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Old 8th August 2022, 06:54 PM   #481
porch
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Seems to me that both Lexico and Griffiths are saying the same thing: "produces gametes (habitually)" are the necessary AND sufficient conditions for sex category membership.

Okay, baby steps. Let's say that "produces sperm habitually" is both the necessary and sufficient condition for being a male.

Now let's say there's this, uh, person, named Ramon. Ramon has had a vasectomy. Ramon produces sperm habitually. Ramon is a male.

Are you with me so far?
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Old 8th August 2022, 07:26 PM   #482
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
Okay, baby steps. Let's say that "produces sperm habitually" is both the necessary and sufficient condition for being a male.

Now let's say there's this, uh, person, named Ramon. Ramon has had a vasectomy. Ramon produces sperm habitually. Ramon is a male.

Are you with me so far?
Sure. But look closely at 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

It's not just any old sperm - it's sperm "with which a female may be fertilized". Does "Ramon" have any of that type? He's shooting blanks, he's as sexless as some transwoman who's had his nuts cut off.

That's largely, or one of the main reasons why I object to the egregiously antiscientific claptrap that Hilton and company are peddling - they've totally decoupled their definitions from the essential property of "sex", i.e., "reproductive function":

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

They've created their own idiosyncratic definitions for the SEXES, but I wonder what their definition for "sex" itself might be. Something like this?

Quote:
sex (noun): one of several categories (male, female, intersex, gawd-knows-what-else) into which some mammals at least are divided, some members of which may or may not periodically exhibit some abilities peripherally or centrally related to various reproductive functions of one sort or another.
Useless. Idiots. Scientism-ists, the lot.
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Old 8th August 2022, 08:05 PM   #483
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Sure. But . . .
Nope. There is no "sure, but" when it comes to sufficiency. A condition is sufficient or it isn't. This is so elementary, I don't know what else to say, except that you have no business lecturing anyone about definitions. Not that that will stop you. Carry on with the eyerolls and self-citations. You're only making a clownfish of yourself.
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Old 8th August 2022, 08:19 PM   #484
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
Nope. There is no "sure, but" when it comes to sufficiency. A condition is sufficient or it isn't. This is so elementary, I don't know what else to say, except that you have no business lecturing anyone about definitions. Not that that will stop you. Carry on with the eyerolls and self-citations. You're only making a clownfish of yourself.


The "sure" was for "with me so far", not as an agreement with they rest of your "argument".

But what is the sufficient condition that the Lexico article is describing?

Is it "produces sperm with which a female may be fertilized" or not? Does "Ramon" exhibit that property or not?

The definition is NOT saying that simply producing sperm is sufficient by itself; it is also saying that it's necessary that the sperm can be used to fertilize a female.

Close, no cigar for your objections there, Counselor; you're clearly trying to avoid that qualification and its consequences.
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Old 8th August 2022, 11:56 PM   #485
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The Madness of King George.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ma...of_King_George
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:35 AM   #486
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
But bully for you. All you're doing is expressing an article of faith; you haven't given any credible reasons why you insist that everyone - of every sexually-reproducing species - has to be either male or female.
I'm not sure everyone is on the same page here. There are significant differences between humans and clownfish when it comes to sex.
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:47 AM   #487
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
Just the facts ma'am, just the facts ...

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertain...comedian.html/

But I'm not really the originator of the idea that not everyone has a sex; I'm not cutting it from whole cloth.

You might be interested in reading an essay on that point by Paul Griffiths, philosopher of biology, co-author of Genetics and Philosophy:

Quote:
Nothing in the biological definition of sex requires that every organism be a member of one sex or the other. That might seem surprising, but it follows naturally from DEFINING each sex by the ability to do one thing: make eggs or make sperm. Some organisms can do both, while some can't do either [ergo, sexless].
https://aeon.co/essays/the-existence...uman-diversity
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:17 AM   #488
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
I'm not sure everyone is on the same page here.
Yeah, that's definitely a big part of the problem.

