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Old 9th August 2022, 01:30 PM   #521
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Which comments about karyotyping? Show your work. Think you need to pay a bit more attention to what I'm saying.

My suggestion to use karyotypes in place of sex on passports and similar documents - if that's what you were referring to; not at all a case of "sarcasm" - was to "cut the Gordian Knot", to get off the horns of a dilemma caused by a conflict between, on the one hand, the biological definitions - which, mirabile dictu, have a great deal of relevance and utility in - zounds and gadzooks - actual biology and, on the other hand, the structure-absent-function definitions of Hilton and Company, of various so-called social scientists, which are largely useless and cause any number of quite serious conflicts and inconsistencies in actual biology.
There you go, I just knew you could work out what I meant, you just missed the earlier occasion where you said it worked for you. Maybe that occasion was sarcasm.
Quote:

Tell that to the editors of Lexico, OED, the Journals of Theoretical Biology and Molecular Human Reproduction, and vast non-benighted swaths of the biological community that the biological definitions are "useless in the real world" ...
They aren't part of the real world.
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:34 PM   #522
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm on holiday. I'd sworn off this pointless nonsense for the duration, but this is getting ridiculous.
I thought you were retired - every day is a holiday.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well yes, he does. Obviously (unless there's something else wrong with him). He has sperm with which a female may be fertilised if he has the vasectomy reversed, or if he undergoes a procedure to extract sperm directly from the testes which can then be used for artificial insemination. That can be done at any time.
You might note the definition for sex and the centrality of "reproductive function". You think vasectomees have any of that?

Quote:
sex (noun): Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/sex

You might note my earlier conjecture as to what Hilton might replace that by ...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just as Ramon needs to get up and have the vasectomy reversed.
Then he gets to rejoin the congregation of the Lord males ...

Easy, peasy.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
<snip>

Christ on a bike, does anyone in the entire world think this is what the words male and female mean to anyone? If we actually needed words for these concepts we should be coining new ones, because male and female are already taken. However, I can see no need or indeed demand for words to denote such difficult-to-define and difficult to verify organisms.
You too may wish to read that Regenmortel article - a suggestion that is likely to fall on deaf ears. But your "definition" is little more than one of "family resemblances", a "polythetic category", a spectrum:

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...fig1_309889266

https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._virus_species

You - and PZ, and Hilton, and ...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's not even technically correct. There isn't a single actual biologist (as opposed to philosophers playing at biology) who would use Steersman's definition in a technical sense. It's all based on a misunderstanding/misinterpretation.
Really? No true Scotsmen, eh?

You may wish to take a gander at a post by Australian feminist "philosopher" Holly Lawford-Smith at Medium - where she was apparently defenestrated for "offending" the transloonie tribe - on that point:

Quote:
Whenever you chat to a biologist about what they understand ‘sex’ to be – and I have chatted to a few – they tend to talk about large and small gametes. Human sexual reproduction proceeds through the combination of sex cells of two different sizes (this is known as anisogamy): small gametes (sperm) and large gametes (ova). Males produce sperm, and females produce eggs. Almost no definitions that we give in philosophy have a single necessary condition, but sex is one of the few instances where such a definition works well. If a human individual produces sperm then he’s male, and if a human individual produces ova then she’s female. This is a definition that researchers in many different academic disciplines take as foundational to their work.
https://web.archive.org/web/20190502...x-8d863ce7fca2

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
ETA. Someone (who appears to be having a laugh) doesn't realise that freemartinism doesn't occur in horses.
Another no true Scotsman?

