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Tags biology , categories , gametes , lexicography , pedantry , taxonomy

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Old 9th October 2022, 05:27 AM   #241
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
For those who DO want to talk about clownfish in the context of strict biological definitions for the sexes which apply not just to mammals, but to all anisogamous species, a brand new thread ; )

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...17&postcount=1
You have a very weird (and wrong) definition of "brand new thread".
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Old 9th October 2022, 06:03 AM   #242
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Oh dear.
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Old 9th October 2022, 02:01 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You have a very weird (and wrong) definition of "brand new thread".
You might note that the Mods - in their wisdom - have merged my new thread with the old one:



Presumably that now opens the door to discussing the rather brute, and rather "problematic", facts that the quite unscientific definitions of Hilton and Company cause no end of problems when applied to species that actually change sex.

Unless you can maybe explain how it is that clownfish that are presumably hatched as both males and females -- as per Hilton's "thesis" -- can then later become males, some of whom later become females ...



Or that "functional male" and "non-functional male" doesn't make "male" into a binary:



Does not compute; Houston, we have a problem.

But those problems are not at all restricted to just those species. Not helping at all to try sweeping those facts and problems under the carpet.
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Old 9th October 2022, 02:13 PM   #244
Steersman
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh dear.
"Oh dear", indeed ...

But now that you've apparently been given carte blanche to actually talk about clownfish here, maybe you can elaborate on exactly what you meant by your earlier "interesting intellectual point":

Quote:
I realise I'm digressing here, as you quite reasonably don't want to talk about clownfish, but it's an interesting intellectual point to consider while we're not being bombarded with misinterpreted and irrelevant links, meaningless charts and a large helping of condescension.

Particularly since you were given several weeks of "not being bombarded by meaningless charts" and the like to frame a question or two asking for clarifications ...
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Old 9th October 2022, 02:25 PM   #245
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
You might note that the Mods - in their wisdom - have merged my new thread with the old one:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...332eb22a29.jpg
I had not noticed that.

Quote:
Presumably that now opens the door to discussing the rather brute, and rather "problematic", facts that the quite unscientific definitions of Hilton and Company cause no end of problems when applied to species that actually change sex.
I would not so presume.

Quote:
Unless you can maybe explain how it is that clownfish that are presumably hatched as both males and females -- as per Hilton's "thesis" -- can then later become males, some of whom later become females ...
How does this still need explaining? We all understand that in some contexts it's necessary to apply a functional definition to clownfish.

Just as we all understand that those contexts never apply to mammals, and that the structural definition works way better for most mammal and almost all human contexts.
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Old 9th October 2022, 02:49 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

<snip>

How does this still need explaining? We all understand that in some contexts it's necessary to apply a functional definition to clownfish.

Just as we all understand that those contexts never apply to mammals, and that the structural definition works way better for most mammal and almost all human contexts.
You might just as well argue that in "some contexts" it's ok to say "2+2=4", and in other ones it's ok to say "2+2=5". The latter might work if we're clear that the context for the latter is "things that are flat-out RONG "

But the problem is things like research - where the results of studies of other species are applied to the human one - or education where both definitions would be in play.

"from contradiction, anything - and everything - follows"

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

We simply can not reasonably or sanely have two quite contradictory and inconsistent definitions in play. If you want to create a brand-new category of your own called, say, "human_sex" based on Hilton's schlock to clearly differentiate it from the biological definitions for the sexes that apply to all the other millions of species then fine, go big, fill your boots.

But you then have to consider changing, to start with, all the legal documents to indicate that it's an entirely different category from the biological one.
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Old 9th October 2022, 03:11 PM   #247
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Biological sex is not analogous to arithmetic.
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Old 9th October 2022, 03:59 PM   #248
Steersman
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Biological sex is not analogous to arithmetic.
"Is too!"

Still the point that contradictions in one's premises are to be anathematized -- whether they're in mathematics, in physics, or in linguistic "axioms" -- i.e., definitions. That's the point of similarity between "target" and "source", that's the justification for the analogy. You may wish to read up on the topic:

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

But see physicist Sabine Hossenfelder:



Apropos of which and the article on sequential hermaphroditism, "non-functional male" is, by the standard biological definitions, an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. There is NO such thing: if any member of any anisogamous species has NO reproductive function then, ipso facto, it is neither male nor female.

That article is, at best, clearly merging both the antiscientific definitions of Hilton and Company AND the standard biological definitions - the SAME context for contradictory definitions. That's the problem.
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Old 9th October 2022, 04:13 PM   #249
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"Please use my preferred definition instead of the established one. It would solve many serious problems."

"What problems would it solve?"

"Mainly, the problem that no one is using my preferred definition."
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Old 9th October 2022, 04:29 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
"Please use my preferred definition instead of the established one. It would solve many serious problems."

"What problems would it solve?"

