where is the consciousness of the comatose?”

      Where is the image when the computer monitor is turned off…. hmm? You inadvertently give the best evidence that the brain/body does in fact generate consciousness since by manipulating the brain/body we can alter/diminish/expand/extinguish this very consciousness.

      “Science has its place but it fails as a means to explain much beyond the physical.”

      It doesn’t fail at this because it doesn’t try to explain anything beyond the physical.

  31. The author completely misunderstands Catholic doctrine. Asserting that humans have a God-given soul does not imply a form of blank-slate-ism: biological, evolution-derived influences on human behaviour are still present.

    • Scotto says

      Completely agree, though I do not necessarily believe the author was conflating the two; rather that he believes both are forms of (different) biological gerrymandering. That said, his understanding of Catholicism’s arguments in this regard did not seem especially deep…

      • A sophisticated Catholic thinker would say that, while the human soul has no evolutionary precedent, human behaviour does have an evolutionary background, since it is still largely based on biology. An evolutionary analysis of human behaviour is not precluded by a belief in an uniquely human soul.

  32. simplulo says

    In the pre-Khuschev Soviet Union, promoting Darwinism instead of Lysenkoism could get you shot. “The Land of the Free” has come to resemble its rival in many ways, including high incarceration, self-censorship, and whisper networks. English has borrowed few words from Russian; I am aware of only “intelligentsia”, “samizdat”, and “pogrom”–all still relevant today.

    • Indeed! Though, speaking of Catholicism, the alternative to Lysenkoism was more Mendelian than Darwinian.

  33. Dob_in_Odessa says

    Very deceptive title this piece. It is nothing more than an argument in support of sexual mental/emotional differences. Adroitly written to conceal the real purpose of the article. It is no more about evolution vs creationism than Colin Wright is the proverbial “straight” arrow.

  34. I don’t understand why a coherent Darwinist should complain about being censored. If the SJWs manage to get you fired for your ideas, then more power to them. This is what survival of the fittest is all about!

    • Jeremy H says

      As a Darwinist I personally look forward to being eaten by a grizzly bear. I know it would horrible and painful but, alas, as someone who accepts that nature evolves through survival of the fittest, I’m clearly logically bound to will its worst outcomes upon myself.

      • You wouldn’t be the first human one been eaten by a bear, I saw recently a movie by someone who was, somewhere in Alaska, I think it was. Tragic, but not where you consider the universal, circular philosophy of eating and being eaten!

      • Andrew Worth says

        Jeremy H, that would make you a masochist, not a Darwinist.

    • Vincent says

      You have confused Social Darwinism with Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. They are not the same thing, and only the latter was supported by Darwin. “Survival of the fittest” was a very unfortunate choice of words as it has led to various misinterpretations (which have been used to justify horrible things), such as the one you just posited.

      • What I am suggesting is that, in an organization like a University, conformism is adaptive and non-conformism is not. Survival is more important than Truth and Science. This is Standard Darwinism.

        • Vincent says

          And what I’m explicitly stating is that what you just described isn’t “Standard Darwinism.” Nowhere in any of Darwin’s writings will you see him impose his biological theory onto cultural phenomena.

          There are some legitimate critiques you can level against academia, but using crackpot theories like social Darwinism to advance your argument doesn’t help. It’s strange for you to advocate for Truth and Science in the university when you don’t seem to be particularly well versed in either.

          • So, the “universal acid” of evolutionary analysis does not apply to human organizations… Maybe it is not so universal, after all.

  35. Rodrigo says

    Colin, at first read I found your article very interesting and extremely well written, but then I went to read the Nature piece and realized that either:

    1) You might not have read the article carefully.
    2) You are confusing sex and gender.

    The title of the Nature article reads “US proposal for defining gender has no basis in science”. They mention gender, no biological sex as you wrote. It would have been helpful if you spelled the title in your article, as you did for the two Scientific American pieces.

    In the Nature article you will find many of the nuanced observations that you make in your own article. You might even like it.

    • R Jensen says

      “I did not train to be a scientist for over a decade just to sit quietly while science in general, and my field in particular, comes under attack from activists who subvert truth to ideology and narrative.”

      Well, if you were actually a scientist, you would question the validity of evolution, you might ask yourself, what is the probability of a single bacterium evolving from a large pool of primordial ooze? Or a human evolving from a monkey, even in a time-span of a trillion years? I’ll tell you the answer to both: IT IS ZERO.

      Say for example, a vital component for life to evolve is a single protein 60 Amino acids long. And miraculously, you have all the necessary 20 in your primordial ooze and no other. And they miraculously were combining to form proteins at random. How many combinations of a 60-AA proteins could you come up with? I’ll tell you what it is: It is 20^60 which would require more matter than in the known universe.

      • Jeremy H says

        If you feel that the author is unfair in comparing creationists to SJW activists by all means make a comment and state your case. But, ffs, don’t turn this discussion into yet another fruitless clash between evolution and creation regardless of what great new, iron-clad proof you’ve discovered for your particular creation myth.

        Btw, evolution and bio-genesis are two distinct (and not necessarily co-dependent) phenomena.

      • Andrew Worth says

        R Jensen you are certainly not a scientist or even someone who thinks in a scientific manner, so you’re not in a position to tell scientists how to do science.

      • D-Rex says

        @R Jensen
        “Well, if you were actually a scientist, you would question the validity of evolution, you might ask yourself, what is the probability of a single bacterium evolving from a large pool of primordial ooze?”
        Evolutionary biologists don’t need to constantly question the the validity of the theory because the overarching theme is self evident. They do, however, regularly question many things such as mechanisms, timelines, contradictory ideas etc. May I suggest a fascinating article from Quillette that beautifully illustrates this; https://quillette.com/2018/01/03/come-astonishing-hypothesis/.

  36. Transgender ideas are really Body Confusion just as Anorexia is Bidy Confusion. When a 16 year old weighs 70 pounds and insists she is too fat she is confused. Delusional?

  37. Despite the unquestionable reality of biological sex in humans, social justice and trans activists continue to push this belief, and respond with outrage when challenged.
    ——————————————————————
    We are long overdue for a discussion of social justice as there is much variation of thought and process among people who do this work. A few people with a position does not create an epidemic. I would encourage you to deal specifically with the positions of those who have given you consternation and don’t paint with a broad brush.

    Every social justice scholar is not an “activist”, every trans activist is not about upholding “social justice” .

    Review the original positions of social justice. You’d probably agree with them. You have an issue with individuals who have co-opted and haven’t viewed it in a 360 manner.

    • jakesbrain says

      Social justice is now, perhaps has always been, owned by people whose concern for ACTUAL justice is about as thick as 1-ply toilet paper; what they want is not justice but vengeance — they want to have their turn wearing the boot stamping on a human face, whereas justice would properly wish to do away with the boot itself. If you feel the need to qualify the word “justice” by putting adjectives in front of it, I submit that justice itself may not be your primary aim.

