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Old 6th August 2022, 05:06 PM   #401
Steersman
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steersman:


I agree with the definition - particularly since it is more or less exactly what many other sources say - despite Rolfe's unwillingness to consider them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male
https://theparadoxinstitute.com/blog...termining-sex/

The latter starts out with the definitions from the Parker and Lehtonen article on gametes.

<snip>
How does the latter source you have cited support your claim? It outright contradicts it.
I didn't actually say that Paradox Institute itself "supports my claim", although I'll concede that my phrasing wasn't as clear as it could-have, should-have been. My intent there was that the Paradox article quotes, "starts out with definitions from the Parker and Lehtonen article" that DOES, in fact, support my claim; those definitions are virtually identical to the standard biological definitions in Lexico, Wikipedia, and Google/OED.

As I've argued here or on the "identity" thread, I've found it rather incongruous that Zach Elliott there at Paradox is championing those definitions while apparently not having a clue about their logical consequences which contradict the "structure-absent-function" definitions of him and Hilton & company and their fellow-travelers.

Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post

"Biologically, sex is defined with respect to gamete type.[1] Because there are only two gamete types, there are only two sexes"

I assume this is what you are saying supports your approach. However, it then goes on to state:

"Based on this definition, we know whether an individual is male or female by looking at the structures that support the production (gonads) and release (genitalia) of either gamete type.[5] In other words, we look at whether the individual develops a body plan organized around small gametes or large gametes.[6] In humans, sex is binary and immutable. Individuals are either male or female throughout their entire life cycle.[7]"
Part and parcel of the "patch-work definitions of social-sciences":

Quote:
"On a deeper level, the ‘patchwork’ definition of sex used in the social sciences [and by Emma Hilton and Company] is purely descriptive and lacks a functional rationale. This contrasts sharply with how the sexes are defined in biology. From a biological standpoint, what distinguishes the males and females of a species is the size of their gametes: males produce [present tense indefinite] small gametes (e.g., sperm), females produce [present tense indefinite] large gametes (e.g., eggs; Kodric-Brown & Brown, 1987)"
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...Sex_and_Gender

That IS the problem: two quite incompatible and inconsistent definitions on the table; they can't both be right; they can't both claim to being trump.

Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Category membership is determined by the presence of structures that developed according to one of two pathways to support a particular function (production of one gamete type). This makes function central to the existence of the category and distinguishes features that are important for defining sex from those that are simply associated with it (something which gender identity activists try to obfuscate). It doesn't follow from this that the structures must currently be functional for category membership.
Again, it is not simply structure; function is the essential property: no habitual production of gametes, no sex. Look closely at those definitions from Wikipedia, Lexico, and Parker & Lehtonen; they're all about, explicitly state, "produces gametes" - present tense indefinite, on a regular basis, habitually.

That property is the "necessary and sufficient condition" for category membership:

Quote:
An intensional definition gives meaning to a term by specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for when the term should be used. In the case of nouns, this is equivalent to specifying the properties that an object needs to have in order to be counted as a referent of the term.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions

I didn't create those definitions, nor the logical principles that underwrite and lead to that conclusion - i.e., no gametes, no sex. Only trying to show that those ARE the "axioms" and principles on the table, ones which have a great deal of currency and logical coherence. Have yet to see anyone even try arguing that those are or should be "null and void".
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Old 6th August 2022, 05:09 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Just one question; you dodged it.

If you had to task someone with purchasing a neutered male puppy, how would you phrase the request?
Christ in a side car. Try looking - and/or reading between the lines.

But if so then how about picking up a very young prepubertal cat dog who has been fixed and who would have become a male otherwise?
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Old 6th August 2022, 05:17 PM   #403
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
.... No one wants or needs, for any purpose, a definition of "woman" that excludes my mother from the category due to her age relative to the human reproductive life cycle. ...
"How DARE! you?"

Lotta people get rather "offended" these days when one suggests they don't have any justification for their claims to being members of particular categories ...

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/706...say-i-m-rather
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Old 6th August 2022, 05:40 PM   #404
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Let's just say, for the sake of discussion, that everybody agreed with and adopted your unique definition of the sexes. Great, now we can use the exact same definition for humans as we do for freaky deaky earthworms. Other than that, is there anything at all that your definition is useful for? What confusion does it clear up? What practical difference would it make? What's the point?
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Old 6th August 2022, 05:43 PM   #405
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I hear they're going to come out with a new revised edition of Louisa May Alcott's classics. A two volume set, Little Things I and II.
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Old 6th August 2022, 05:58 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"How DARE! you?"

Lotta people get rather "offended" these days when one suggests they don't have any justification for their claims to being members of particular categories ...

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/706...say-i-m-rather

I didn't say it was offensive, I said it was an incorrect definition of the category. It's incorrect because it clearly excludes elements from the category that there is no practical reason to exclude, that no one would expect to be excluded, and that no one desires or is making any attempt to exclude.
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Old 6th August 2022, 06:49 PM   #407
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
Let's just say, for the sake of discussion, that everybody agreed with and adopted your unique definition of the sexes. Great, now we can use the exact same definition for humans as we do for freaky deaky earthworms. Other than that, is there anything at all that your definition is useful for? What confusion does it clear up? What practical difference would it make? What's the point?
Not really my own "unique definition" though is it? A rather unreasonable suggestion given the ubiquity of it - something that Rolfe in particular seems rather reluctant to address:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female
https://www.lexico.com/definition/male

You might do a Google search for "female definition", the top result of which from Google/OED themselves endorses those two as well.