"Mainly, the problem that no one is using my preferred definition."
This sums things up nicely.
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Old 9th October 2022, 04:37 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"Is too!" ; ): rolleyes :

Still the point that contradictions in one's premises are to be anathematized -- whether they're in mathematics, in physics, or in linguistic "axioms" -- i.e., definitions. That's the point of similarity between "target" and "source", that's the justification for the analogy. You may wish to read up on the topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy
Oh, I know all about analogies. For example, I know that arguments from analogy don't change the mind of anyone whose mind wasn't changed by arguments from the thing itself in its own terms.

I also know that anyone competent to argue the thing itself in its own terms doesn't need to resort to analogies.

If your understanding of biological sex in mammals and other species only goes as far as simple arithmetic, then maybe you are not yet ready to argue the thing itself in its own terms.
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Old 10th October 2022, 07:07 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
"Please use my preferred definition instead of the established one. It would solve many serious problems."

"What problems would it solve?"

"Mainly, the problem that no one is using my preferred definition."

End of thread.
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Old 10th October 2022, 12:29 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
End of thread.
Hardly. Little more than an ad hominem; little more than "attacking the arguer, not the argument" - tsk, tsk ...

Don't think any of you have really addressed my argument or the evidence that I've put on the table of the manifest and quite serious problems that follow from endorsing, promoting, and championing the quite unscientific definitions for the sexes peddled by Hilton and Company.
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Old 11th October 2022, 09:01 AM   #254
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You have not demonstrated any problems at all as regards the normal, everyday, and scientific, biological usage of the words male and female as we all understand them. (Even you.)
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Old 11th October 2022, 11:45 PM   #255
Steersman
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You have not demonstrated any problems at all as regards the normal, everyday, and scientific, biological usage of the words male and female as we all understand them. (Even you.)
"I'll take 'No true Scotsman' logical fallacies for $100 please, Alex." ...

Quote:
No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect their universal generalization from a falsifying counterexample by excluding the counterexample improperly.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

Seems to me that you're simply insisting on your own "universal generalization" as "we understand them" -- which clearly doesn't apply to probably thousands if not millions of species other than mammals -- while simply refusing to even consider that the standard biological ones of Parker and Company DO apply.

I've clearly shown in the case of sequential hermaphrodites that that definition of Hilton's and Company necessitates turning each sex into a binary - functional and non-functional males and females. Maybe not a big deal in itself, though it really doesn't square all the well with criticisms of my earlier "pre-male" and "post-male" phrasing. Though I'd sure like to hear from all of the biological community about the prospect of having to qualify every use of "male" and "female" with "non-functional" or "functional".

But "non-functional male", for example simply conflicts with the standard biological definitions by which "non-functional male" is a contradiction in terms; by those definitions, if an organism is "non-functional" in a reproductive sense then it is simply neither male nor female.

In addition to which, your "scientific ... usage" is flatly contradicted by the fact that you have yet to provide any evidence of any reputable biological journal actually endorsing those definitions of Hilton and Company. All they've got is a letter in the UK Times -- hardly a peer-reviewed scientific journal. In notable contradistinction to the standard biological definitions.

Nor do I quite see how your "normal, everyday ... usage" squares with the wildly popular and generally well-regarded encyclopedia Wikipedia which, apparently following Hilton's lead, endorses the view that each sex is a binary. I expect that Scientific American and Nature, given their previous articles touting the view of the sexes as spectra, might reasonably ask, "If a binary, why not a spectrum?", and would appreciate Hilton giving credence to that view. But all you're doing there with that phrase of yours is "excluding the counterexample improperly" -- with absolutely no evidence at all for any justification.

I'd say that's some solid evidence of a rather large number of "problems" which you apparently want to dismiss as "irrelevant links, & meaningless charts" based on no evidence at all of your own.

You seem rather reluctant to consider how Hilton's "definitions" are so profoundly unscientific, and little better than the worst of "folk-biology".
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Old 21st October 2022, 06:13 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
In addition to which, your "scientific ... usage" is flatly contradicted by the fact that you have yet to provide any evidence of any reputable biological journal actually endorsing those definitions of Hilton and Company. All they've got is a letter in the UK Times -- hardly a peer-reviewed scientific journal. In notable contradistinction to the standard biological definitions.
Which biological journal endorsed the idea that humans become male or female at puberty?



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Old 24th October 2022, 01:16 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Which biological journal endorsed the idea that humans become male or female at puberty?
Which dictionary "endorses the idea" that kids become teenagers on their 13th birthdays, and are "removed" from that category on their 20th birthday?

It's not necessary for an "intensional definition" to state the conditions that exclude members; it's only necessary to stipulate the conditions that are "necessary and sufficient" to include them. If a potential "candidate" possesses the trait then they're a member, and if they don't then they're not.