PZ is not noted for his consistency or intellectual honesty or even biological knowledge.
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:37 PM   #523
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
If neither male nor female then what you're saying is that sex is spectrum.
Welcome to the thread. If you're going to make inferences like this, it might be helpful to search through the back catalog first.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
IF we define the sexes such that producing gametes of either of two types are the "necessary and sufficient conditions" for sex category membership...
I think you'll find that people don't actually define the two sexes so as to require "producing gametes" in the present tense, since they keep referring to male infants and post-menopausal females, rather than pre-males and post-females. It might make more sense for you to adjust definitions to fit actual usage, as dictionary compilers do, instead of insisting you're the only one who understands what these words are intended to convey.
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:38 PM   #524
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
There you go, I just knew you could work out what I meant, you just missed the earlier occasion where you said it worked for you. Maybe that occasion was sarcasm.
Show your work. I probably said that it worked for me as criteria for adjudicating competing claims to access various venues like toilets, change-rooms, and sports leagues.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
They aren't part of the real world.
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:42 PM   #525
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Welcome to the thread. If you're going to make inferences like this, it might be helpful to search through the back catalog first.
So what? You're blathering or talking out of both sides of your mouth.

If intersex are neither male nor female but still have a sex then, ipso facto, sex is a spectrum.
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Old 9th August 2022, 02:24 PM   #526
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
If intersex are neither male nor female but still have a sex then, ipso facto, sex is a spectrum.
And if they don't have a sex?
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Old 9th August 2022, 02:31 PM   #527
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
So what? You're blathering or talking out of both sides of your mouth.

If intersex are neither male nor female but still have a sex then, ipso facto, sex is a spectrum.
How can you have a spectrum with three discrete points and no continuum between them?
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Old 9th August 2022, 03:07 PM   #528
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
And if they don't have a sex?
Then I guess they're sexLESS ...

Quote:
sexless (adjective): Neither male nor female.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/sexless
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Old 9th August 2022, 03:10 PM   #529
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"That's not a Scotsman, it's Chinese. And female. And three years old. And a dog."

"Really? No true Scotsmen, eh? "
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Old 9th August 2022, 03:16 PM   #530
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How can you have a spectrum with three discrete points and no continuum between them?
There doesn't have to been any such "continuum"; see "Discrete spectrum":

Quote:
A physical quantity is said to have a discrete spectrum if it takes only distinct values, with gaps between one value and the next.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_spectrum

Pretty much the whole of my earlier argument with karyotypes constituting such a spectrum; see my joint-probability distribution by karyotype and heights.

All you need for such a spectrum is two end points and one or more in between those:

Quote:
spectrum (noun): Used to classify something in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme points.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/spectrum

If you only have two points then you have a binary, 1 or more in between then you have a spectrum, discrete or continuous.
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File Type: jpg SexSpectrum_KaryotypeVsHeights2A.jpg (60.1 KB, 4 views)
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Old 9th August 2022, 03:21 PM   #531
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For there to be a spectrum you need a variable you are measuring, e.g. wavelength.

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Old 9th August 2022, 03:44 PM   #532
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
For there to be a spectrum you need a variable you are measuring, e.g. wavelength.
Nope.

Quote:
spectrum (noun): 1.1 (the spectrum) The entire range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/spectrum

Quote:
range (noun): A set of different things of the same general type.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/range

"range" and "spectrum" are more or less synonymous; being able to order those "different things" by some common quantifiable property is NOT a necessary property of either term.

One can have a set of "different things" - of the "thing" type - that have nothing in common that might provide an intrinsic order. They're "artificial kinds" as opposed to "natural kinds":

Quote:
Groupings that are artificial or arbitrary are not natural; they are invented or imposed on nature. Natural kinds, on the other hand, are not invented, and many assume that scientific investigations should discover them.
https://iep.utm.edu/nat-kind/

For example, a set - the "thingy" set - of, say, an apple, a book, a clown suit, and a picture (say of a pipe)

Nothing in common, that's immediately evident but still an order imposed by their position in the set from first to last such that we can say that "clown suit" > "book".

A spectrum, a range.
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Old 9th August 2022, 03:53 PM   #533
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
There doesn't have to been any such "continuum"; see "Discrete spectrum":



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_spectrum
Sex in humans isn't a physical quantity, though.
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Old 9th August 2022, 04:28 PM   #534
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sex in humans isn't a physical quantity, though.
Yes, quite agree.