Originally Posted by Aber View Post
There are significant differences between humans and clownfish when it comes to sex.
Indeed. But there's one element that's common to some 90% of the 8 million or so species - so far discovered - which use sexual reproduction:

https://www.nature.com/articles/news.2011.498

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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisogamy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male

Why the standard biological definitions for the sexes - basically those at Wikipedia and dictionaries such as Lexico and Google/OED - don't say anything at all about different species, or chromosomes, or genitalia. They apply to all of those species, regardless of the type of chromosomes used or the genitalia they exhibit:

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

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.

Biologist Emma Hilton - before I think she got ideologically captured by the Woke or the so-called "social scientists" - had an illuminating tweet thread on that point:

https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...20326844506112
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Old 9th August 2022, 02:22 AM   #489
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
So we should dumb-down public discourse to the lowest common denominator?
Not sure what you mean by "public" here. If you mean the general public, I doubt they could either understand the discourse or even care. The general public will use the words male and female anyway and they will continue to use those words as defined by the various dictionaries available. The whole point of the "discussion" is to hammer out a concrete definition of male and female. You appear to have chosen one involving karyotyping and the SRY (or not) gene. Which is fine, particularly as it seems to produce pretty much the same effective distinction between male and female as the more descriptive definitions of the likes of Hilton. It doesn't matter how it gets there as long as it gets there. Far more important is to get a concrete definition into the dictionaries and that means convincing the lexicographers. How you can achieve that I have no idea, but beating others over the head because your definition doesn't use the same approach as theirs is likely to be counterproductive.
Quote:

You might be interested in taking a look at Sagan's Demon-Haunted World - if you haven't read it yet. A copy - pirated or not - at the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/details/B-001-001-709

Couple of relevant passages therefrom:
In which case I would suggest the "scientific" community gets its house in order and stops arguing over what the general public would consider to be minutiae.

Quote:



Lot to chew through there, much of it well outside my salary range. But I thought the discussions about the differences between polythetic and monothetic categories were remarkably helpful and quite illuminating, particularly pertaining to the transgender "debate".
Whilst illuminating, I would need to read it many more times before I could even consider pronouncing on the details.
Quote:

You might be interested in my further kicks at that kitty on Shermer's Skeptic Substack article on Walsh's documentary:

https://michaelshermer.substack.com/...omment/7630788




But of particular note in the article itself is this absolutely gobsmacking passage:



Hard to imagine a bigger smoking gun as evidence of the rot that transgenderism has wrought - so to speak. That comment of Grzanka's may well be - or should be - the epitaph for much of Academia, at least for the Mark I version.
Yes I did check your response as requested. Without seeing the article itself I can't really comment. But given that passage you quote, I would think that continuing to argue over the minutiae (to the public at least) of counter definitions is just wasting time.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:05 AM   #490
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Hardly just "my" definitions though, are they?
To the extent that they imply puppies are neither male nor female, they are yours and yours alone. No one else is taking this step, they know that some puppies need to be neutered and others spayed.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
All you're doing is expressing an article of faith; you haven't given any credible reasons why you insist that everyone - of every sexually-reproducing species - has to be either male or female.
You are confusing me with someone else; I've already said that some individuals are neither female nor male but rather intersex, that is, born with a mix of male and female characteristics and unable to ever produce viable gametes as a result.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:31 AM   #491
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I'm on holiday. I'd sworn off this pointless nonsense for the duration, but this is getting ridiculous.

Quote:
It's not just any old sperm - it's sperm "with which a female may be fertilized". Does "Ramon" have any of that type?

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.

So is Ramon, as he is, any less male than a non-vasectomised man who is sitting quietly watching TV? He doesn't have sperm "with which a female may be fertilised" at that precise moment either, because he's not using the delivery mechanism. He needs to get up and find a willing female to do that. Just as Ramon needs to get up and have the vasectomy reversed.

It's back to the question of, what did the person writing that definition mean? What did he think the addition of the phrase "with which a female may be fertilized" added to the definition? Almost certainly he wasn't thinking about vasectomy, but about useless, non-functioning sprematozooa. He wanted only the producters of the good stuff to count.