But, other than that, good questions, although "confusion" seems the crux of the matter. As I've argued in my Substack, and as I've indicated recently here, there are more than a few conflicting definitions for the sexes, the confusion and squabbling over which just allows the transloonie nutcases to go up the middle for a touchdown - so to speak.

I'm not particularly wedded to the biological definitions themselves, though that is less a question of the brute facts themselves - i.e., that those who produce gametes are more likely to reproduce than those who don't - and more one of the names attached to those "natural kinds" - Parker and Lehtonen might reasonably have named those categories other than "male" and "female", although that is maybe moot:

Quote:
Scientific disciplines frequently divide the particulars they study into kinds and theorize about those kinds. To say that a kind is natural is to say that it corresponds to a grouping that reflects the structure of the natural world rather than the interests and actions of human beings.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-kinds/

But I think that's the biggest problem - in that squabbling some important principles are getting lost, corrupted, distorted, bastardized or totally bent out of shape - which really isn't to anyone's benefit. Both of which contribute to the increasing prevalence of Lysenkoism in many fields and venues, not least of which is at Wikipedia itself. ICYMI, my "tale of woe" about getting "deplatformed" there for objecting to their claims that transwoman and Olympian Laurel Hubbard had "transitioned to female":

https://medium.com/@steersmann/wikip...m-410901a22da2
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Old 6th August 2022, 07:37 PM   #408
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
I didn't say it was offensive, I said it was an incorrect definition of the category. ....
True, though you did say that it was "stupid", and "simply and absolutely wrong". With diddly-squat in the way of evidence or justification for that claim ...

Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
It's incorrect because it clearly excludes elements from the category that there is no practical reason to exclude, that no one would expect to be excluded, and that no one desires or is making any attempt to exclude.
But you might note that that "exasperation" over being "excluded" is more or less what motivates many transactivists and their ilk, their useful/useless idiots like Novella - as I described here in some detail:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=310

Of particular note is this bit from Helen Joyce's Quillette article on the definition of "woman" ("She Who Must Not Be Named" (!!11!!)):
Quote:
Quote:
People who want to be so defined. I think people should be able to be who they want to be
— John Nicolson, British member of parliament
The intention here is to be “inclusive.” But inclusive definitions miss the point. The way you define something is to state criteria that enable you to distinguish between things that qualify and things that don’t. A prime number, for example, is “a number that has no divisors but itself and one.” That excludes really rather a lot of numbers: six (two times three), say, and 71,417,010 (12,785 times 5,586). It’s not those numbers’ fault, and it doesn’t mean that they’re not nice numbers. They’re very nice. They’re just not prime.
https://web.archive.org/web/20200714...-not-be-named/

Too many on virtually all sides of this "debate" are making membership in various categories into "immutable identities" based on some "mythic essences" - and then getting peeved, exasperated or rather decidedly "offended" when even gently told that their claims are rather tenuous at best.
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Old 7th August 2022, 12:36 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
Regarding Lehtonen and Parker:

It seems highly doubtful to me that the authors intended their one-sentence, glossary definitions of male and female to be thorough and complete. I think they are merely conveying the usage of the terms for the purposes of this particular article. What I am highly certain of is that they consider their definition to be one of several. Why am I certain of that? Because of the same glossary:

Quote:
Sex
The definitions of ‘sex’ and ‘sexes’ vary. Here we define ‘sex’ as the union of gametes and genomes from two individuals (or in some hermaphrodites, from the same individual), and ‘sexes’ (male, female) are defined by the type of gamete an individual produces (see above).
https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...62990#71570537

Hilite mine.
The definition for "sex" is a separate kettle of fish from the definitions for the sexes; theirs for the former is definitely somewhat different from the standard, but the latter is STILL virtually identical to those from Lexico, Google/OED, Wikipedia and many other equally credible sources:

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

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

Not quite sure how you can insist that they created that definition just "for the purposes of [that] particular article" when it's apparently become the de facto standard.

But I think your "thorough and complete" is seriously barking up the wrong tree. Their definitions are clearly stipulative definitions, intensional definitions which specify the "necessary and sufficient conditions" for sex category membership - i.e., "produces (habitually) gametes". Period:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions
Quote:
An intensional definition gives meaning to a term by specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for when the term should be used. In the case of nouns, this is equivalent to specifying the properties that an object needs to have in order to be counted as a referent of the term.
It's not necessary to add anything to, say, the definition for "teenager"; it's "thorough and complete" in specifying "13 to 19 inclusive" as the necessary and sufficient condition.

The biological definitions of Parker and Lehtonen, of Lexico, Wikipedia, and Google/OED are likewise "thorough and complete" by definition; if there were other necessary and sufficient conditions then the definition would have specified them.

That's the problem with schlock that Novella is peddling: he's trying to shoehorn every last physical, genetic, and psychological trait that shows any differences in correlation with "produces ova" and "produces sperm" into the sexes themselves; if the terms mean everything then they mean nothing and are thereby useless, worse than useless.
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Old 7th August 2022, 12:55 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
There are only two parties that promote current gamete production as necessary for "the biological definition of sex": Prof. Griffiths and Steersman. There is only one party that says gamete production alone is not sufficient, and that would be Steersman.
I assume you didn't mean the "not" so I've struck it out.