Classes and categories are generally just abstractions, a perception that different things have properties in common. The only thing that's "really real" are the properties that determine category membership; note the "regarded", i.e., "perceived":

Quote:
category (noun): A class or division of people or things regarded as having particular shared characteristics.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/category

And in the case of the sexes - at least as they're sensibly and logically defined by most biologists worth their salt - the "shared properties" that constitute "necessary and sufficient conditions" for category membership are "produces (habitually) ova" and "produces (habitually) sperm".

Those properties are quite real, but the categories themselves - "male" and "female" - are just abstractions that many people insist on turning into real things - the "sin", the logical fallacy of reification. Nobody HAS a "female" or a "male" - I defy anyone to measure the volume and size of their sexes, locate them so many inches to the east and south of their kidneys.

You might check out that Regenmortel essay which elaborates on those concepts in some detail, the abstract and section 2 in particular:

Quote:
Abstract:

Whereas monothetic classes are defined by one or a few properties that are both necessary and sufficient for membership in the class, polythetic classes are defined by a variable set of statistically covariant properties, none of which is a defining property necessarily present in every member of the class.

2. The logic of hierarchical virus classification

The root of the word classification is class, a term that refers to all the classes of viruses or organisms that have concrete objects as their members. Every membership condition determines a class and since whatever is said about a thing ascribes a property to it, properties and classes are related entities (Quine 1990: 22–24). ....
Class membership is the logical relation that makes it possible to establish a bridge between two logical categories, namely an abstract class or taxon which is a mental construct and its concrete members that are objects located in space and time.
https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._virus_species

That the sexes or other categories are only "mental constructs" does not mean that we can't order - one way or another - the quite tangible properties that determine which "concrete members" are in one category or another - binary, or spectrum.

But see Regenmortel's Figure 1 for a nice illustration of the differences between polythetic and monothetic categories:

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...fig1_309889266
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Old 9th August 2022, 04:54 PM   #535
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"range" and "spectrum" are more or less synonymous; being able to order those "different things" by some common quantifiable property is NOT a necessary property of either term.
Okay, so a qualitative spectrum which cannot be plotted out with an underlying variable the way wavelengths are.

I think you pasted in the wrong defintion from lexico, though, since the range of EM wavelengths is very much quantifiable. You might well consider defintion 2.


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Old 9th August 2022, 05:03 PM   #536
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
As for your, "you, all by your lonesome, have declared to not have a sex", you may wish to try reading up on the concept of "necessary and sufficient conditions"
I'm extremely familiar with the concept of necessary and sufficient conditions. I'm quite confident that I have a better understanding of it than you do. In fact, I've explicitly addressed your arguments from that perspective a number of times, which you seem to have ignored. Specifically... the active production of a specific gamete is a SUFFICIENT condition to be categorized as either male or female... but it is NOT a NECESSARY condition. One can be male while not actively producing sperm. One cannot be a fertile male without actively producing sperm, but one can still be male.

The NECESSARY condition is the presence of the anatomical organs associated with the production of gametes.

I've made several good faith arguments and analogies attempting to address your misunderstandings. So far, you've either completely ignored those posts... or you've responded with condescension and arrogance even when the topic is outside of your area of expertise and well inside mine.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:08 PM   #537
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A discrete spectrum: motor vehicles, perhaps? Some have two wheels, some have three, some four, some 6 and so on, up past 18 for the big ones. But I think you will wait a long time for one with seven and a half wheels to roll by.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:13 PM   #538
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
IF we define the sexes such that producing gametes of either of two types are the "necessary and sufficient conditions" for sex category membership...
You can stop right there. We don't. We do NOT define sexes that way. Your premise is fatally flawed, and thus it is rejected.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:15 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
If intersex are neither male nor female but still have a sex then, ipso facto, sex is a spectrum.
You cannot have a spectrum of categorical variables. In order to have a spectrum, the variable under consideration must be ordinal.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:16 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
There doesn't have to been any such "continuum"; see "Discrete spectrum"
A discrete spectrum still requires the variable under consideration to be ordinal.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:18 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Nope.



https://www.lexico.com/definition/spectrum



https://www.lexico.com/definition/range

"range" and "spectrum" are more or less synonymous; being able to order those "different things" by some common quantifiable property is NOT a necessary property of either term.