If we're merely talking about the delivery mechanism, then a man would automatically become not-male when he puts on a condom. And if anyone wants to say that a condom can be taken off, sure it can, but a vasectomy can also be reversed. A vasectomy is rather like a condom that just stays on longer. A man producing great sperm would also become not-male if he was impotent. Does that have to be permanent, or is he still male now if he regains his sexual function in the future?

On the other hand, what about the man who has excellent sexual function but is "firing blanks" in the sense that the sperm he is producing are duds? Not male, then. Can't impregnate a female. Sure. But these things are almost never absolute. In among the duds there are very probably some decent chaps who could do the job, except the odds are against one of these few being the one to win the race to the ovum. Is the man male if there are a few viable sperm in the mix, just not enough to make him fertile in practice?

This is what you get when you take a definition which hasn't nailed down every single word and decide for yourself what it means, then cling to that definition even though it should be obvious it's leading some very silly places. The number of edge cases here is ridiculous. It would seem that for anyone (or any animal) to be declared male he'd have to have a full fertility exam before you could use the word. Every time. Because situations change.

And this is just considering the male, the sex in which gamete production is indeed continuous in the normal situation. It gets even murkier when we come on to the female. In mammals the female is only fertile for a small proportion of days, even when she is in the fertile part of her life span. In some species the female cycles (ovarian or menstrual cycle) continually when she isn't pregnant. In others she only cycles for part of the year, the breeding season, and the ovaries are dormant the rest of the time.

When is she female? All the time so long as she's functioning as normal for her species, even when her ovaries are in their inactive stage? Or only during the fertile part of the year? But even during the fertile part of the year, is she only female during the few days each cycle when she's capable of becoming pregnant? Or all the time? What about a cycle when the ovum released was a dud?

Is she female while she's pregnant? Because she sure as hell isn't producing fertile ova during that time. She has a corpus luteum (or several corpora lutea) to prevent that happening.

Inquiring minds want to know. This definition isn't nearly precise enough.

I re-read that thing about the coastline paradox, and I think this is an example of it. The closer you look the more convoluted it gets and the harder it is to draw a line. You have to define every single word or phrase you use in case some idiot takes a phrase intended to convey that only viable sperm need apply to mean that the sperm must be at the start of a functioning delivery system.

But then if you meant viable sperm only, how many? Will one do? Or one a month? Even though in practice it hasn't a hope in hell of being the successful one?

On the other hand if you meant a functioning delivery system, what does that mean? Does it have to be functioning right this minute? Is a celibate monk male? If a man with a vasectomy isn't male, how is a man wearing a condom male?

Is a woman female only on her fertile days? Or all the time so long as she's cycling? The contraceptive pill stops ovulation and women on the pill don't have a normal cycle. Are they female or not? What about a woman with an IUD fitted? She ovulates normally but the fertilised ovum can't implant. Not female?

What about species that are seasonal breeders? Are any of that species male or female during the non breeding season? What about bitches? Their anoestrus period lasts for months, then they get going again - they only ovulate twice a year. When are they female?

Depends on what the person writing the definition wants to be the answer, of course. Who gets to decide?

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.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:45 AM   #492
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You are confusing me with someone else; I've already said that some individuals are neither female nor male but rather intersex, that is, born with a mix of male and female characteristics and unable to ever produce viable gametes as a result.

He might be confusing you with me. I'm not insisting that all individuals born with an anomaly of development of the sexual organs or of reproductive function are either male or female, I merely observe that when you investigate these people one at a time, you discover that, in fact, they all are.

There is no actual person on the planet who can't be seen to be either male or female. There are certainly people who identify as neither male or female, the usual term they adopt is "non-binary". Some people who adopt that identity have anomalies of sexual development, but while their choice to adopt an identity like that may have more complex psychological origins than your average pastel-haired multi-pierced "enby", the fact of what they are doing is the same. Choosing an identity that does not conform to their body's sex. People with DSDs are sometimes trans too. Not much more often than anyone else though.