  38. Can anyone name and quote some ‘blank slatists’? Hopefully whomever speaks of ‘blank slatists’ doesn’t push the false dichotomy of the SSSM vs the ICM (ie Tooby and Cosmides integrated causal model vs the strawman they’ve erected, the standard social science model).

    Robert Richardson dispatched that dichotomy in his book Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology .

    • And evolutionary psychology is a collection of just-so stories; there can’t be independent evidence for the hypotheses (speculation) since they’re inherently ad hoc and explain what they purport to explain and only what they purport to explain, which is a hallmark of pseudoscience.

  39. Linda says

    Anyone who has had an animal in their life knows they have a personality. We don’t need experiments to tell us that. We need to put animals on the same levels as humans. Life is not a pyramid, it is a circle and we are all connected. Animals lives are as important to them as ours is to us and until we treat animals with the same respect we desire we are doomed as a species. Btw I have a B.Sc Major in Wildlife Biology. My favourite courses were Evolution, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Philosophy.

    • And a very nice and agreeable combination it is, I think, Linda. Succes in your carriere!

    • Thoughthelookingglass says

      .” We need to put animals on the same levels as humans.”

      No, we do not. I have a border collie I love; however, I find he is a poor conversationalist (although he is a good listener). He has taught himself to ring the doorbell when he wants to come in, but he lacks knowledge of comparative vertebrate anatomy, philosophy, and Beethovan’s symphonies. He certainly does not agree with you that other animals are on his level, since he murdered a squirrel just for the hell of it last month and has it out for the neighbor’s cat.

      We love our pets because we have relatively undemanding relationships with them. I feed Blaze, pet him, groom him and haul him to the vet every so often and so Blaze loves me (well, not when it comes to visits to the vet’s office, since he doesn’t seem to grasp it’s for his own good. But he forgives me.). Blaze doesn’t argue politics with me, tell me he doesn’t like my dress or care if I put on a few extra pounds. Relationships with other human beings are risky and can be disastrous – friends might betray you, husbands might cheat, kids might disappoint. Relationships with pets are safe.

      But Blaze will never write a poem, build a house, or discover a cure for cancer. He can’t even help me do the laundry. While he is smarter than 95 percent of Twitter commentators, he does not spend one second worrying about how other species are treated. That’s a uniquely human trait.

    • Andrew Worth says

      “We need to put animals on the same levels as humans.” Why?
      “. . Until we treat animals with the same respect we desire we are doomed as a species.” Why?

      Linda, how about some evidence to support your assertions?

      • D-Rex says

        Andrew, here is a point about SJW’s and the regressive left. I read all of your comments and agree with some, disagree with others, sometimes strongly. If my impression of you was based on one comment that I disagreed with you on, I might judge you harshly. This is how SJW’s etc behave, say one thing that they don’t like and nothing else matters, you’re alt right or white supremacist or something and must be crushed.
        Happily, I appreciate all of your contributions to this conversation.

        • Andrew Worth says

          D-Rex, I’m well aware that there are people who think everyone they encounter is either for or against them in everything, I comment on a wide variety of sites and topics and on different occasions have been accused of been a right wing fascist and a far left socialist, I actually categorize myself as a close to libertarian classical liberal.
          In one of my comments I said: “The matter of SJW’s trying to force their views onto others is a different issue, one on which I agree with the articles author”. So I’m puzzled that you believe you need to explain to me how SJW’s behave, the author covers their inclination towards thuggish behaviour fairly well.

  40. Tome708 says

    Vicki is a blue lobster, but she is our blue lobster. I would not have her any other way.

  41. Pingback: Science suppression – The Other Club

  42. A C Harper says

    I may be speaking hyperbolically but every time you hear someone promoting the Blank Slate idea, or that ‘Race’ is only a social construct or that sex is socially determined, think Fahrenheit 451.

    Social Justice Armchair Warriors already try to limit free speech, they already try to deplatform uncongenial speakers, they try to subvert awards. I rather suspect they have already began to affect the contents of science textbooks too. My expectation is that they will try to ban, and burn those books too.

  43. Coffee Klatch says

    This article makes it clear to me that the entire SJW vs. Quillette-Orbit, reaction-vs.-reactionary universe is nothing but an angel-food cake.

    The answer to this question is OBVIOUS that both nature and nurture form a human. Even though the math states an average in terms of genetic traits, people are not statistics, though, and you have to operate under two assumptions to not be a monster, basically:

    1. You have to deal with every human as if they DO NOT represent the average. This is something that the edgy alt-centrists are always preaching, but betray with their focus on pursuing stereotypes by mathematics. You do have to ASSUME that a human is a blank slate.

    and

    2. You cannot assign a binary to every trait as if the average or norm is GOOD and the exception is BAD. You cannot assign the norm to the “good” outcome, unfairly. You cannot base policy on the tyranny of the norm. And you cannot use genetics to undermine or cut across environmental factors, for many reasons, from conditioning to the idea of epigenetic expression of traits.

    If you operate under the assumption that there is a norm, the norm is GOOD and everyone who could express the genetic average DOES or SHOULD. This is cultural fascism and it is fake — this is the part that people question — this is the endgame of those who want to prove mathematical certainties and return power to white, het, cis, male, WASP, noble rich, etc.

    The measured approach is that takes into account everything and assumes nothing. It bridges both the concerns of this article and the SJWs fears. Continuing to stoke fire and flame between the two camps does nothing but foment unnecessary division — but it certainly keeps the Patreon accounts flush with the fruits of that anger.

    • Peter from Oz says

      There is some good stuff in your comment.
      I think the problem we have today is that those who claim to represent the outliers want to change the norm and enforce it far more rigidly than the old norm was enforced.
      King log is being replaced by King Stork

    • Sneed Urn says

      What exactly is the tyranny of the norm? Is that different from the joy of the norm or the indifference of the norm? That is where you lost me. Or more accurately, lost it. “Cultural fascism”? A measured approach by definition is assuming something even in “assuming nothing” as an informed stance. If you cannot get to your conclusions with demonstrable premises in a logical fashion then you’ve only managed to be an anti-intellectual totalitarian in demanding that your conclusions be taken seriously. There are Norms. Good bad or indifferent, they exist. And they are good bad or indifferent. Most people understand “binary” as approximate. Exceptions to every rule and so forth.

      Who is assigning a binary to every trait? And why not if the trait is binary? Is it worthwhile to use statistics in a discussion or should every possibility and variation always be explicitly enumerated? IF that is the case it seems that there are a Lot of groups being left out of the enumeration. By use statistics I mean refer to averages, tendencies, groupings and so forth. Are you asserting that no one should make any distinction by observation of any kind? Assume that what you see is not what you see?

      The message to acknowledge everyone’s individuality is certainly good. The rest of it simply foments the division you claim to want to avoid and resists any humane and logical formulation. If you can mange such a formulation, I would love to be enlightened by it.

  44. Maybe I should withdraw my last comment. What I really was meaning to say is that a study of complex human organizations shows that disagreeing with the majority of the members or with the leadership is not conducive to increased fitness. Survival in Complex Organizations, like an University or a National Lab (I worked at Los Alamos until I retired) requires a high degree of conformism. A Darwinist has to realize that survival is what matters: Science and Truth are less important than survival and without survival there is no Science or search for the Truth.