But again you may wish to look closely at the article on extensional and intensional definitions. They seem rather ubiquitous - "bachelor", "teenager", "male", "female", etc. - and work by specifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for category membership. They're "thorough and complete" in themselves:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions

ALL of those Lexico, Wikipedia and Google/OED definitions are "promoting" gamete production as both necessary and sufficient; I'm hardly cutting my argument from whole cloth.

Originally Posted by porch View Post
Regarding Griffiths:

Using my next level web skills, I checked out Griffiths' Wikipedia page. There I am told:


Following that link, we get this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Develo...systems_theory


<snip>
Thanks for the link to the DST; he may well be barking up the wrong tree there.

Originally Posted by porch View Post
I don't understand Steersman. He seems adamant that everyone adopt his unique definition of sex (which is even more strict than Griffiths') but then also disregard that definition when it comes to trans issues. Sorry, what is the point of this whole exercise?
How do you think I "disregard that definition when it comes to trans issues"?

Pretty much my whole argument has been that the only way to cut the transloonies off at the knees is to draw a line in the sand with those biological definitions; transwomen clearly don't and won't ever qualify as females (produces ova).
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:17 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I assume you didn't mean the "not" so I've struck it out.

But again you may wish to look closely at the article on extensional and intensional definitions. They seem rather ubiquitous - "bachelor", "teenager", "male", "female", etc. - and work by specifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for category membership. They're "thorough and complete" in themselves:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions

ALL of those Lexico, Wikipedia and Google/OED definitions are "promoting" gamete production as both necessary and sufficient; I'm hardly cutting my argument from whole cloth.


Thanks for the link to the DST; he may well be barking up the wrong tree there.


How do you think I "disregard that definition when it comes to trans issues"?

Pretty much my whole argument has been that the only way to cut the transloonies off at the knees is to draw a line in the sand with those biological definitions; transwomen clearly don't and won't ever qualify as females (produces ova).
And yet you could expand the definition of Female to include "equipped to produce ova in the future" and "produced or was equipped to produce ova in the past" and it would still exclude transwomen.
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:37 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
This is an interesting article, and I confess I still haven't got to the end. It's long and comprehensive, but the authors are very knowledgeable.

On Sex and Gender Identity: Perspectives from Biology, Neuroscience and Philosophy

<snip>

This one was left, and I don't think Steersman can have posted it, because it leaves his entire thesis shredded on the floor.
I did; both here and in my Substack Welcome:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=192
https://humanuseofhumanbeings.substack.com/p/welcome

It doesn't. As I indicated, I think they did a bang-up job of kicking the crap out of the concept of "gender identity". But it's also riven with a number of highly questionable premises and distortions of their own, not least in apparently thinking there's no difference between gender and gender identity:

Quote:
Along the same line and as mentioned, the Electric Agora article does a pretty solid job of criticizing gender identity from the same perspective. As well as providing some illuminating and fascinating insights into several different “cognitive distortions” similar to gender dysphoria.

However, it’s also something of a dog’s breakfast based on any number of misperceptions, cognitive distortions of their own, sloppy philosophy, and untenable premises - not least of which is their clear adherence to that “patchwork [and structure-absent-function] definition of the [so-called] social sciences”.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
(No doubt he can find the odd line to cherry-pick, such as the observation that some people with DSDs choose to identify as neither male nor female, but the article as a whole holes him below the waterline. There are plenty people who choose to identify as neither male nor female, we've all heard of "non-binary", but that doesn't mean these people don't have a sex!)
No doubt moot whether those intersex individuals have any clear idea about the differences between sex and gender - particularly given the tendency of transactivists to insist on using "male" and "female" as genders and gender identities. But I don't see that it's a slam-dunk that they don't, that they aren't accepting of the idea that they're sexless:

Quote:
While the Court of Appeal found that “sex” in the relevant legislation does not have a binary meaning, and a person is entitled to have an entry on their certificate of a sex other than “male” or “female,” the court did not identify what other sexual identifications may be registered.
https://law.marquette.edu/facultyblo...gender-binary/

But your "that doesn't mean these people don't have a sex!" (!!11!! ) is begging the question, assuming the truth of a proposition that is very much in dispute.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I suppose we'll be told that this is one more example of real biologists using words in a sloppy, colloquial manner, as opposed to the rigorous logical definitions of Griffiths.
You seem rather desperate to avoid facing the fact that it's not just Griffiths who endorses those "rigorous logical definitions":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female
https://www.lexico.com/definition/male
https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...2/1161/1062990

In the face of which it is maybe not surprising that I get a bit "sneery" ...
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:52 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
And yet you could expand the definition of Female to include "equipped to produce ova in the future" and "produced or was equipped to produce ova in the past" and it would still exclude transwomen.
True enough. Though that is more or less what the "structure-absent-function" definition of Hilton and Company already does:

https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...63359589527554

Although I actually had something else in mind, even I didn't express it well if at all - in that comment at least. It is the idea that as long as the biological community is riven with controversy over what it means to have a sex in the first place - Sex: Binary, Spectrum or “Socially Constructed”? as I put it in my Substack - so long will the transgendered have scope for their depredations.