So, less of the insisting and more of the observing. If you aren't the sort of tunnel-visioned geek who wants to parse a short dictionary definition into destruction so that it doesn't even get close to describing how the words male or female are used in both ordinary and scientific communication, it's not that hard.

As far as the trans debate goes, I'd be perfectly happy to found an argument on some people being physically neither male nor female, but that that is a complete irrelevance when discussing genotypically and phynotypically normal males who think they can become women/female, and vice versa. I don't insist on everyone being physically male or female because it's necessary for an argument. I merely observe that in the real world this hypothetical person who isn't one or the other doesn't actually exist.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:47 AM   #493
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With Ramon, we've reached the point in Steersman's argument where a male is someone who is actively in the process of impregnating a female. Sperm into a condom, or a spermicide, or an IUD, can't be used to impregnate anyone, after all.
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Old 9th August 2022, 05:58 AM   #494
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Ah, but you put your finger on another problem there. "Actively in the process of impregnating a female." So you don't just need the male to be fully functional in every possible way and getting his rocks off into any old female of the species, you need a female who is actually ovulating fertile ova at that precise moment.

So she has to be "of childbearing age", and actively cycling (that is not pregant or anoestrus), and not on the pill and not wearing an IUD or any other sort of contraception, and actually in the stage of her cycle vets would describe as "oestrus" - the period when the female is capable of becoming pregnant. (Which in most mammals is the only time females will hold still for it anyway.) And she has to be producing fertile ova - it won't work if that month's production is a dud.

Because only under that particular situation is any sperm "capable of impregnating a female".

We've got to the point that an individual is only male at the moment he is actually contributing towards the conception of an embryo. And if we broaden that to include assisted reproduction, artificial insemination, "test-tube babies" and so on, I'm damned if I know where it goes.

Coastline paradox indeed.
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Old 9th August 2022, 06:19 AM   #495
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Seems to me this is all a bit back to front. Once you decide you are going to exclude individuals who would normally be regarded without any controversy as being male or female from being covered by these terms, where do you stop? You have to define your criteria for inclusion/exclusion, and these criteria become subject to scrutiny and challenge for being unclear and for excluding individuals you perhaps didn't intend to exclude. If you continue to invoke the strictest and most exclusionary definition then you end up with the reductio ad absursum as above.

Reductio ad absurdum is often a good tool for interrogating problems and definitions, and for demonstrating the flaws in an ill thought through definition.
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Old 9th August 2022, 07:08 AM   #496
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Ah, but you put your finger on another problem there. "Actively in the process of impregnating a female." So you don't just need the male to be fully functional in every possible way and getting his rocks off into any old female of the species, you need a female who is actually ovulating fertile ova at that precise moment.
A female who is actually gettting impregnated at that precise moment.

Men and women don't truly become male and female, except at the very instant of conception. Everything else, up to and including most of the coitus itself, is just sexless entities cosplaying gender roles.

According to Steersman's Razor, which cuts right through the Gordian knot of our hitherto illogical and impractical definitions of sex.
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Old 9th August 2022, 07:31 AM   #497
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Don't forget the moment after conception. The male and female revert to sexlessness, of course.
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Old 9th August 2022, 07:38 AM   #498
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What happens if we take the normal view of society, which is that every human being is either male or female, from birth until death, and the more biologically literate speakers will readily extend that back to conception, understanding that what we develop into is fixed at conception.

So birth certificates, passports and so on all have an indication of male or female. Legally, in most countries, that's it. You must be one or the other and you can't be neither. (I appreciate that some countries have, under pressure from the gender activists, introduced an "X" designation, but this is 100% about identity, about normal male and female people wanting to repudiate their sex. Not a recognition that some people literally have no biological sex.)

That seems to be a much more sensible starting point than a one-line dictionary definition which was undoubtedly intended by its author merely as a rough we-all-know-what-we-mean guide to which people go in which box, but which is capable of being interpreted in ways the author never intended by people intent on ascribing over-literal meanings to every word (and then prepared to repudiate the example usage chosen by the author because it doesn't suit their agenda).