  45. pfwag says

    When transgendered men get PMS and menopause, I’ll believe it. Until then, they are simply sick, delusional. and aberrant.

  46. Tiresias says

    And then one day the Great Justice Warriors got their wish, and “Burned it all down!” On the first day, they noticed that their phones no longer worked and they couldn’t check their social media feeds, and it began to dawn on them that they would no longer be receiving up-to-the-minute instructions. Around this time, many of them realized that they had no idea how to pronounce the word womxn; somehow it had never come up.

    The supply lines delivering food were cut off at the same time as the supply lines delivering everything else, so when the birth control ran out a lot of people hardly noticed because they had bigger problems. However, the belief that humans had transcended the sex binary began to lose adherents at a rapid rate approximately ten months later, give or take.

    • Sneed Urn says

      “Around this time, many of them realized that they had no idea how to pronounce the word womxn; somehow it had never come up.” That got a big chuckle.

  47. Jeremy H says

    “I’ve been privately contacted by close, like-minded colleagues warning me that my public feuds with social justice activists on social media could be occupational suicide, and that I should disengage and delete my comments immediately.”

    Easy for those of us with no stake in the game to make suggestions, but a good strategy might be to assemble a cohort of as many of your peers as possible and have them each make a single post to Twitter along the lines of: “According to the most recent scientific findings men and women are distinctly different entities both biologically and psychologically.”

    Twitter could choose to ignore you or they could begin banning scientists en masse from their service and deal with the atrocious optics involved in that. If they ignore you then anyone who is subsequently banned (or already has been banned) for similar tweets would have a legitimate (perhaps even legal) grievance against the company. At the very least it might help stir up some of the negative publicity the company richly deserves for their championing of this nonsense.

  48. Like 80% or 90% of same sex associators as children go back to identifying with there birth sex by early adult hood 18-21. That tells me all I need to know.

  49. Pingback: The modern synthesis and the blank slate | Logarithmic History

  50. Jonathan says

    Humans actually are special and unique: they are the only (known) creatures who are capable of seeking Truth for its own sake.

  51. ccscientist says

    The author only hints at it but the SJW attack leads to other problems as well. For example, the National health service in England has mandated that trans women (men who claim they are women) be given pap tests, which is impossible. They want doctors not to refer to “pregnant mothers” so as not to offend. The Vagina Monologs was recently canceled at some college because “vagina” is not inclusive of women without one (not that this is a big loss, but is crazytown). The idea that sex is simply a construct is part of the broader “blank slate” ideology which then makes it impossible to talk about or understand human nature. For example, evolutionary theory explains why men are more aggressive and women more anxious–but now we must not discuss or admit these.

    • Sneed Urn says

      Is that true? about pap tests? that’s either hilarious or alarming. I’m curious when inclusivity will expand to include the sensitivities of sociopaths and the dead. This fluid gender fad is distressing but I suspect it will pass within a few years. I want to be considerate of others’ feelings, but I also have to insist that my feelings and predilections be accounted for as much as the next they.

  52. augustine says

    “What is clear is that both the Catholic Church and well-intentioned social justice activists are guilty of gerrymandering evolutionary biology to make humans special, and keep the universal acid at bay.”

    But this

    “We need to acknowledge that trans issues and ideology are complex, and … we must give these issues the respect they deserve by approaching them with nuance and compassion instead of crudeness and cruelty.”

    These sentiments suggest that we are something special, and more than just evolutionarily or biologically special.

    An excellent article. Thank you.

  53. Pingback: The New Evolution Deniers – Quillette | Athe1stP0werBlog

  54. BLITZKING says

    So just so I can try to understand.. During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng in the same exact environment at the same exact time, while SOME Jellyfish were evolving into Humans, OTHER Jellyfish were evolving into.. Jellyfish.. Am I being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

    • A C Harper says

      This is not the zinger argument you think it is. The ‘environment’ varies greatly geographically and temporally. The differing depths of a lake are sufficient to count as evolutionarily different environments (see cichlid fishes), the various differing altitudes up a mountain are sufficient. As are differing climate and plant life zones and edges of zones. And over 500 million years the climate has changed radically (and back) many times, and affected parts of the world very differently.

      It would be silly to pretend that environmental differences kept in lock step for all locations for all time.

      • BLITZKING says

        It would be silly to pretend that environmental differences kept in lock step for all locations for all time. “Kept in Lock Step” ??? Arent you “Understating” it? I mean Just a LITTLE??? One Jellyfish became a human while his brother became a Jellyfish???

        You tell me, with ZERO Scientific Evidence to support it, why ANYONE in their right mind would believe such utter Garbage??? Oh, I know why….

        “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist” Richard Dawkins

    • Jeremy H says

      To effectively address the deficits of your child-like caricature of evolution would require an entire lesson on the basics of how evolution works, which isn’t appropriate for this forum. If you truly want answers to your questions you could easily find droves of material on the web that would fill in these huge blanks for you. That you haven’t searched of your own accord and have subsequently put yourself in a position to ask such ludicrous questions suggests you are not genuinely interested in learning but are really just trolling.

      • BLITZKING says

        “To effectively address the deficits of your child-like caricature of evolution”

        CHILD LIKE CARICATURE?

        Wow… You really don’t know much about your OWN science fiction novel about “Long Ago and Far Away” do you!

        Or are you claiming that YOU are the authority of how the Science Fiction of Darwin is supposed to be written and NOT The Scientists and Evolutionary Biologists from Vanderbilt and Wisconsin-Madison universities? LOL

        https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/790342/Scientists-jellyfish-sponges-origins-life-earth-evolution

        Oh, while you are at it, please write a letter to the scientists from the University of Miami and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in Maryland. Do me a favor and tell them to stop saying we descended from Jellyfish because YOU not only told me that their opinion doesn’t count because YOU are the self proclaimed spokesman for the “Evolutionary Scientific Community” and YOU are the authority of how the SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL is supposed to be written…

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2523249/Did-humans-descend-JELLYFISH.html

        Now THIS is the point where you are supposed to say that you were wrong and you are sorry for trying to pretend you know more about the subject than I do.. But.. It never happens because Evolutionists are brainwashed and don’t care about the truth.

        • Jeremy H says

          @Blitzking

          Careful Blitz your extreme insecurity is showing. There is ample evidence that sponges and related early organisms were among the originators of all animals, that’s not the debate here. At issue is your facile and woefully childish assessment of this may have happened:

          “During the course of “500 Million Years” While Livng [sic] in the same exact environment at the same exact time”.

          If you think that any environment on the Earth stays the same for even thousands of years you clearly lack even the basic mental framework necessary to understand evolution. Your need to come onto boards like this and fill them with your bloviations is a sign of some deep doubt or insecurity that you’re desperately trying to keep at bay. I would advise just embracing this doubt and then reconciling the results with the beliefs your heart clearly cleaves to; it would be much better than this posturing farce you currently use as a defense. Good luck!