That controversy just brings the whole community into disrepute - makes them all seem like they don't know whether they're on foot or horse back. Not really good for anybody, apart from various charlatans and grifters.
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Old 7th August 2022, 03:10 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
True enough. Though that is more or less what the "structure-absent-function" definition of Hilton and Company already does:

https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...63359589527554

Although I actually had something else in mind, even I didn't express it well if at all - in that comment at least. It is the idea that as long as the biological community is riven with controversy over what it means to have a sex in the first place - Sex: Binary, Spectrum or “Socially Constructed”? as I put it in my Substack - so long will the transgendered have scope for their depredations.

That controversy just brings the whole community into disrepute - makes them all seem like they don't know whether they're on foot or horse back. Not really good for anybody, apart from various charlatans and grifters.
In which case how about modifying the Hilton et al definition to include those who have or had the equipment but it may have not yet been put to work,failed to work, stopped working or been removed, as I did (rather basically). You would end up with a definition that allows me to say

I and my female wife went to see our female child and our female grandchild and then went to see our other female child and our male grandchild

instead of

I and my postfemale* wife went to see our female child and our prefemale* grandchild and then went to see our other female child and our premale* grandchild.

Whilst it would still seem stilted in the extreme to refer to female child etc instead of daughter and granddaughter or grandson, the sentence does not require any alteration to the common usage of the words but still excludes transpeople from the definition.

* insert adjective of your choice

Perhaps finding a definition that is accepted by the whole biology community is more important than allowing the discord to continue because of attempted adherence to the strictest possible interpretation of existing definitions.
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Old 7th August 2022, 05:19 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I assume you didn't mean the "not" so I've struck it out.

I'm gonna stop you right there. Wow. You don't understand how people define and use words. You don't even understand how you define and use words. You contribute nothing.
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Old 7th August 2022, 05:57 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
I'm gonna stop you right there. Wow. You don't understand how people define and use words. You don't even understand how you define and use words. You contribute nothing.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I certainly don't understand how dictionaries acquire those examples, but I recently saw one dictionary indicate that the process of doing so is largely automated, and that people shouldn't get their knickers in a twist if some uses "offend" them. Not surprising then that in that case many of them will be inconsistent with the definitions.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Horse crap. Not quite sure how much "clarification" you think examples that contradict the definitions actually provide.

If they do then they might just as well say that black is white:

'Tis true. You don't understand how dictionaries work. The examples are chosen in order to illustrate and clarify the definition. They do not choose examples that contradict the definition, no matter how much you may wish they did.

In that particular case it is quite probable that the example was chosen partly in order to clarify that the definition was intended to cover the entire life span of the organism in question.

As if anyone but you would have been in any doubt about that in the first place...

No wonder Emma lost her patience.
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Old 7th August 2022, 07:59 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Not really my own "unique definition" though is it? A rather unreasonable suggestion given the ubiquity of it - something that Rolfe in particular seems rather reluctant to address:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female
"Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism that produces the large non-motile ova (egg cells), the type of gamete (sex cell) that fuses with the male gamete during sexual reproduction."

And right here we see your misconception. In this framing, it's the sex that produces eggs, not the organism that has that sex.

There's only one sex that produces eggs in humans: The female. Any humans that have that sex are female, whether they produce eggs or not. DSDs being a special case, of course.

That's it. That's the entire issue for you in a nutshell. That's the definition everyone uses except you, Griffiths, and transsexual activists. There are, for the rest of us, no problems with this definition. It doesn't have any logical flaws. It's not "sloppy language". It's the exact same language we use to recognize a car at rest, or a turned-off computer, or a shut-down assembly line.
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Old 7th August 2022, 08:10 AM   #418
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I don't really go with your implied exception for DSD conditions. Pretty much everyone (every actual case I've seen details of) with a DSD can be seen to be male or female too. If you think not, maybe you could find a case?

The number of genuinely androgynous (adult) human beings on the planet, human beings that you really couldn't decide which sex they were even after interacting with them IRL for a reasonably extended period, is approaching zero. (Perhaps excepting people who have gone to inordinate lengths to conceal the evidence of their sex, and not a lot of them either.)
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Old 7th August 2022, 08:49 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't really go with your implied exception for DSD conditions. Pretty much everyone (every actual case I've seen details of) with a DSD can be seen to be male or female too. If you think not, maybe you could find a case?

The number of genuinely androgynous (adult) human beings on the planet, human beings that you really couldn't decide which sex they were even after interacting with them IRL for a reasonably extended period, is approaching zero. (Perhaps excepting people who have gone to inordinate lengths to conceal the evidence of their sex, and not a lot of them either.)
Apologies, I was using equivocal language there so as to not short-circuit the actual debate this thread is supposed to be about. I've reached more or less the same conclusion as you, but if d4m10n or Lplus wants to keep arguing, I didn't want my conclusions to be a lightning rod drawing down a storm of "well actually" and "but what about". It seems I have been hoist on my own petard, though.

Whatever a petard is. Something masculine, or at least phallic, I always thought. But probably not male by any definition.
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Old 7th August 2022, 09:30 AM   #420
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
True, though you did say that it was "stupid", and "simply and absolutely wrong".

Yes, because it is.

Quote:
With diddly-squat in the way of evidence or justification for that claim ...

That is a lie. The evidence I provided that your misinterpretation of the definition is wrong is that it contradicts actual usage in fundamental ways; most notably, as a supposed category definition it excludes from the category individuals who no one expects, no one is attempting, and no one desires, to exclude from the category. Others have also pointed this out, repeatedly, in detail, and supported by numerous references to actual usages.