Everybody is either male or female.

We've already discussed mistakes being made when deciding the sex by looking at a neonate's external genitalia. This doesn't trouble the system in a fundamental way. Boys with 5ARD who were mistakenly thought to be girls at birth are still male. Always were and always will be. What you do with someone who thought they were a girl until they were a teenager and then discovered they were actually male is a social problem. In my opinion Erik Schinneger is a better outcome than Caster Semenya, but anyone's mileage may differ. Doesn't change the actual sex either way. They both go in the male box.

What we seem to be discussing here is who should be deemed not eligible for entry into either box. Society, until recently everywhere and even now with only a few exceptions, doesn't allow for this. But somehow, we're seeing a push for people to be excluded - not self-excluded like the pastel-haired many-pierced enby, which is a matter of identity not sex, but actually excluded because of physical characterists even though they themselves do not wish to be excluded.

I completely fail to see the point of this. I mean totally. Neither science nor society has any interest in excluding individuals from the sex class they have always been accepted in until Griffiths thought he might get a publication out of it. OK, neither science nor society has any interest in excluding individuals from the sex class they belong to at all, it's just that Griffiths and his ultra-orthodox henchman Steersman think that some individuals ought to be excluded, and that society and science should dutifully change the long-standing usage of the words male and female to accommodate this.

In the name of the Great God Zargoz, WHY???

So carry on. Everyone has a birth certificate or a passport or whatever that says M or F. We can exclude the entire identity issue here, we're talking about physical characteristcs. The legal right to have your ID documents falsify your sex doesn't change your sex.

We can also exclude mistakes. We can accept that someone may have been misplaced into the wrong box without accepting that there are people who should not be in either box.

Who do you want to exclude, how do you define these exclusions - rigorously, mind, so that reductio ad absurdum or the coastal paradox doesn't sink you within ten minutes - and then FOR GOD'S SAKE EXPLAIN WHY YOU WANT TO DO THIS. What earthly use is it to man or beast?
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:02 AM   #499
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
Don't forget the moment after conception. The male and female revert to sexlessness, of course.
How could I forget?!

"Was that instant of literal sex good for you, too?"
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:05 AM   #500
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There is no actual person on the planet who can't be seen to be either male or female.
People with undescended atrophic testicles, no uterus at birth, and a normal female body habitus are not easily classified in my view; they will not produce either form of gamete at any point in their lives and do not clearly lie on one developmental pathway or the other. You would presumably classify them as female, based on your broad SRY criteria, but I'm not adopting that approach myself.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
As far as the trans debate goes, I'd be perfectly happy to found an argument on some people being physically neither male nor female, but that that is a complete irrelevance when discussing genotypically and phynotypically normal males who think they can become women/female, and vice versa.
As I've said before, I think the existence of intersex people is basically orthogonal to any given trans debate.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:06 AM   #501
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I did ask Steersman about his endgame, and what I could glean is that his goal is to clear up the confusion that everyone else has when it comes to defining sex! This, in turn, will stop "nutjobs" from defining sex however they want. At the same time, he insists that his definition is the wrong definition when it comes to social policy.

That may seem inconsistent, but inconsistency is his one true constant:

-A sufficient condition can also be insufficient within the same definition of a word.

-We should all catch up with the science, because everyone in the scientific community uses his definition already, except none of them do because they don't have the right philosophy background, etc.

-The dictionary definition agrees with him, except the part that disagrees with him, so the dictionary agrees with him.

The light of his clarifications is so blinding, it's like staring into the sun. Forever.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:08 AM   #502
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
As I've said before, I think the existence of intersex people is basically orthogonal to any given trans debate.
I'd agree, if only we could convince the trans-rights trolls to stop bringing it up every time they think it'll give them some sort of rhetorical advantage, or to distract from questions like "why should transwomen be housed in women's prisons?"
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:11 AM   #503
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
The light of his clarifications is so blinding, it's like staring into the sun. Forever.
Have you seen The Lighthouse (2019)? This conversation about definitions is starting to feel like that movie. I'm expecting that any moment now,
Steersman is going to launch into a "Heark! Heark!" soliloquy, then tell me I liked his lobster, and then I'm going to wake up to seagulls tearing at my innards.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:13 AM   #504
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How could I forget?!