    • Shatterface says

      Am I being unreasonable for pointing out the silliness of such a religious belief?

      I’d prefer to use the word stupid rather than unreasonable.

      You’d have to take brain supplements before you’d attain the level of unreasonable.

  55. I just don’t understand why a movement to get the mentally ill to voluntarily sterilize themselves (to the great profit of certain doctors) needs to be so disruptive to science.
    Maybe we should just adopt the blank slate theory and enculturate the transexuals back to cis. Oh but then who will buy the yachts for the surgeons.

  56. Charles says

    Anyone who believes in evolution is foolish and knows nothing about science.

    • What is your definition of evolution Charles? Don’t you believe that, long ago, there were only very simple types of life (bacteria, fungus, and other slimy forms of life), and that these forms slowly evolved to more agile and intelligent forms, like fishes, birds and animals (and humans)? Or is that also nonsense (and that it all was as in the explained in the bible, where we all instantly were shaped as we are now)

      • BLITZKING says

        THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IS FALSE

        “The theory of evolution is false. It is simply not true. Actually, it is just a fairy tale for adults based on ancient pagan religious philosophy that hundreds of millions of people around the world choose to believe with blind faith. When asked to produce evidence for the theory of evolution, most adults in the western world come up totally blank. When pressed, most people will mumble something about how “most scientists believe it” and how that is good enough for them. This kind of anti-intellectualism even runs rampant on our college campuses. If you doubt this, just go to a college campus some time and start asking students why they believe in evolution. Very few of them will actually be able to give you any real reasons why they believe it. Most of them just have blind faith in the priest class in our society (“the scientists”). But is what our priest class telling us actually true? When Charles Darwin popularized the theory of evolution, he didn’t actually have any evidence that it was true. And since then the missing evidence has still not materialized. Most Americans would be absolutely shocked to learn that most of what is taught as “truth” about evolution is actually the product of the overactive imaginations of members of the scientific community. They so badly want to believe that it is true that they will go to extraordinary lengths to defend their fairy tale. They keep insisting that the theory of evolution has been “proven” and that it is beyond debate. Meanwhile, most average people are intimidated into accepting the “truth” about evolution because they don’t want to appear to be “stupid” to everyone else. In this day and age, it is imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves. Don’t let me tell you what to think, and don’t let anyone else tell you what to think either. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

        The following are 44 reasons why evolution is just a fairy tale for adults…”

        http://thetruthwins.com/archives/44-reasons-why-evolution-is-just-a-fairy-tale-for-adults

  57. Fred Dobbs says

    What is with that weird photo that prefaces this article? If you isolate the face it’s very androgynous–could it be a boy or a girl? The hair signifies it’s a girl, but then he/she has her hands over her ears as if blocking out the truth (like one of the famous three monkeys) about how essential his gender is and the long hair doesn’t negate her maleness based on the criteria of penis possession.

    Strange times we live in!

  58. Bubblecar says

    For those wanting to embrace a genuinely progressive vision for the future of human nature, all this anti-science sophistry is very self-defeating.

    We need to understand how genes create our existing human nature, before we can seriously plan to change it for the better in line with our own ideals.

    The progressive potential of transhumanist technology is vast. There should be no need for us to continue to be lumbered with the current evolutionary grab-bag of traits when genetic engineering and other biotech resources will enable us to take the future of humanity in directions of our own choice.

    Changing human nature directly through biotechnology promises far more profound results than merely trying to change social attitudes, especially if that increasingly relies on fallacious dogma.

  59. I am amazed that what was the first organism. Unfortunately the evolution or evolutionists have speculations or guess in this regard. RNA world, atmosphere without oxygen, thunderstorm etc. all are being rejected with passage of time as we are gaining more and more insight/knowledge. Fact is that evolution is yet a theory, a dwindling theory. Even Nature has not been defined yet.

    Sayyed Ghyour Abbas
    PhD Zoology
    Sp. Paleontology
    paleontologypakistan.blogspot.com

    • Bubblecar says

      Yes, we know that in Pakistan they give you scientific letters after your name for talking superstition.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Ghyour Kazmi

      I can only imagine how Charles Darwin is thought of at the University of the Punjab, but I have not noticed any dwindling of interest in his theory in the West.

    • If you ask yourself questions whether nature ever has been defined, or should be defined (by scientists? theologists? poets?), then, I fear, also biological evolution will be a hopeless task for you. You are a paleontologist. What about the older forms of the Homo genus? The Homo neanderthalensis, H. erectus, the Denisa, the Flores man (100 cm long, living 50.000 yrs ago), and all the inbetweens of man and ape, the Australopitheus spp, found in the deserts of Africa and Eurasia? Do you believe they existed, once? And how did they evolve? And disappear? I,m really curious about that, also what BlitzKing thinks about these skuls and bones.

      • BLITZKING says

        “I,m really curious about that, also what BlitzKing thinks about these skuls and bones.”

        You are correct, they are just skulls and bones.. They have no dates on them, We don’t know if they had kids, we don’t know if their kids are different in respect to changing into a different kind…Dead Extinct Apes and Unusual Humans, Just because we line them up side by side is NOT evidence for ANYTHING!! But what we DO have is a desire for more government grants, a Vivid imagination, Peer (Pressure) Review and the best artists money can buy! AND Unfortunately for the proponents of the religion of evolutionism, There are only TWO places on Earth where the Geologic Column exists *(Scroll down for the Info)* Top Paleontologists know full well that the “Fossil Record” is DEVASTATING to the myth of Evolution.. It shows a sudden emergence of nearly all type of flora and fauna followed by complete stasis!! The data are SO Bad that Ad Hoc escape clauses had to be thought up like HMs and PE…. But, since we are talking about a science fiction about “Long ago and far away” Without a time Machine.. WHO can prove you wrong!!

        “There are gaps in the fossil graveyard, places where there should be intermediate forms, but where there is nothing whatsoever instead. No paleontologist denies that this is so. It is simply a fact, Darwin’s theory and the fossil record are in conflict.” (Dr. David Berlinsky)

        “Scientists concede that their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments and that huge gaps exist in the fossil record.” (Time Magazine, )

        “Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory.” (Dr. Ronald R. West)

        THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING!
        BY JIM THINNSEN

        “Evolution” “Predicts” EVERYTHING

        So they have ALL THE BASES COVERED!!!!

        1 Instant “Evolution” (One Generation) Hopeful Monsters / SALTATION

        2 Fast “Evolution” PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM

        3 Slow ..Plodding Methodological “Evolution” DARWINIAN MODEL

        4 Non Existent “Evolution” 500 MYO LIVING FOSSILS

        So evolution happens….

        INSTANTLY

        QUICKLY

        SLOWLY

        NEVER

        The predictive power of “Evolution” is sure amazing isnt it? LOL

        “It is impossible by micro-mutation to form any new species”
        Richard Goldschmidt
        EVOLUTIONARY SCIENTIST AND INVENTOR OF HOPEFUL MONSTERS

        “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Atheist”
        Richard Dawkins

        http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

        * (1) The Textbooks *

        * (2) The Imagination of Evolutionists *

    • Andrew Worth says

      Ghyour Kazmi, wow, way to destroy your professional credibility.