One can have a set of "different things" - of the "thing" type - that have nothing in common that might provide an intrinsic order. They're "artificial kinds" as opposed to "natural kinds":



https://iep.utm.edu/nat-kind/

For example, a set - the "thingy" set - of, say, an apple, a book, a clown suit, and a picture (say of a pipe)

Nothing in common, that's immediately evident but still an order imposed by their position in the set from first to last such that we can say that "clown suit" > "book".

A spectrum, a range.
Your entire reasoning is pseudomath. It's completely and irrevocably wrong.

We cannot say "clown suit" > "book". It's not a thing. It's so far from a thing that it's not even wrong.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:20 PM   #542
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
A discrete spectrum: motor vehicles, perhaps? Some have two wheels, some have three, some four, some 6 and so on, up past 18 for the big ones. But I think you will wait a long time for one with seven and a half wheels to roll by.
Discrete spectrum, yes. However, it's important to note that the variable under consideration is the number of wheels... and numbers are unquestionably ordinal. 1 < 2 < 3 < 4 < 6 < 18... etc.
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Old 9th August 2022, 06:16 PM   #543
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I'm extremely familiar with the concept of necessary and sufficient conditions. I'm quite confident that I have a better understanding of it than you do.
Really doesn't look like it all. You apparently refuse to address what I've quoted about them in the context of intensional definitions and how the apply to the standard biological definitions.

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
In fact, I've explicitly addressed your arguments from that perspective a number of times, which you seem to have ignored. Specifically... the active production of a specific gamete is a SUFFICIENT condition to be categorized as either male or female... but it is NOT a NECESSARY condition. One can be male while not actively producing sperm. One cannot be a fertile male without actively producing sperm, but one can still be male.

The NECESSARY condition is the presence of the anatomical organs associated with the production of gametes.
You don't quite seem to get that that is based on your own quite idiosyncratic definition for the sexes. Do show us any dictionary definition, do show us any reputable journal that says anything of the sort. For bonus points, show how it - if it exists - refutes the standard biological definition, a salient example of which is the Lexico definition:

Quote:
male (adjective): Of or denoting the sex that produces gametes, especially spermatozoa, with which a female may be fertilized or inseminated to produce offspring.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/male

You see ANYTHING at all there about ANY anatomical organs? Much less any "associated with the production of gametes"?

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I've made several good faith arguments and analogies attempting to address your misunderstandings. So far, you've either completely ignored those posts... or you've responded with condescension and arrogance even when the topic is outside of your area of expertise and well inside mine.
What a joke; you might try going back and look for my responses to you - which I have yet to see you address. Hard not to express some exasperation in the face of such pigheadedness.

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Your entire reasoning is pseudomath. It's completely and irrevocably wrong.

We cannot say "clown suit" > "book". It's not a thing. It's so far from a thing that it's not even wrong.
I generally put the terms in quotes to suggest that they really weren't commensurable - as my argument underlined; which you might try unbunching your knickers long enough to actually read and think about.

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Discrete spectrum, yes. However, it's important to note that the variable under consideration is the number of wheels... and numbers are unquestionably ordinal. 1 < 2 < 3 < 4 < 6 < 18... etc.
So are the positions in the ordered set {apple, book, clown suit, picture}, i.e., {1,2,3,4}

Position of clown-suit > position of book.