"Was that instant of literal sex good for you, too?"

And another logical conclusion: There are no homosexuals.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:19 AM   #505
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
People with undescended atrophic testicles, no uterus at birth, and a normal female body habitus are not easily classified in my view; they will not produce either form of gamete at any point in their lives and do not clearly lie on one developmental pathway or the other. You would presumably classify them as female, based on your broad SRY criteria, but I'm not adopting that approach myself.

I think there is reasonable disagreement to be had on that point. I did at one stage consider such individuals to be biologically male rather than neither, but males who should unquestionably be accepted by society as women and indeed female. However my thinking developed as I thought more carefully about what "functional" meant in relation to an SRY gene.

Considering the situation of freemartins clarified this to an extent, although of course the situations are very different. Nevertheless a freemartin has loads of entirely normal-in-structure SRY genes, despite being unquestionably female. Her SRY genes, in a male, would do the job they're supposed to do - in fact, in her brother they are doing exactly that. So you can't simply say that a normal-in-structure SRY in the body is sufficient to categorise a chimera as a male. You need the entire system of gene expression and enzyme and hormone systems to make a male body. The freemartin doesn't have that for one reason, the CAIS woman doesn't have that for a different reason. The situations are comparable though.

I like the "functional SRY gene expression system" definition because it gets us pretty much to the normal definition as it is applied by society to birth certificates and passports. We still have to deal with mistakes, but mistakes that can be discussed in terms of "which box", not mistakes left outside completely.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
As I've said before, I think the existence of intersex people is basically orthogonal to any given trans debate.

I entirely agree, but we are where we are. What ThePrestige said, really.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:19 AM   #506
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
And another logical conclusion: There are no homosexuals.

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Old 9th August 2022, 08:21 AM   #507
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Have you seen The Lighthouse (2019)? This conversation about definitions is starting to feel like that movie. I'm expecting that any moment now,
Steersman is going to launch into a "Heark! Heark!" soliloquy, then tell me I liked his lobster, and then I'm going to wake up to seagulls tearing at my innards.

I think I preferred the "The man who mistook his wife for a hat" analogy better.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:22 AM   #508
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
And another logical conclusion: There are no homosexuals.
What is so difficult to grasp about the concept of being sexlessly attracted to people who have the same unsexed organs of habitual non-reproduction as yourself?

ETA: Not literally the same organs as yourself, obviously. I mean very similar organs arising from very similar genetic codes and biological processes, but necessarily attached to their sexless bodies, not yours.

Last edited by theprestige; 9th August 2022 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 9th August 2022, 08:23 AM   #509
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Have you seen The Lighthouse (2019)? This conversation about definitions is starting to feel like that movie. I'm expecting that any moment now,
Steersman is going to launch into a "Heark! Heark!" soliloquy, then tell me I liked his lobster, and then I'm going to wake up to seagulls tearing at my innards.

Haha! Good comparison, but I think The Lighthouse was less open to interpretation.
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Old 9th August 2022, 10:39 AM   #510
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If a man donates sperm which is stored for potential use, then undergoes a vasectomy, is he still male as long as the stored sperm remains viable?
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Old 9th August 2022, 10:55 AM   #511
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Oh, another good queston.
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Old 9th August 2022, 11:36 AM   #512
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
If a man donates sperm which is stored for potential use, then undergoes a vasectomy, is he still male as long as the stored sperm remains viable?
A man donates sperm to a sperm bank, and gets a vasectomy. Six years later, he startles awake in the middle of the night. Awakened herself by her husband's commotion, his wife asks him what's wrong.

"For a moment, there, I felt like I was actually male," he says.

"Nice! Wanna bang?"