      • BLITZKING says

        Yup, anyone who dares to question the Darwinian Orthodoxy is threatened with censorship, ridicule, or job loss… Standard Fare…..

        “I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science. When this happens, many people will pose the question, “How did this ever happen?” (Dr. Sorren Luthrip, Swedish Embryologist)

    • BLITZKING says

      Fact is that evolution is yet a theory, a dwindling theory.

      ACTUALLY, THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IS FALSE

      “The theory of evolution is false. It is simply not true. Actually, it is just a fairy tale for adults based on ancient pagan religious philosophy that hundreds of millions of people around the world choose to believe with blind faith. When asked to produce evidence for the theory of evolution, most adults in the western world come up totally blank. When pressed, most people will mumble something about how “most scientists believe it” and how that is good enough for them. This kind of anti-intellectualism even runs rampant on our college campuses. If you doubt this, just go to a college campus some time and start asking students why they believe in evolution. Very few of them will actually be able to give you any real reasons why they believe it. Most of them just have blind faith in the priest class in our society (“the scientists”). But is what our priest class telling us actually true? When Charles Darwin popularized the theory of evolution, he didn’t actually have any evidence that it was true. And since then the missing evidence has still not materialized. Most Americans would be absolutely shocked to learn that most of what is taught as “truth” about evolution is actually the product of the overactive imaginations of members of the scientific community. They so badly want to believe that it is true that they will go to extraordinary lengths to defend their fairy tale. They keep insisting that the theory of evolution has been “proven” and that it is beyond debate. Meanwhile, most average people are intimidated into accepting the “truth” about evolution because they don’t want to appear to be “stupid” to everyone else. In this day and age, it is imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves. Don’t let me tell you what to think, and don’t let anyone else tell you what to think either. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions. The following are 44 reasons why evolution is just a fairy tale for adults…”

      http://thetruthwins.com/archives/44-reasons-why-evolution-is-just-a-fairy-tale-for-adults

      • Hear, hear, the Preacher, the Cancel, I still hear the sounds in my ears (note also the picture here above), and know it all so well from my early youth,it was like mother milk for me, so, some affinity, yes. Also, many Imams talk or shout (the CAPITALS) in this way, and what I think is, for very many people, it still must have some attraction, maybe, is it right after all? And all that miserable science and academic, difficult talk, is that not completely at the wrong side of the ordinary human truth???

  60. Pingback: News of the Week (December 2nd, 2018) | The Political Hat

  61. Pingback: Open Thread, 10/2/2018 – Gene Expression

  62. Pingback: The New Evolution Deniers on the Left | Unhinged Group

  63. Pingback: Recomendaciones | intelib

  64. The two concepts on the Left and Right are different. Creationism, or any belief which calls for a Creator is outside of science, as science deals with the observable and testable and matters of faith are not that. Good theology takes note of this. And being evolutionary science like all good science does not seek reasons why beyond that which is observable and testable, it does not speak of a Creator and thus cannot challenge the idea of one. Outside of the small provinces of biblical literalism and radical antitheism, the two concepts can peacefully coexist as they did among most great scientists before Darwin.

    However leftist science denial offers counterfeit science as a substitute for the real thing and that is an intolerably destructive practice. Let the “progressives” offer their beliefs as articles of their faith, but no more than that, and only then can they can be tolerated as the Creationists are.

  65. But, BLITZKING, don’t you believe that humans have Neanderthal DNA in their genome (I couldn’t believe it either, but it has been proved, not long ago, because the analytical technics and biochemistry behind it is much more developed now as it was). And also, had these Neanderthals already an immortal soul (because, I’m sure you believe in such a soul)? (they had no agriculture, no houses, some stone artefacts but no art as found in the caves. A language of some sort, probable, but no script, abstract ideas, philosophy, domesticated animals, but……. larger brains than ours). If they would have entered a subway, dressed in our type of cloths, they would not be recognised as aliens, but just as ordinary people like us (though, somewhat brute, rustic, Tolstoy like)

  66. I would note that many people having trouble with Evolutionary Sociology, which appears to be a large chunk of what the author is talking about (as opposed to simple evolutionary biology) is that much of the loudest “Evolutionary Sociology” (I can’t speak to actual volume of papers) has been people trying to put together a pseudo-scientific case for their sexual bigotry/tastes been reality/majority.

    And thus we have the comments of which the majority are a mix of

    \1) Evolution is bunk (well that always part of any article on evolution)

    2) Homosexuals/Transgender are perverts/delusional/crazies.

    But sweet FA of this article or the comments is about evolutionary biology as far as I can see.

    There may well be an interesting paper on Evolution in regard to Transgender/Homosexuality and other related issues. Given that some species could be said to use Transgender as a part of how they operate, and while the percentage of population who fit in to these areas are indeed small they do appear to have been consistently present in human society as far back as we have knowledge. Which suggests that there might be some benefit and/or it’s a natural “accident” of the process of bisexual reproduction.
    (“accident” = “y” in a process design to produce “x” that for a consistent percentage of the time randomly produces “y” due to how the process operates. Even though that isn’t the perceived aim of the process).
    It should be noted that because of how evolution functions “accidents” are pretty much built in to the system and indeed are probably beneficial tool for evolution.

    Sadly this was not such an article or paper.
    Instead it comes across as someone blowing up because they heat on their paper regarding something they view as crackpottery. They make their case so poorly (been to busy ranting) that I’m honestly not sure whether what they are talking about is crackpottery, despite been vaguely inclined that way from what I think they are complaining about.

    • Come on man, we’ve all heard it. When it is pointed out that these conditions are mental illnesses rather than the healthy state of an organism, science is twisted to claim otherwise and that these aberrations have a valid place in our development as a species. Sure it has been with us for a long time, as has suicide, self-mutilation, addiction, yet there is not the same political will to classify these behaviors as acceptable.

      Even worse is when data concerning the different abilities and tendencies of male and female, and the races of humans is waved away as bigotry and then the proponent’s career threatened. How is this different than a creationist who dismisses all evolutionary evidence as the work of the Devil? I can see no difference.

  67. Greg Lorriman says

    That really isn’t the Catholic position. The body and soul are considered a union such that the two shouldn’t be considered apart from each other, and that grace works on top of nature not despite it.

    In other words, to attain happiness means to confirm to our bodily nature as well as the spiritual. The Church doesn’t demand that anyone do anything unnatural, the equivalent of being told we must walk on our hands.

  68. That’s not how I experienced it in my youth as a catholic church servant, Greg! The soul was not unified with the body, it was something spiritual, quite different of that sinful body, and just was waiting for the bodily death to become really free, and to go to heaven, hell or some other metaphysical place, in-between (to burn some time, before being allowed to heaven). On the second of November (All Souls), we praid for those poor souls to help that process , I saved hundreds of souls of dead people, having led a sinful life (but no mortal sins, they were helpless, they went to hell), and felt very proud to be able to do so. I wonder what transgenderism (in thought or behaviour) would have been seen and judged at the time, as a mortal sin? It was a time that, what people experienced or felt on a personal basis was not that important, how different are things nowadays!