Quote:
But you might note that that "exasperation" over being "excluded" is more or less what motivates many transactivists and their ilk, their useful/useless idiots like Novella - as I described here in some detail:

I might note that, but it is irrelevant to the point that your interpretation of the definition is stupidly wrong, and you are now lying about not having been given ample evidence of this.

Quote:
Too many on virtually all sides of this "debate" are making membership in various categories into "immutable identities" based on some "mythic essences" - and then getting peeved, exasperated or rather decidedly "offended" when even gently told that their claims are rather tenuous at best.

How does declaring that prepubescent girls, infertile women, and post-menopausal women are not female, regardless of their genomes or anatomy, help with that situation? It appears designed to make it worse.
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:04 AM   #421
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Try looking - and/or reading between the lines.
No thanks, I've found that often leads to erecting strawpersons.

Have you wondered whether it would really make sense to ask someone if they could obtain "a very young prepubertal dog who has been fixed and who would have become a male otherwise?" I mean would it make sense to them, assuming they are a native speaker of the English language? I think it might, but they'd have to sort of translate it into their own terms, i.e. neutered male puppy. Which is the sort of thing I'm going to have to do when reading your posts, bearing in mind that you believe there is a huge category of sexless mammals which are neither male nor female.
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:19 AM   #422
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
How does declaring that prepubescent girls, infertile women, and post-menopausal women are not female, regardless of their genomes or anatomy, help with that situation? It appears designed to make it worse.
I, too, have this concern. I wish Steersman would address it in clear, direct language. His previous attempts have been - dare I say - a perfidious turpitude.
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:22 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
No thanks, I've found that often leads to erecting strawpersons.

Have you wondered whether it would really make sense to ask someone if they could obtain "a very young prepubertal dog who has been fixed and who would have become a male otherwise?" I mean would it make sense to them, assuming they are a native speaker of the English language? I think it might, but they'd have to sort of translate it into their own terms, i.e. neutered male puppy. Which is the sort of thing I'm going to have to do when reading your posts, bearing in mind that you believe there is a huge category of sexless mammals which are neither male nor female.
"We should get a puppy."

"Good idea! Male or female?"

"Huh? That doesn't make sense. It's a puppy."

"Yeah, but a male or female puppy?"

"Let me try to make it clear: We should get a very young prepubertal dog who has been fixed and who would have become a male otherwise."

"So... A male?"

"No. A very young prepubertal dog who-where are you going?"

"I'm going to pack my stuff and move out. Have a nice life!"
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:52 AM   #424
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I, too, have this concern. I wish Steersman would address it in clear, direct language. His previous attempts have been - dare I say - a perfidious turpitude.
"Evil, wicked, mean and nasty (don't step on the grass, Sam)"

Think I've been pretty clear, on some solid and ubiquitous evidence, that the problem is that there are several profoundly contradictory and quite antithetical ways of defining the sexes on the table. "Clear as mud and the confusion made the brain go 'round ..."

Quote:
"On a deeper level, the ‘patchwork’ definition of sex used in the social sciences [and by Emma Hilton and Company] is purely descriptive and lacks a functional rationale. This contrasts sharply with how the sexes are defined in biology. From a biological standpoint, what distinguishes the males and females of a species is the size of their gametes: males produce [present tense indefinite] small gametes (e.g., sperm), females produce [present tense indefinite] large gametes (e.g., eggs; Kodric-Brown & Brown, 1987)"
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...Sex_and_Gender

Just trying to bring some "balance to the forces" - so to speak.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"We should get a puppy."

"Good idea! Male or female?"

"Huh? That doesn't make sense. It's a puppy."

"Yeah, but a male or female puppy?"

<snip>

"I'm going to pack my stuff and move out. Have a nice life!"


But y'all might consider the utility of prefixes; in case you've never run across the concept:

Quote:
pre-

PREFIX
Before (in time, place, order, degree, or importance)

‘pre-adolescent’
https://www.lexico.com/definition/pre-

Rolfe, do note the usage ...

So, "pre-male puppy", etc., etc., etc., ...
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Old 7th August 2022, 12:02 PM   #425
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
: eek : "Evil, wicked, mean and nasty (don't step on the grass, Sam)" ; )
Sorry. That one was aimed at the other courtiers.

Quote:
Think I've been pretty clear, on some solid and ubiquitous evidence, that the problem is that there are several profoundly contradictory and quite antithetical ways of defining the sexes on the table. "Clear as mud and the confusion made the brain go 'round ..."
I think you've been misinterpreting and inventing evidence. I think the problem is that there is a pretty clear and commonly-used definition, that some people are trying to ambiguate and undermine for ideological reasons. You say you're opposed to that ideology, but here you are doing your damndest to undermine the perfectly cromulent definition in widespread technical and colloquial use.


Quote:
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...Sex_and_Gender

Just trying to bring some "balance to the forces" - so to speak.



: )
You're wildly misunderstanding what's being said there.

Quote:
But y'all might consider the utility of prefixes; in case you've never run across the concept:



https://www.lexico.com/definition/pre-

Rolfe, do note the usage ...