"Nah. The moment passed. And you know sexless coupling doesn't do it for me."
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Old 9th August 2022, 11:37 AM   #513
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Here's some Biblical support for Steersman's position in Deuteronomy 23:1

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD MALES.
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:09 PM   #514
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Here is another case of scientific illiteracy. Brute fact, there are no male brown widow spiders. Some brown widows do contribute the male gamete, but at the point of fertilization, they are no longer producing gametes because they are dead.


Quote:
Sexual cannibalism may represent an extreme form of male monogamy. According to this view, males gain reproductive success by sacrificing themselves to females. We studied the occurrence and timing of sexual cannibalism in the brown widow spider Latrodectus geometricus and compared male courtship and mating behavior with virgin and with previously mated females. We found that events of sexual cannibalism are frequent, that they occur during copulation and that males initiate cannibalism by placing the abdomen in front of the female’s mouth-parts during copulation (somersault behavior). Both the somersaults and mating occurred more frequently with virgins than with previously mated females. Our results support the hypothesis that sexual cannibalism is a male strategy in this species. The somersault behavior was previously known only from the redback spider, Latrodectus hasselti. It is as yet unknown whether self-sacrifice has evolved more than once in this genus.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...0.2007.01462.x



Why is it that I can't picture the sex death somersault in my head without hearing the acrobat going "Wheeee!"?

Last edited by porch; 9th August 2022 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Whee!
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:21 PM   #515
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Not sure what you mean by "public" here. If you mean the general public, I doubt they could either understand the discourse or even care.
Clearly, since their own oxen are getting "gored", more of the "public" are starting to take notice - Tavistock & Lia Thomas for examples.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
The general public will use the words male and female anyway and they will continue to use those words as defined by the various dictionaries available.
So what? As I've noted several times before, sloppy language is often a trap for the unwary and a pretext for equivocation, an opportunity for grifters and charlatans to engage in some bait-and-switch. As I mentioned, Francis Bacon noted those problems centuries ago:

Quote:
"Therefore shoddy and inept application of words lays siege to the intellect in wondrous ways"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Organum

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
The whole point of the "discussion" is to hammer out a concrete definition of male and female. You appear to have chosen one involving karyotyping and the SRY (or not) gene.
Yes, quite agree on the need for that "concrete definition. Though I'm most certainly NOT, in any way shape or form, "choosing one based karyotyping". I've explicitly championed and quoted, until I'm blue in the face, the standard biological ones of Parker, Lehtonen, Lexico, Wikipedia, Google/OED and raft of other equally credible sources. For example:

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 karyotypes or SRY genes?

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
<snip>

Far more important is to get a concrete definition into the dictionaries and that means convincing the lexicographers. How you can achieve that I have no idea, but beating others over the head because your definition doesn't use the same approach as theirs is likely to be counterproductive.
"Lexicographers" have already done; it's there in black and white - see the above quoted definition from Lexico.

You can lead some people - large percentages of the "public" in fact, and even those who should know better - to syllogisms, but it's often rather difficult to get them to actually think. Particularly when they're ideologically committed to various untenable premises.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
In which case I would suggest the "scientific" community gets its house in order and stops arguing over what the general public would consider to be minutiae.
If much of the public have their heads up their arses - as is clearly the case - then what they consider "minutiae" really shouldn't carry a lot of weight.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Whilst illuminating, I would need to read it many more times before I could even consider pronouncing on the details.
Regenmortel's article? Much of it is related to the finer details of virus classification which is largely irrelevant to the matter at hand - defining and naming and quantifying categories.