And one can do the same sort of thing with properties that determine membership in other polythetic categories - as in Regenmortel's example. We can give a binary representation to the sets of sufficient but not necessary properties that define the category which encompasses individuals 1 through 4:

Quote:
A-B-C = 1110
A-B-D = 1101
A-C-D = 1011
B-C-D = 0111
Even if the properties are categorical, even if there's diddly-squat that allows us to say they're commensurable, we can still arbitrarily order them. The 4 sets of mutually exclusive - and orderable - combinations constitute and define entities in a discrete spectrum. Necessary property set A-B-D has a mapped index of 1101 which is greater than the mapped index (1011) of property set A-C-D.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...fig1_309889266
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Old 9th August 2022, 06:21 PM   #544
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
You can stop right there. We don't. We do NOT define sexes that way. Your premise is fatally flawed, and thus it is rejected.
Who's "we"?

You may wish to contact the editors of Lexico, Google/OED, the Journals of Theoretical Biology and of Molecular Human Reproduction, of Wikipedia and a raft of others too numerous to mention who apparently didn't get the memo that they've been cast into the outer darkness ...

You're really not covering yourself in any sort of glory or even much credibility by refusing to address their definitions.
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Old 9th August 2022, 06:36 PM   #545
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
https://www.lexico.com/definition/male

You see ANYTHING at all there about ANY anatomical organs?
You see anything about "male children" in there? Maybe they have some specific organs in common with the males doing the gamete production.

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Old 9th August 2022, 06:49 PM   #546
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Okay, so a qualitative spectrum which cannot be plotted out with an underlying variable the way wavelengths are.
Exactly - more or less . Though as with my recent response to Emily - or her cat which seems to have a hairball stuck somewhere ... - we can generally use any arbitrary order we want - as long as the mapping is unique, a bijection in fact and if I'm not mistaken:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biject...and_surjection

Lots of different ways of doing that, some better than others. I had thought of ordering the "karyotype-sex" spectrum by corresponding population size, but that could be "problematic" if two or more "karyotype-sexes" had the same population size.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I think you pasted in the wrong definition from Lexico, though, since the range of EM wavelengths is very much quantifiable. You might well consider definition 2.
Quite possibly, although I think I was thinking more about how the wavelengths definition had used the term "range" as a way of arguing that "spectrum" and "range" were more or less synonymous.

But another useful definition is this one:

Quote:
spectrum (noun): 2) Used to classify something in terms of its position on a scale between two extreme points.
Emphasizing again something between two end points. But there again, the scale isn't explicitly calling for or suggesting any sort of ordinal variable common or intrinsic to all the elements in the spectrum.
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Old 9th August 2022, 06:52 PM   #547
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You see anything about "male children" in there? Maybe they have some specific organs in common with the males doing the gamete production.


I'm talking about the necessary and sufficient conditions for category membership; you're trying to talk about a sentence that Lexico used as an example which conflicts with the conditions that are described in the definition.

Entirely different kettles of fish.
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Old 9th August 2022, 07:46 PM   #548
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I'm talking about the necessary and sufficient conditions for category membership; you're trying to talk about a sentence that Lexico used as an example which conflicts with the conditions that are described in the definition.
Almost as if the lexicographers themselves don't seem to think the defintion does what you think it does.

I wonder whom to trust more...
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Old 9th August 2022, 07:57 PM   #549
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More example sentences using "male" from Lexico.

[Spoil][/spoil]
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:11 PM   #550
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Almost as if the lexicographers themselves don't seem to think the definition does what you think it does.

I wonder whom to trust more...
Oh ye of little faith ...

As I've mentioned before, it seems that lexicographers use some automated processes to acquire examples. Which are probably not designed to check for contradictions with the defining premises. Or maybe flunkies with the same limitations selected them.