So, "pre-male puppy", etc., etc., etc., ...
Or, as literally everyone else in the world would say it: A male puppy.
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Old 7th August 2022, 12:11 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
In which case how about modifying the Hilton et al definition to include those who have or had the equipment but it may have not yet been put to work, failed to work, stopped working or been removed, as I did (rather basically).
Think you might want to take a close look at that tweet of Hilton's and what she's saying:

Quote:
"Individuals that have developed anatomies for producing either small or large gametes, regardless of their past, present or future functionality, are referred to as 'males' and 'females', respectively."
https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...63359589527554

Why I generally refer to that as the "structure-absent-function" "definition"; why Del Giudice talks about a "purely descriptive [definition which] ... lacks a functional rationale":

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


Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
<snip>

Perhaps finding a definition that is accepted by the whole biology community is more important than allowing the discord to continue because of attempted adherence to the strictest possible interpretation of existing definitions.
A "whole community" agreeing to burn witches at the stake? A "whole community" agreeing that butchering autistic and defenseless children was an appropriate response to "gender dysphoria"? See:

Quote:
The Tavistock scandal shows the dangers of civil service groupthink
I was advised not to listen to Keira’s harrowing story but I overruled that: ministers must overcome obstacles to find the truth
https://archive.ph/2022.07.30-172911...-827.0-845.128

Consensus by itself is a rather weak reed to be putting much weight on. You might read the article on "conventional wisdom":

Quote:
[Galbraith] repeatedly referred to it throughout the text of The Affluent Society, invoking it to explain the high degree of resistance in academic economics to new ideas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_wisdom
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Old 7th August 2022, 12:33 PM   #427
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
I'm gonna stop you right there. Wow. You don't understand how people define and use words. You don't even understand how you define and use words. You contribute nothing.
Horse crap. In your entirely unevidenced opinion - which ain't worth diddly-squat:

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/634...ut-you-are-not

Did you bother to read that article on extensional and intensional definitions? Seems a pretty solid basis for a discussion on how we "define and use words":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions

You have any clue at all that it might have some relevance to the standard biological definitions, the ones endorsed by Lexico, Wikipedia, Google/OED, Parker, Lehtonen, the Journal of Molecular Human Reproduction, and a further cast of thousands?

https://twitter.com/zaelefty/status/1459925709426728961

https://oxfordjournals.altmetric.com...802153/twitter
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:11 PM   #428
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Think you might want to take a close look at that tweet of Hilton's and what she's saying:



https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...63359589527554
Yes I did see that but was unsure whether that effectively included those who have had surgical removal of relevant parts. If you think it does then fine, stick to it.
Quote:
Why I generally refer to that as the "structure-absent-function" "definition"; why Del Giudice talks about a "purely descriptive [definition which] ... lacks a functional rationale":

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...Sex_and_Gender
Call it what you will, it still makes a lot more sense than tightening definitions further and further until they become unusable for the majority. We have the wheel - it doesn't need inventing again.
Quote:

A "whole community" agreeing to burn witches at the stake? A "whole community" agreeing that butchering autistic and defenseless children was an appropriate response to "gender dysphoria"? See:



https://archive.ph/2022.07.30-172911...-827.0-845.128

Consensus by itself is a rather weak reed to be putting much weight on. You might read the article on "conventional wisdom":



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_wisdom
So where do you intend to find a consensus then? because some sort of united front is needed to stem the confusion you mentioned in a post above and the scientific community seems the best and most authoritative for the purpose.
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:14 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
'Tis true. You don't understand how dictionaries work. The examples are chosen in order to illustrate and clarify the definition.
Don't think you're paying attention or you have your thumbs, to the elbows, on the scales. That I said that "I certainly don't understand how dictionaries acquire those examples" is hardly saying that I have no clue at all how dictionaries work.

I pointed out that some dictionaries have said that how they acquire their examples is largely automated. And that some might "offend" the sensibilities of their readers. And/or their prior commitments, or not, to fundamental principles of logic.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
They do not choose examples that contradict the definition, no matter how much you may wish they did.
Does that definition say or not that males produce (habitually) sperm that can be used in reproduction?

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

Can "pre-males", can prepubescent XYers do so?

You can lead some people to syllogisms but it's often rather difficult to get them to actually think ...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
In that particular case it is quite probable that the example was chosen partly in order to clarify that the definition was intended to cover the entire life span of the organism in question.
And your evidence for that "inference", Counselor, is what?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
As if anyone but you would have been in any doubt about that in the first place...

No wonder Emma lost her patience.
The allusion to Hilton's "exasperation" reminds me of a scene from an early Planet of the Apes movie with, I think, Charlton Heston in which he is questioned by theocrat "Zaius" (?) on various "articles of faith", finally giving up in exasperation ...
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:20 PM   #430
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
So, "pre-male puppy", etc., etc., etc., ...
On a lark, I googled about to see if anyone uses those prefixes in that way.

Found an interesting example, about an AFAB patient who transitioned from Veronica to Dave. In context, "pre-male" was a reference to the state of the patient prior to beginning transition.
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Old 7th August 2022, 01:32 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Yes I did see that but was unsure whether that effectively included those who have had surgical removal of relevant parts. If you think it does then fine, stick to it.
I think Hilton's definition is incoherent and quite unscientific twaddle. One can easily drive a fleet of trucks through the holes in it, a herd of elephants, a Potemkin village of Lysenkoists, a bedlam of transactivists ...

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
So where do you intend to find a consensus then? because some sort of united front is needed to stem the confusion you mentioned in a post above and the scientific community seems the best and most authoritative for the purpose.
Good question - the $64,000 one, suitably adjusted for inflation, of course.