And the definition for "teenager" is clearly such an intensional definition; it specifies that "being 13 to 19 inclusive" is the necessary and sufficient condition for membership in the "teenager" category. If a person isn't between 13 and 19 inclusive then they're not a teenager; it's not necessary to say that in the definition because it's implicit, it's "baked in" to the definition.

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

And the Oxford definitions for "male" and "female", and those of Parker and Lehtonen, are likewise intensional definitions. They specify that having functional gonads are the necessary and sufficient conditions for qualifying as male and female. Those organisms, of anisogamous species, with neither type of gonad are, like newly hatched clownfish, therefore sexless. Like prepubescent humans who typically acquire a sex at puberty. Q.E.D.

But I think I've covered this several times here, including in this post:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...59&postcount=7

You may wish to re-read it and the other ones.

But categorization -- as the creation of categories, part and parcel of which is intensional definitions -- is something of a murky process with any number of pitfalls. A process which I've tried to clarify to some degree by trying to answer that "age-old question" of "What is a woman?":

https://humanuseofhumanbeings.substa...hat-is-a-woman
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Old 24th October 2022, 06:34 PM   #258
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Which journal stated your preferred intensional definition?

Does that same journal scrupulously avoid phrases like "male infant" or "postmenopausal female" in your persual thereof?

If not, whom do you suppose is misunderstanding the definition in question: yourself, or the journal's editors and reviewers?
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Old 24th October 2022, 08:43 PM   #259
Steersman
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Which journal stated your preferred intensional definition?
Springer Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science is one of the better ones:

Quote:
Female gametes are larger than male gametes. This is not an empirical observation, but a definition: in a system with two markedly different gamete sizes, we define females to be the sex that produces the larger gametes and vice-versa for males (Parker et al. 1972) ...
https://link.springer.com/referencew...16999-6_3063-1

But there are several others, including Oxford Dictionaries, which say pretty much the same thing:

Journal of Theoretical Biology:
https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ale_Phenomenon

Journal of Molecular Human Reproduction:
https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...2/1161/1062990

Oxford:
https://web.archive.org/web/20181020...inition/female
https://web.archive.org/web/20190608...efinition/male

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Does that same journal scrupulously avoid phrases like "male infant" or "postmenopausal female" in your perusal thereof?
Haven't the foggiest idea, though it's pretty much irrelevant in any case. That someone states "2+2=5" is hardly a refutation of the axioms of arithmetic.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
If not, whom do you suppose is misunderstanding the definition in question: yourself, or the journal's editors and reviewers?
Maybe you? Rather willfully?
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Old 16th November 2022, 06:50 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Hardly a derail since the OP asserted that Hilton's quite unscientific definitions for the sexes were "essentially correct about what makes a mammal either female or male." And I've been providing massive amounts of solid evidence that they're not, that they conflict rather profoundly with the standard biological definitions. By which some third of us - at any one time - are, in fact sexless:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...a1ac0049ae.jpg

"sexless" is more or less the crux of the matter, not a side issue.

1 - This chart seems to be made with HUMANS in mind. But this is about mammalian biology, so the classification must be as universal as possible for all mammals. So no sense in having transgender, vasectomees, etc, in the graph.

2 - According to your nonsensical classification, everybody not reproducing or not producing gametes, is sexless. Therefore, IF we do not know the status of gamete production in an animal, we canīt know it's sex. Therefore, EVERY human that is, in theory, not producing gametes anymore, should do breast exams AND prostate exames, in search for tumors. I mean, no sense in making the system more efficient doing prostate exams ONLY in what the world wrongfuly considers as MALES and breast exams only in what the world wrongfuly considers FEMALES, if they are all the SAME SEX (SEXLESS) according to you.

3 - males with vasectomy still produce sperm, it just canīt leave the testes as the tubes are blocked or cut. Also, vasectomy can be reversed. And there is always a very tiny change some sperm cell might get through the blocking mechanism (reason number 3 in the link below)
https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/vasectomy-failure/

4 - the division of sexes in XY and XX chromossomes only goes back 170 million years, to the first Therians (placental and marsupial ancestors). Of course, that should NOT be used, because it goes against ideology.

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Old 16th November 2022, 07:35 AM   #261
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can someone write Mayo Clinic and tell them to change these imbecile pages?
https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/health...uld-understand

Most of these disases happen in people not producing useful gametes anymore. So they are SEXLESS. Those sexless people with penises therefore should check for uterine cancer.

and also, let's edit this Wikipedia page, to reflect Steerman's wisdom.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_di...es_in_medicine

Quote:
Historically, medical research has primarily been conducted using the male body as the basis for clinical studies. The findings of these studies have often been applied across the sexes, and healthcare providers have traditionally assumed a uniform approach in treating both male and female patients. More recently, medical research has started to understand the importance of taking sex into account as evidence increases that the symptoms and responses to medical treatment may be very different between sexes.[24]
Let's go BACK to the old ways, when we did NOT realize symtoms and responses could be very difference between the sexes, since kids and old people are sexless!
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