    • R Henry says

      Heaven’s waiting room…Purgatory. I have NO IDEA how the Church came up with that one. Where in the Bible is that described?

      • Thanks for the English Henry and besides these three, there was even yet another one, though I don’t know the English word for it. It was the place where you ended up (as soul) when you were not baptised, or born dead before this could have been done. However, that one now has been abolished, by the former pope.

        • Greg Lorriman says

          @dirk, “It was the place where you ended up (as soul) when you were not baptised, or born dead before this could have been done. However, that one now has been abolished, by the former pope.”

          You mean Limbo. That was never part of the Church’s teaching. It wasn’t ‘abolished’, since it was merely a theory of St Thomas Aquinas.

          • Maybe not officiallly so, but has hurt a lot of parents whose deadborn was not burried in sacred soil, but somewhere at the border of the graveyard, or behind a hedge, where the unbaptized had to lie. As was a sister of mine (did she have a soul? died at birth? I wonder, but don’t know what Aquino or Augustine had to say on that). BTW, thanks for the translation, I had googled the word also in the meantime, and learned there were 2 types of limbo’s, one for deadborns, another for people before Christ, that never had even the chance to be cleaned of the original sin. BTW-2: I have still the best remembrances of my christian youth and upbringing, and, on holiday in Southern Europe, visit the churches whereever I come across one, and even join the believing crowd by singing the Gregorian and Latin texts that I still remember from that youth (in my country all but abolished, too, too traditional) .

      • Greg Lorriman says

        @R Henry

        Purgatory is attested in some of the books of the Bible that protestants decided were uncanonical. Machibees, for instance. Maybe you can see the fallacy in that. Who, after all, has the authority to determine canonicity? It’s on authority that most protestant converts become Catholics.

        But it’s also in Mathew 5 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

        It’s obvious. God forgives our sins, but it is still in our hands to make amends to those we have harmed. Neglecting to do that or doing it improperly means justice has not been fully met.

        Even if you argue that Christ’s all-encompassing sacrifice and forgiveness covers everything, as most protestants do, that may only serve in the case of those who were themselves forgiving, Mathew 18, since it would be unjust of God to let off a man who refuses to let off another for the same crime.

        So one way or another, there has to be a place of spiritual purification, where the saved but imperfect “Be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”, who have not heeded Christ’s words during their own lifetimes, are made perfect.

        The pain of purgatory is the burning caused by the full view of God’s infinite love upon an imperfectly loving soul.

    • Greg Lorriman says

      People were told all kinds of things at school, such as some prudish nuns telling people that in heaven you don’t have a bottom. Lol!

      But what I’ve written is the official teaching, and of course it fits with the fact that the Church also teaches the Resurrection of the body at the end of this time of trial.

      Contrary to what you’ve been told, the Church holds the body as important in a positive way, including sex, even if because of the sin of Adam, and consequent imperfect integrity between body and soul, its desires may be often contrary to the wishes of the individual and to truth.

      So, for instance, sex is thought to be the closest experience two ordinary (married) Christians can have to heaven. Albeit, without lust (which I think is often not going to be the case).

      Much of the above is in the official Catechism.

  69. R Henry says

    “Scientific American—an ostensibly trustworthy, scientific, and apolitical online magazine” rejects the Scientific Method, scientific fact, and scientific theory, and instead adopts the radical leftist view that biological sex is changeable and/or irrelevant.

    Proof positive that ours is the Post-Reality, Post-Evidence era, in which Elizabeth Warren is an Indian, Bruce Jenner is a Woman, and there is such as thing as “deadnaming.”

    • This happened a long time ago. The SciAm of the 80’s was written for an audience with some scientific education and it was the place a biologist might go to read an article about physics, or a computer scientist would read about linguistics. Now it’s just Newsweek with big words.

  70. Charlie says

    If a model cannot explain outliers, then it does not map reality. The two sex paradigm looks like Newtonian physics trying to explain special relativity. Granted, the dimorphic model has a measure of social utility, but holding it to ‘BE TRUE’ in an epistemological sense looks as rational as the statement “all swans are white.” The evolutionary hypothesis says much more about our semantics, taxonomy and linguistic structure than it does material reality. Though an evolutionary model can make useful predictions, the idea of shared common ancestry looks more like metaphysics as we cannot possibly test this idea given the immensity of the time series.

  71. Ted Peters says

    The very rational explanation for the myriad manifestations of human psychosexual confusion is that we all develop psychologically long after our emergence from the womb and that traumatic events in our early childhood can severely impact the direction and outcome of the maturation process.

  72. Pingback: Tornado Quest Top Ten Science Links For November 26 – December 3, 2018 | Welcome To Tornado Quest

  73. TofeldianSage says

    I guess it takes 10 years of study for an Evolutionary biologist to conclude “The Catholic view of evolution generally accepts biological evolution for all organisms.”

    If you read the Summa Theologica, circa 1244 AD, you will find St. Thomas teaching that man is a species of animal. Given the centrality of St. Thomas’ teaching in the Catholic Church since then, I can’t imagine Charles Darwin caused much of a theological crisis. Perhaps the 19th century equivalent of a tweet-storm at most.

    It is true that many Protestant fundamentalists took a very literal view of the Bible, and they were the ones who got run over by the evolutionary bus. You begin to understand why the Catholic Church didn’t follow them into their error.

    • Bubblecar says

      You don’t make sufficient allowance for traditional Catholic dishonesty. The Catholic Church does not accept the scientific understanding of evolution for one moment.

      They pretend to, in order to avoid a confrontation they know would profoundly damage them. But their real position is that the universe was created by their magical god, who chose this particular path for life in order to lead to man, whom he created in his own image.

      Thus they hold that “evolution by natural selection” is an illusion that needs to be rectified by religious faith, and then the hypocritical devout can claim he “understands evolution” and has no argument with the science, “but the science is not the whole story” etc.

      Thus the Catholic idea of evolution = laughable mumbo-jumbo that bears no resemblance to the scientific theory.

      • Stephen J. says

        Criticizing an opposing position by accusing its holders of dishonesty is the worst form of Bulverism. Once you’ve done this any objection that this is not a correct characterization of either the beliefs or those who hold them can be dismissed as just another lie.

  74. Smegma says

    I tried to discuss the notion of evolution with a friend of mine who graduated with a PHD in cultural anthropology (with an emphasis on cultural evolution). I mentioned the three core components evolution which are fecundity, fidelity and longevity and asked him if he uses meme theory to understand cultural evolution. He had no clue what I was talking about and then mentioned how he applies the concept of “quantum” in his analysis. I kid you not. A person with a PHD from a reputable Canadian university applies “quantum” analysis in his practice. I cut the conversation short there and we haven’t spoken since. Sad, very sad.