But, again, the whole scientific "community" is riven with ignorant and quite unscientific claptrap, with too many who haven't an effen clue about various foundational principles.

You in particular might be interested in, or be willing to read an article on virus classifications which addresses, in some detail, some of those principles - both those related to defining and naming categories, as well as to ones which might adjudicate some of those competing - and "confusion"-producing - claims:

Quote:
"Sections 4–8 of this review followed a chronological presentation of recent developments in viral taxonomy which revealed that the field has been plagued by an uninterrupted series of conflicting views, heated disagreements and acrimonious controversies that may seem to some to be out of place in a scientific debate. The reason, of course, is that the subject of virus taxonomy and nomenclature lies at the interface between virological science and areas of philosophy such as logic, ontology and epistemology which unfortunately are rarely taught in university curricula followed by science students (Blachowicz 2009)."
https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._virus_species
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Old 7th August 2022, 02:04 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
No thanks, I've found that often leads to erecting (1) strawpersons.

Have you wondered whether it would really make sense to ask someone if they could obtain "a very young prepubertal dog who has been fixed and who would have become a male otherwise?" (2) I mean would it make sense to them, assuming they are a native speaker of the English language? I think it might, but they'd have to sort of translate it into their own terms, i.e. neutered male puppy. Which is the sort of thing I'm going to have to do when reading your posts, bearing in mind that you believe (3) there is a huge category of sexless mammals which are neither male nor female.
1) You could always prefix a response with, "I assume you mean ..."

2) Sure "very young prepubertal ..." is overly convoluted. Why something like "pre-male" seems to be both suitably succinct and logically accurate.

3) Really not a question of "believe" but of the logical consequences of premises.

But I'm hardly the first - even apart from Griffiths - to, directly or indirectly, endorse the idea of sexless, i.e., neither male (sex) nor female (sex). From an earlier comment on the depredations of the woke in the Wikipedia article on sequential hermaphrodites, clownfish in particular:

Quote:
Dominance is based on size, the female being the largest and the male being the second largest. The rest of the group is made up of progressively smaller non-breeders, which have no functioning gonads. If the female dies, the male gains weight and becomes the female for that group. The largest non-breeding fish then sexually matures and becomes the male of the group.
Can't very well "become" a male if one WAS a male right from conception/hatching/birth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php...ldid=917680304

Basically, the author of that passage - probably a biologist worth their salt ... - is endorsing the view that large percentages of various sexually-reproducing species can be sexless.

Ceteris paribus ...

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
On a lark, I googled about to see if anyone uses those prefixes in that way.

Found an interesting example, about an AFAB patient who transitioned from Veronica to Dave. In context, "pre-male" was a reference to the state of the patient prior to beginning transition.
"interesting" and "amusing" - particularly if one has a predilection for gallows-humor - but, as Artie Johnson used to say, stupid.

Not sure if you happened to have seen my comment here, I think, about Matt Walsh's tweet about Merriam-Webster peddling a definition for "male" and "female" as gender identities:

https://twitter.com/MattWalshBlog/st...82790952656899

As I think I put it in a comment on Graham Linehan's Substack:

Quote:
Merriam-Webster's defines:
'female: having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.'

But if you look at their definition for 'male' it says this:

'male: having a gender identity that is the opposite of female.'

What a bunch of idiots; 'Circular definitions R Us'. ..." No wonder pretty much every man, woman, and otherkin - and their cats, dogs, and gerbils - is riding madly off in all directions.
Wonder whether Rolfe would accept such "usages" as any sort of benediction; in a dictionary, ergo gospel truth ...

[AFKB; time for my daily constitutional ...]
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Old 7th August 2022, 02:13 PM   #433
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Sure "very young prepubertal ..." is overly convoluted. Why something like "pre-male" seems to be both suitably succinct and logically accurate.
"Male" is already logically accurate.
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Old 7th August 2022, 02:17 PM   #434
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Can't very well "become" a male if one WAS a male right from conception/hatching/birth.
If you're arguing from clownfish, you're losing.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There's a woman called Claire on Twitter who has CAIS. Her Twitter bio reads "Not a clownfish."
There it is.
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Old 7th August 2022, 02:39 PM   #435
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If there's one thing I've learned from the recent activity in this thread, it's that it's almost certainly possible to define "female" and "clownfish with sufficient rigor as to make them identical.
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Old 7th August 2022, 03:19 PM   #436
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Male" is already logically accurate.
LoL

Only if we accept your premise, your definition - which is very much in dispute and under review.

Don't think you - and far too many others - quite realize that there are no intrinsic meanings to our words and their definitions. Moses didn't bring the first dictionary down from Mt. Sinai on tablets A through Z.

We define them ourselves, often through some sort of formal or ad hoc process. But if they lead to contradictions then they're generally wrong and thereby somewhat less useful than they might otherwise be:

As I think I've probably already mentioned here, a rather brilliant summation of that point by physicist Sabine Hossenfelder:

Quote:
No one has any idea why mathematics works so well to describe nature, but it is arguably an empirical fact that it works. …. The maybe most important lesson physicists have learned over the past centuries is that if a theory has internal inconsistencies, it is wrong. By internal inconsistencies, I mean that the theory’s axioms lead to statements that contradict each other.
http://backreaction.blogspot.com/201...nevitable.html
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Old 7th August 2022, 03:56 PM   #437
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
If you're arguing from clownfish, you're losing.
Only in your entirely unevidenced opinion ...