But I've periodically wondered at the provenance of Lexico's & OED's definitions for the sexes. I've just used Google's NGram Viewer to search for "produces gametes" which gives zero results, at least for the quoted string. The unquoted version starts showing up about 1900 but haven't the foggiest idea how to interpret the results, or how to use the tool more effectively:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Ngram_Viewer

Not sure how else I can find that information, at least apart from subscribing to OED which probably has something.

But Parker at least more or less created a stipulative definition that goes back at least as far as 1972. Moot whether the dictionaries had virtually the same before then or whether Parker started the ball rolling.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:15 PM   #551
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
More example sentences using "male" from Lexico.
"boys" isn't much of a problem, at least if we define "boy" as "prepubescent XYer".

"male" is the problem. Unless you want to define it as a gender or gender identity ...
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:28 PM   #552
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Discrete spectrum, yes. However, it's important to note that the variable under consideration is the number of wheels... and numbers are unquestionably ordinal. 1 < 2 < 3 < 4 < 6 < 18... etc.
True enough, just noting hastily that you can have a spectrum that is not a continuum.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:36 PM   #553
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
A discrete spectrum: motor vehicles, perhaps? Some have two wheels, some have three, some four, some 6 and so on, up past 18 for the big ones. But I think you will wait a long time for one with seven and a half wheels to roll by.
Sure - works for me ...

But curious and/or illuminating comment from the Wikipedia article:

Quote:
A physical quantity is said to have a discrete spectrum if it takes only distinct values, with gaps between one value and the next.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrete_spectrum

Most if not all of the examples they talk about are, in fact, related to physical quantities of one sort or another.

But the Lexico examples - which should, of course, be accepted as gospel truth in this neck of the woods ... - show usages that pertain to applications which don't seem to have any such requirements:

Quote:
spectrum (noun): 2.1) A wide range.
‘self-help books are covering a broader and broader spectrum’

‘The budding writers touched upon a wide spectrum of issues ranging from suspense, fantasy, ghosts, sporting rivalry to philosophy and science fiction.’
https://www.lexico.com/definition/spectrum
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Old 9th August 2022, 11:57 PM   #554
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
And the element that's common - in ALL those 7 million or species including the human species - is that sexual reproduction takes place as a result of "the union or fusion of two gametes [sperm and ova] that differ in size and/or form"; anisogamy:
Yes

Quote:
What qualifies ANY member of ANY sexually-reproducing species - plants, fish, birds, insects, and mammals - as male or female is the type of gamete they produce; if they produce sperm then they're male, if they produce ova then they're female, and if they produce neither then they're sexless.
In reality if you extend it to all species then definition of the sex of an organism gets very complicated, as some species can change sex, in others sex is not set by chromosones but by size, or by temperature etc etc

Can you make it clear whether you are looking for a definition which works for ALL species (which will need to take account of all those exceptions) or one for humans, which will be MUCH simpler as it does not have to take into account all the exceptions found in other species?
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Old 10th August 2022, 12:39 AM   #555
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
Yes
In reality if you extend it to all species then definition of the sex of an organism gets very complicated, as some species can change sex, in others sex is not set by chromosomes but by size, or by temperature etc etc.
Nope. You're conflating the criteria for membership in the sex categories which are pretty simple indeed - i.e., produces sperm or ova - with all of the different mechanisms of chromosomes and genitalia that are part of how actual sexual reproduction operates in all of those 7 million species.

The essential property of the categories "male" and "female" is "produces gametes"; all those other mechanisms are "accidental properties" that have no bearing whatsoever on sex category membership.

Fairly decent article on the topic below though it gets pretty convoluted pretty quickly. But the first couple of paragraphs should be sufficient to get the gist of the difference:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/e...al-accidental/

Originally Posted by Aber View Post
Can you make it clear whether you are looking for a definition which works for ALL species (which will need to take account of all those exceptions) or one for humans, which will be MUCH simpler as it does not have to take into account all the exceptions found in other species?
The existing definition does in fact "work for all species", for all sexually-reproducing species. There's no need at all to address any "exceptions", any differences between the species because they're irrelevant to the definition.