  75. Gentsu Gen says

    My observation after reading the article and about one-half the comments is that we as a society, and apparently even among scientists and other academics, have no common understanding or use of the words sex, gender, transexual, gender dysphoria, and several others. If we can’t even agree on what the words mean, we have no chance of understanding one another, much less coming to agreement with one another. It doesn’t help that generally among the general public, the words sex and gender are interchangeable.

    I was surprised to hear so little about procreation as part of the evolutionary angle. It seems indisputable to me, a scientist but not in one of these specialties, that evolution for humans expresses as male and female for the purpose of procreation. That there are very occasional exceptions to the two sexes (the 0.02%, but I’ve seen larger estimates), but this is perfectly within the norm for all evolution.

    What should we all be able to agree on?
    That most people are born as one of the two sexes
    That a small number (0.02 or similar) don’t fit that category
    That a small number of any of those three groups may feel like they belong to another sex
    That a small number of any of the three groups might feel like having sex with any or all of the three groups.

    Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    • That the practice of sex may have consequences and asks for lifelong responsibility was general knowledge and the reason for one of the most strict and all empowering ethic and cultural, lawful, religious structures and morals. This all changed with the pill, now, sex is fun and pleasure without any consequences. One wonders what such a technology means for mankind, culture and civilisation. In islam, things are still often lived and explained the traditional way (more patriarchal, though).

      • R Henry says

        Sex has always been fun for some, but will never be without consequences. Humans, by design, tend to form very strong bonds with those they engage in intercourse with. We all remember that first sex partner…regardless of how long ago we last saw that person. Sex matters. Sex is emotional. Sex effects us. Sex with too many partners harms us. Even without worry of disease, pregnancy, or social stigma, sex has consequences. When sex doesn’t matter, you are doing it wrong.

  76. hopley yeaton says

    So biology is being challenged. Next thing we’ll hear is that physics, chemistry, and engineering are also just social constructs used by the white cis-male patriarchy to keep everybody else down.

  77. Trajan Fanzine says

    This ‘article’ was misnamed imho, but only somewhat interesting, in that Darwinism itself a boring hoax. It was disproved before it was 5 years old. The overwhelming and unquestioning scientifically genuine unquestioned fossil evidence of the Cambrian Explosion ( Burgess shale) put paid to his hypothesis ( it shouldn’t be be ranked as theory anymore btw) , and the fossil evidence he, Darwin hoped would materialize hasn’t, and won’t.

  78. R Henry says

    These scenarios associated with contemporary “transsexualism” are the logical result of the past 50 years of Sexual Revolution. The revolution’s stated goal has always been to normalize all sexual activity, include what was always known as deviancy. First, the act of premarital sex was de-stigmatized, aided by The Pill. The broad distribution and consumption of pornography and subsequent masturbation was next to be normalized. Abortion on demand and no-fault divorce served to enable sexuality as a recreational activity.

    Once this first wave of sexual destigmatization was complete, normalization of homosexual activity was next…..after fits and starts, it suddenly became fashionable to gay/lesbian. Activists stumbled upon the notion of making Homosexual Marriage a Civil Rights issue, and successfully shifted Western Culture to accept, even applaud Gay Marriage—-ironically, many, many gay men find the concept absurd, but, since gayness became a Civil Right…..the process moved along.

    Now that gays can pretend to be married, in contravention of what genuine marriage is designed to do, those on the furthest edges of sexual deviants, trannies want their day in the sun too. Once trannies are normalized, the Revolution will continue its conquest of culture….working to normalize yet tinier deviant minorities—-necros, pedos, and hebes. Stay tuned.

    • Pedos were on the verge of being accepted in the NL in the late 1970s, but gradually were looked at as the devils themselves lateron. I’m still waiting for a sociologist’s or psychologist’s explanation of that phenomenon, in the light of social construction and deconstruction..

  79. Pingback: The perfect storm: Darwinists meet the progressive "evolution deniers" — and cringe… | Uncommon Descent

  80. Micah Newman says

    Forget “evolution deniers”—it’s “deniers of things plain as the nose on your face,” let alone _scientific_ facts. Should it be surprising that you simply can’t reason with those who are that far gone (like so many commenters here) any more than you can with flat-earthers? Whether it’s religious fundamentalists or secular fundamentalists, there is no bottom to the potential stupidity of people in the firm grip of an ideology.

  81. Pingback: The Darwinian Children Eat Their Fathers | Across the Stars

  82. In the end the science is there, much of human beings sexual differences are due to instincts and genetics. Things such as intersex, and gender dysphoria do exist as medical conditions, but they are just that; medical conditions. That means that some where during the gestation process and fetal development something did not go right.. We should not condemn such people nor harm them, but their condition is no different than that faced by a child facing abnormal mental development on the autism spectrum, or any other genetic development deficiency. Consideration for such people’s condition is a sign of compassion, that does not mean the necessary response is to upheaval all of society for the other 95 %.

    Social thinkers who want such conditions to be ‘proof’ of their social theories are no better than religions fundamental zealots insisting that their millennia old religions are the only true way of interpreting ‘truth’ in the world.

  83. Ina Aineé Macháčková says

    https://www.firstpeople.us/articles/the-two-spirit-people-of-indigenous-north-americans.html Maybe wiser, than our society approach – indigeous people are able to see extarodinality of transgender without denying majority. And fact, that I am female was in my patriarchal society used to diminish me for my whole life. I used to escape it for years, bud when I started to work at an university, with PhD ani 11 impact articles, I was seen as something lesser, tham my male colleague without PhD and published impact just beceuse I was female. It was painfull to see, that in a certain enviromnent, I was something of lesser value just because biological sex – and despite twenty years of hard scientific/expert work in environmental science. And this is for me the importance of social studies – to bring back equality of human beings.

  84. Pingback: The Persistence of Bad Ideas | The Z Blog

  85. Alexander Wolfe says

    So the guy who “currently studies the social behavior of ant, wasp, and spider societies at Penn State” is going to lecture us on the complexity of gender identity. No thanks.

    • But, Alexander, did you know that the pioneer of sexual behaviour students, Alfred Kinsey, whose books sold over the millions in the 1960s, started his career with entomology, wasps and other small stuff?? It seems to be a good start, for knowing more about human sex!

  86. Dale Cutler says

    Copy, paste, remove the spaces:

    thinktheology. co. uk/blog/article/the_gay_anglo_saxon_warrior

  87. This is not a “dangerous idea” in this piece, contra Quillette’s “about” page. Rather, it’s a stupid idea at best, a mendacious one at worst.

    Ev psych is pseudoscience. Many biologists and many philosophers of science both know this, and have long known it. Things like the EEA are pseudoscientific and will remain so, in part because they are claims that simply cannot be scientifically investigated. On man the “noble hunter-gatherer,” we know that humans of both genders were scavenger-gatherers long before that, and in both cases, the woman gatherer provided the majority of calories. On the EEA, there is simply no way of knowing what period in human evolution was most productive or for what reasons.