On which his discussion of the differences between monothetic and polythetic categories has a great deal of relevance. You may wish to focus on that aspect:

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

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Yes I did check your response as requested. Without seeing the article itself I can't really comment. But given that passage you quote, I would think that continuing to argue over the minutiae (to the public at least) of counter definitions is just wasting time.
I only linked to my comment as the "biggest bang for the buck"; there are links to go up a level or two to the article itself although those are as evident as they should maybe be. Here's a link to the article itself; not currently paywalled:

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

As for "wasting time", see Bacon's aphorism ...
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:24 PM   #516
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Here's some Biblical support for Steersman's position in Deuteronomy 23:1

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD MALES.
Amen to that! Let us pray ...
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:36 PM   #517
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
To the extent that they imply puppies are neither male nor female, they are yours and yours alone. No one else is taking this step, they know that some puppies need to be neutered and others spayed.
You seem unwilling or incapable of dealing with the concept of extensional and intensional 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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions

IF we define the sexes such that producing gametes of either of two types are the "necessary and sufficient conditions" for sex category membership - as is clearly the case - THEN it necessarily follows that those who can produce neither are, ipso facto, sexless. Q.E.D.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You are confusing me with someone else; I've already said that some individuals are neither female nor male but rather intersex, that is, born with a mix of male and female characteristics and unable to ever produce viable gametes as a result.
If neither male nor female then what you're saying is that sex is spectrum. You and PZ - politics, strange bedfellows and all that ....
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Old 9th August 2022, 12:52 PM   #518
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Clearly, since their own oxen are getting "gored", more of the "public" are starting to take notice - Tavistock & Lia Thomas for examples.



So what? As I've noted several times before, sloppy language is often a trap for the unwary and a pretext for equivocation, an opportunity for grifters and charlatans to engage in some bait-and-switch. As I mentioned, Francis Bacon noted those problems centuries ago:



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



Yes, quite agree on the need for that "concrete definition. Though I'm most certainly NOT, in any way shape or form, "choosing one based karyotyping". I've explicitly championed and quoted, until I'm blue in the face, the standard biological ones of Parker, Lehtonen, Lexico, Wikipedia, Google/OED and raft of other equally credible sources. For example:



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

You see ANYTHING at all there about karyotypes or SRY genes?



"Lexicographers" have already done; it's there in black and white - see the above quoted definition from Lexico.

You can lead some people - large percentages of the "public" in fact, and even those who should know better - to syllogisms, but it's often rather difficult to get them to actually think. Particularly when they're ideologically committed to various untenable premises.



If much of the public have their heads up their arses - as is clearly the case - then what they consider "minutiae" really shouldn't carry a lot of weight.



Regenmortel's article? Much of it is related to the finer details of virus classification which is largely irrelevant to the matter at hand - defining and naming and quantifying categories.

On which his discussion of the differences between monothetic and polythetic categories has a great deal of relevance. You may wish to focus on that aspect:

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



I only linked to my comment as the "biggest bang for the buck"; there are links to go up a level or two to the article itself although those are as evident as they should maybe be. Here's a link to the article itself; not currently paywalled:

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

As for "wasting time", see Bacon's aphorism ...
Okay, so your previous comments regarding the use of karyotyping were just sarcasm. More fool me for taking you seriously.

If you still go with a definition that is technically "correct" but useless in the real world, you're more of a fool than I. The public will ever accept a definition that renders a significant proportion of the population neither male nor female and however much you rail at their obtuseness they are the people who need to be satified in the end. You can yell from your ivory tower as loud as you like, but your so high up, no one can hear you.
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:06 PM   #519
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Okay, so your previous comments regarding the use of karyotyping were just sarcasm. More fool me for taking you seriously.
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.

Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
If you still go with a definition that is technically "correct" but useless in the real world, you're more of a fool than I. The public will ever accept a definition that renders a significant proportion of the population neither male nor female and however much you rail at their obtuseness they are the people who need to be satisfied in the end. You can yell from your ivory tower as loud as you like, but your so high up, no one can hear you.
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" ...
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Old 9th August 2022, 01:11 PM   #520
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
If you still go with a definition that is technically "correct" but useless in the real world, you're more of a fool than I. The public will ever accept a definition that renders a significant proportion of the population neither male nor female and however much you rail at their obtuseness they are the people who need to be satified in the end. You can yell from your ivory tower as loud as you like, but your so high up, no one can hear you.

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.

ETA. Someone (who appears to be having a laugh) doesn't realise that freemartinism doesn't occur in horses.
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