Does one need to address all the differences between different races, ethnicities, heights, weights, and sexes of teenagers to realize that they're irrelevant to the question of what makes them all members of that category in the first place?

But you might be interested in this recent, fairly decent article that discusses both those biological definitions and some history of sexual reproduction.

https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/...lp-explain-the

Though, as I've argued there, the article still winds up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with another variation on the structure-absent-function definition.
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Old 10th August 2022, 01:43 AM   #556
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Show your work. I probably said that it worked for me as criteria for adjudicating competing claims to access various venues like toilets, change-rooms, and sports leagues.
Probably, but I really can't be bothered to go back through all your posts to find it. You claim to be trying to prevent the "transloonies" (your word) from blurring the presently used definitions of male and female for their own purposes but are only succeding in blurring those definitions for the purposes of philosophical rigor. Bizarre.

Quote:

Roll your eyes as much as you want, the real world is the world that uses the definitions during it's daily life as part of that life, not the biologists lexicographers and philosophers who continue to argue over the definitions themselves in order to impress each other with their academic purity.
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Old 10th August 2022, 02:28 AM   #557
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Probably, but I really can't be bothered to go back through all your posts to find it. You claim to be trying to prevent the "transloonies" (your word) from blurring the presently used definitions of male and female for their own purposes but are only succeeding in blurring those definitions for the purposes of philosophical rigor. Bizarre.
It's not just "philosophical rigor" for its own sake. It's because sloppy thinking causes no end of problems.

Not much of problem in some cases, but in others - as in the transgender "debate" - it can have lethal consequences. Which the traditional definitions that you're defending or touting are contributing to.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Roll your eyes as much as you want, the real world is the world that uses the definitions during it's daily life as part of that life, not the biologists lexicographers and philosophers who continue to argue over the definitions themselves in order to impress each other with their academic purity.


Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

https://www.amazon.ca/Extraordinary-...dp/1539849589/

Kind of get the impression that if you had your druthers you would prefer that we were all back in the Dark Ages.

I'm no great fan of Academia - figure far too much of it has been rotted out by postmodernism, feminism, and transgender dogma. Case in point from Shermer's Substack on Walsh's documentary:

Quote:
But Grzanka’s dodge is not uncommon in academia today, and in exasperation with Walsh’s persistent questioning in search of the truth, Grzanka pronounces on camera, ”Getting to the truth is deeply transphobic.”
https://michaelshermer.substack.com/...-woman-anyway/

But there's also a great deal of value in the fields of science, philosophy, biology, and logic - much of which came out of Academia - which is hanging in the balance because of the pigheaded ignorance and scientific illiteracy of great swaths of the hoi polloi - part and parcel of that "real world" that you seem rather too quick to defend.
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Old 10th August 2022, 04:53 AM   #558
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
It's not just "philosophical rigor" for its own sake. It's because sloppy thinking causes no end of problems.

Not much of problem in some cases, but in others - as in the transgender "debate" - it can have lethal consequences. Which the traditional definitions that you're defending or touting are contributing to.




Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

https://www.amazon.ca/Extraordinary-...dp/1539849589/

Kind of get the impression that if you had your druthers you would prefer that we were all back in the Dark Ages.

I'm no great fan of Academia - figure far too much of it has been rotted out by postmodernism, feminism, and transgender dogma. Case in point from Shermer's Substack on Walsh's documentary:



https://michaelshermer.substack.com/...-woman-anyway/

But there's also a great deal of value in the fields of science, philosophy, biology, and logic - much of which came out of Academia - which is hanging in the balance because of the pigheaded ignorance and scientific illiteracy of great swaths of the hoi polloi - part and parcel of that "real world" that you seem rather too quick to defend.
That last paragraph of yours really does indicate a seriously distorted view of the world. The hoi polloi for whom you show such disdain are not driving these changes, they have no interest or part in discussing these changes and they would be quite happy to stop these changes which are affecting their lives - just as you would. Does that also make you someone who would return to the dark ages?