Hard not to get the impression that many here are almost as narrow-minded, dogmatic, and scientifically illiterate as many of the Woke; Hatfields & the McCoys, pots and kettles:

https://twitter.com/andrewdoyle_com/...23606977515520

You really might want to try rectifying that, a good start on which might be the article on taxonomy (biology), the opening section in particular:

Quote:
In biology, taxonomy (from Ancient Greek τάξις (taxis) 'arrangement', and -νομία (-nomia) 'method') is the scientific study of naming, defining (circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped into taxa (singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a more inclusive group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_(biology)

It's standard operating procedure in biology - and in many other if not most sciences worthy of the name - to be "naming, defining (circumscribing) and classifying groups on the basis of shared characteristics". And some 90% of some 8 million extant species share the characteristic of either "producing sperm" or "producing ova". Which - mirabile dictu - biologists, those worth their salt, have NAMED "males" and "females".

But those two traits are the necessary and sufficient conditions for category membership. It's totally irrelevant - unless one subscribes to some sort of "special creation" for humans ... - which species we're talking about. If members of ANY sexually reproducing species produce gametes then they are members of those sex categories; if they don't then they aren't. Q.E.D.

HTH ...


Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolfe
There's a woman called Claire on Twitter who has CAIS. Her Twitter bio reads "Not a clownfish."
There it is.
I'd had a run-in with Claire some 4 years ago where I had argued that she didn't qualify as female - which I had subsequently retracted on further "discussion":

https://medium.com/@steersmann/the-i...s-874154213e42

Though I note with some amusement that she has also been defenestrated by Twitter, probably for likewise running afoul of the Tranish Inquisition.

But many of the intersex seem not quite as desperate to be included in one sex or the other as she is:

Quote:
SEXLESS REFORMS ON THE HORIZON

At a SCAG meeting the NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos said there were people in the community who could not identify as male or female, mentioning the case of sexless activist Norrie May-Welby and a 2009 recommendation by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) that, “a person over the age of 18 years should be able to choose to have an unspecified sex noted on documents and records”.
https://www.starobserver.com.au/news...-horizon/41079
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Old 7th August 2022, 04:33 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Which - mirabile dictu - biologists, those worth their salt, have NAMED "males" and "females".
Can you think of any (salty) biologists who refer to prepubesecent boys as "pre-male" or postmenopausal women as "post-female" in their writings?
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Just reread theprestige's signature; still cannot recall anything about it.

Last edited by d4m10n; 7th August 2022 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 7th August 2022, 04:48 PM   #439
porch
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm beginning to wonder if there's not some sort of cognitive idiosyncrasy at play here. I don't think this degree of Alien Space Robot often manifests, except as a rhetorical gambit or a real confusion about how language conveys meaning.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I did ask about Asperger's/autism. I've known a number of people on the spectrum who grasped hold of what they understood as the literal meaning of something and then refused to let go of it no matter what.

I'm starting to feel like I've encountered a subject from an Oliver Sachs book.
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Old 7th August 2022, 05:35 PM   #440
Steersman
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Can you think of any (salty) biologists who refer to prepubesecent boys as "pre-male" or postmenopausal women as "post-female" in their writings?

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Our good buddy PZ Myers did so at one point:

Quote:
"female" is not applicable [to transwomen] -- it refers to individuals that produce ova. By the technical definition, many cis women are not female.
If "cis women" - presumably menopausees - are not female then "post-female" seems a reasonable conclusion:

https://twitter.com/pzmyers/status/1466458067491598342

And Paul Griffiths - technically a philosopher of biology but when the chips are down, a reasonable stand-in for "biologist" - more or less says the same:

Quote:
Human beings have come up with many ways to classify the diversity of individual outcomes from human sexual development. People who want to apply the biological definition of sex to humans should recognise that it’s ill-suited to do what many human institutions want, which is to sort every individual into one category or another. ....

More importantly, nothing guarantees that any of these organisms, including those with sex chromosomes, will continue to grow to the point where they can actually produce male or female gametes. Any number of things can interfere. From a biological point of view, there is nothing mysterious about the fact that organisms have to grow into a biological sex, that it takes them a while to get there, and that some individuals develop in unusual or idiosyncratic ways. This is a problem only if a definition of sex must sort every individual organism into one sex or another. Biology doesn’t need to do that.
https://aeon.co/essays/the-existence...uman-diversity

However, all of that is something of red herring; the bigger issue and problem - which more or less encompasses the above - is the pervasive intellectual dishonesty on virtually all sides of this "debate". Pretty much every man, woman, otherkin and their dogs, cats, and gerbils has swallowed - hook, line, and sinker - the bogus claptrap that sexes are "immutable identities"; they've pretty much invested their souls, immortal or not, in their membership in the tribes "male" and "female" - and woe betide anyone who gainsays that belief:

Quote:
83. I next considered whether the Claimant’s core belief that sex is immutable lacks a level of cogency and cohesion. It is avowedly not religious or metaphysical, but is said to be scientific. Her belief is that a man is a person who, if everything is working, can produce sperm and a woman a person who, if everything is working, can produce eggs. This does not sit easily with her view that even if everything is not, in her words, “working”, and may never have done so, the person can still only be male or female.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12P9...NFDD8Gaz5/view

"Transgenderism" seems little more than a particularly toxic and lethal consequence of that too-common delusion or pathological misperception.
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