    Beyond that, in specific, David Buller crushed most all claims of ev psych more than a decade ago, and no, nobody has refudiated him since. https://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2008/07/is-evolutionary-psychology-new-sexism.html

    That said, I think we’re agreeing, looking at your profile, and that you’re calling out 3QD for a bait-and-switch? Yeah, you’d be right. Running people like Alex Rosenberg here multiple times, I’ve become more and more skeptical about here.

  88. Pingback: Los Nuevos Detractores de la Evolución – Warm Little Pond

  89. Jeffrey Asher says

    The sexes not only differ in personality but in physical and intellectual capacity. Male IQ and achievement superiority is evident across the intellectual spectrum.

    At the IQ mean, the lowest cited male advantage is +3.6 IQ points. Irving & Lynn’s meta-analysis found the male advantage at about +4.6 IQ; Jackson & Rushton show +5.0 IQ. Nyborg cites +6.90 IQ points; Strumpf & Jackson measure +8.4 IQ.

    Scores on the SAT, GRE, LSAT and similar ability tests show a significant male advantage on verbal and wider on mathematics tests. That advantage persists despite over thirty years of ‘gender-norming’ of test questions (founded in the testers’ presumption of equal intelligence) to inflate female scores.

    In “Why g Matters,” Linda Gottfredson estimates that a minimum of IQ 120 is needed to be competitive in “high-level” jobs “… [and] the probability is that only 37% of the workforce at that level will be female”. At IQ 130 (+2SD), males comprise 82%; IQ 145 (+3SD), 88% and at IQ 160 (+4SD), associated with genius, males comprise 97%.

  90. Pingback: I, Napoleon – Small Dead Animals

  91. Stephen J. says

    “Sex certainly influences these traits, but it does not determine them.”

    Here’s the problem, though: For any given trait in either sex, is this influence strong enough, and consistent enough, that the average of the group can serve as a usefully reliable proxy (let’s say more than 50% likely to match) for the evaluation of any random individual within that group?

    If it is, then you may as well say “determined”, because effectively it has been. If it isn’t, there’s not really much point in saying “influenced”, because effectively it’s irrelevant.

  92. Stephen J. says

    “What is clear is that both the Catholic Church and well-intentioned social justice activists are guilty of gerrymandering evolutionary biology to make humans special, and keep the universal acid at bay.”

    With the one key difference that the Church points to metaphysical truths as the source of its justification of human uniqueness. Most social-justice advocates will acknowledge neither the existence of such truths nor the logical inconsistency of their special pleading without them.

  93. Pingback: Links: December 2, 2018

  94. Pi Transcendental says

    This article bursts with a crass excess of slight of intellectual hand, not to mention guilt by association. It begins with the latter, basically equating (falsely) fundamentalist religious rejection of evolution with criticisms of (primarily) GENDER classifications (not sex as the author misleadingly seeks to paint certain modern movements). The author lumps what are (primarily) gender critiques (with a sentence or two making that distinction in the article, thereby burying a moment of clarity in a lot of propaganda) with sex assignment. Perhaps not the intent, but the misapplication/misapprehension of several science articles on the sex-assignment side of things doesn’t help that benefit of the doubt.

    For example, the Nature editorial is touted as science being altered for politics, quoting “it would undermine efforts to reduce discrimination against transgender people and those who do not fall into the binary categories of male or female.” This quotation is used in the author’s long argument on clear biological binary-ism for human sex phenotype. But the author is (purposefully?) misleading here, ignoring the text immediately preceding:

    “The proposal — on which HHS officials have refused to comment — is a terrible idea that should be killed off. It has no foundation in science and would undo decades of progress on understanding sex — a classification based on internal and external bodily characteristics — and gender, a social construct related to biological differences but also rooted in culture, societal norms and individual behaviour. Worse, it would undermine efforts to reduce discrimination against transgender people and those who do not fall into the binary categories of male or female.”

    The Scientific American article is far, far more nuanced than the author presents it, making many biological arguments for why it is very hard to segregate the ideas of biological sex from gender in the context of science and culture. For an author who harps on his students’ possible confusion of sex and gender, his essay is the poster child for such mixing and misrepresentation.

    Moreover, the reality is that the Nature piece was making a strong argument that the recent US governmental proposal to strictly define an individual’s identity (on forms, ID cards, and thus determining everything from qualifications for certain societal activities to healthcare to marriage) is clearly intended to mix sex and gender in order to place (almost certainly religiously-based moral) constraints on individuals. It is a social engineering effort utterly transparent and reminiscent of Nazi ideologies from a US administration that is very clearly in thrall to such dictates.

    To mock the Nature and SA editorials, and to do so by misrepresenting what each was saying to fit the author’s straw man argument of sex-identity being the focus of the new “evolution deniers”, reveals some troubling motivations (perhaps even subconscious).

    Finally, it should be obvious that the equation of fundamentalist rejection of evolution to any given modern social sciences rejection of gender and identity is intellectual sloth. While some on the Left might make that argument (as some professors will argue that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, etc), most “gender warriors” are not going after evolution itself, whereas that is exactly what creationists do at their core, overtly, and with pride. While some leftists might criticize the formation of evolutionary theories and interpretations (survival of the fittest and the traditional male-dominant imagery and language obvious low-hanging fruit), it’s just simply exaggerating to the point of deception to paint this as an anti-evolution movement. It’s great click-bait, though.

    Gender is utterly a social construct. Sex itself can be anatomically defined with a binary distribution (with statistical tails) in humans, but how we conceptualize sex and gender, what they mean both scientifically and culturally, beyond a simplistic view of gonads and reproduction to the overall body and brain as a whole, are both strongly influenced by culture and science (non-linear feedback). In most languages—the very medium of our thoughts—there exists a predominance of gender binary words to formulate our ideas and discussions, mixing and confusing sex and gender in the essence of our ability to even think. Icing on the cake is that many of the dominant language groups for science prejudice the male genderization on top of that (which has led to numerous scientific absurdities that took time to unravel). We would do well to be mindful of these abject failures and the damage they have caused to science and society.

    To argue against these biases is to assume the human mind and its products hold some Platonic independent existence separate from the biological brain – that the blood and hormone soaked organ of cogitation is not shaped in large measure by society and human interactions, language, and myths (both religious and scientific). It is to have a faith in “reason” that therefore no reason can support, unless one deep dives into one’s navel, recursively. I will suggest that the anti-evolutionary sins of relevance occur within this domain.

    If anything, this article reads as some 19th century screed of a low-level acolyte of Scientific Naturalism, an old and now feeble faith in reason that will go the way of all limited ideologies. What is needed is a synthesis of the growing understanding of the interrelatedness of society and science that can produce a hybrid that enhances social justice and world progress.

    Personally, I think we’re just too primitive a species to ascend to that level, but raising a toast to the optimists out there. L’Chaim!

  95. Pingback: About the facts of life, Darwinian Jerry Coyne is still being stubborn … | Uncommon Descent

  96. Pingback: The Transgender Movement Is Not Interested In Compromise | Media Hard

  97. Pingback: Science journal embraces reincarnation research in support of transgender ideology | Uncommon Descent

Comments are closed.