Do I defend the hoi polloi? In so far as I don't think they are even vaguely responsible for the "postmodernism, feminism, and transgender dogma" you complain about then yes I do. I don't believe they have any part in developing what you call "transloony" dogma, unlike certain sectors of academia and politics. So stop whinging about the great unwashed and start gathering a consensus of academics to find usable definitions for male and female that might achieve your aims, even if it means holding your nose at the stink of philosophical heresy.
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Old 10th August 2022, 05:36 AM   #559
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"boys" isn't much of a problem, at least if we define "boy" as "prepubescent XYer".
You skimmed the examples too fast; I'll excerpt a few of the relevant ones here.

Quote:
‘Brit Milah, or circumcision, is performed on a Jewish male eight days after he is born.’
Quote:
Infant male circumcision as practised by the Jews occurs on the eighth day after birth.’
From the above-mentioned entry on circumcision.

And here are some more examples from Lexico:

Quote:
'Researchers studying male infertility now have a new way of studying sperm function.'
From the entry on infertility.

Quote:
‘The procedure identifies and sorts sperm into two types determining whether a fertilised egg develops into a male or female embryo.’
Quote:
‘There are many reasons for male infertility, including low sperm count, inactive or incompletely formed sperms and other factors that hamper fertilisation.’
From the entry on sperm.

Quote:
‘The cause of male infertility according to the medical model of infertility is due to abnormal sperm parameters, azoospermia and antisperm antibodies.’
From the entry on azoospermia.

Quote:
‘This means that when females cannot detect costly mates, the strength of selection on females increases with the frequency of sterile males in the population.’
From the entry on sterile.

Quote:
‘the disease can cause sterility in males
From the entry on sterility.

You would have us believe that Lexico may be trusted in spelling out all the necessary and sufficient conditions of maleness, but also that their editors get their own definitions wrong over and over whenever they refer to what you'd prefer to call "pre-males" or otherwise sterile males. I don't think this is a sensible approach at all, since the examples are chosen to illustrate usage.
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Old 10th August 2022, 11:38 AM   #560
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You skimmed the examples too fast; I'll excerpt a few of the relevant ones here.
Yeah, I got the picture. And I said so:

Quote:
"male" is the problem. Unless you want to define it as a gender or gender identity ...
Why your later examples are largely a case of missing the point.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You would have us believe that Lexico may be trusted in spelling out all the necessary and sufficient conditions of maleness, but also that their editors get their own definitions wrong over and over whenever they refer to what you'd prefer to call "pre-males" or otherwise sterile males. I don't think this is a sensible approach at all, since the examples are chosen to illustrate usage.
Clearly a case of the left-hand not knowing what the right is doing - lotta that goin' round these days.

Again, usage is no guarantee of accuracy or logical coherence. Not much of a problem if we recognize many of those uses as cases of sloppy or motivated "thinking", ellipsis, or synecdoche. A serious if not fatal one if we try to use them as the basis for any sort of reasoned argument; the results are often little better than equivocation, intentional or not:

Quote:
A feather is light [not heavy].
What is light [bright] cannot be dark.
Therefore, a feather cannot be dark.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation

It's now "common use" to use "male" and "female" to refer to gender or gender-identity, the editors at Merriam-Webster having given their blessings to the latter:

Quote:
female (adjective): 1b: having a gender identity that is the opposite of male
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/female

And Wikipedia to the former:

Quote:
In humans, the word female can also be used to refer to gender.[5][6]

5) L. Gordon, "On difference", in Genders (1991), p. 95
6) Laura Palazzani, Gender in Philosophy and Law (2012), page v
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female

If you have no criteria at all, no rational or justifiable principles for determining which uses are justified or not then you really don't have a leg to stand on when political opportunists take advantage of ones that aren't.

"First they came for our logical, scientific, and philosophical principles ..."
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