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Old 4th August 2022, 02:51 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Seriously, you keep asserting that scientists are "unscientific" because they don't use your definition.

By what authority and expertise do you demand that YOUR definition is the one that should be adopted? What relevant background and experience do you have that would convince anyone at all to take your word for it?
Fer Christ's sake. Or for His Noodleness' sake as the case may be.

Elliot quotes that gamete article by Parker and Lehtonen which has the SAME definition as Lexico, Google/OED, Wikipedia, Griffiths, and a whole raft of other sources.

Exactly where are your equivalently credible sources explicitly stating that structure-absent-function definition that Hilton and company have been peddling? You think a letter published in the UK Times qualifies as some sort of credible biological journal promulgating gospel truth?

Try looking at them and actually THINKING about them:

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


You DON'T get to make up your own definitions. As none of us gets to drive on any side of the road we want whenever we want.
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Old 4th August 2022, 02:51 PM   #282
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I'm just looking in to say hi. No time to post tonight. Finished the Gaelic course and I'm back on to writing the book I'm working on. (My brain is slightly fried because the subject of the book has a German text - one day half the words I nearly said on the Zoom sessions were bloody Deutsch.)

I'm intermittently musing on the historical context of human beings being thought of as neither male nor female. I'm also musing on the huge amount of heavy lifting being required of the word "nominally" in an earlier post.
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Old 4th August 2022, 02:55 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I'll supply my own rejoinder: Once you eliminate the idiotic, everything makes more sense.

What you're proposing isn't "improbable", it's irrational and useless.


Try convincing Parker and Lehtonen of that. Paul Griffths too. All of the authors of those definitions in Wikipedia, Lexico, OED; all the editors of the Journals of Theoretical Biology and of Molecular Human Reproduction ...

https://twitter.com/zaelefty/status/1459925709426728961
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Old 4th August 2022, 02:57 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I'm still waiting for your citations of the statistics literature as to why that can't be done.

I'm also waiting for you to actually look at and think about that joint-probability distribution I've posted before of karyotypes & heights. You might reasonably quibble about the order,
You answered your own question. The "assigned" order is EXACTLY why you can't get a bimodal distribution from categorical data. It only superficially looks bimodal, as an artifact of an arbitrary and artificial order.

Imagine a fruit basket, containing:
30% Apples
20% Oranges
10% Bananas
15% Grapes
25% Mangoes

If you were to "order" the fruit as I've listed them (A, O, B, G, M), you'll have something kind of like a bathtub distribution.

If, on the other hand, you order them (B, G, O, M, A) you get something more resembling an exponential distribution

If you decide to plot them (B, O, A, M, G) you get a slightly skewed but relatively normal-looking distribution.

And if you plot them (B, A, O, M, G) you'll get something that looks like a bimodal distribution.

And THAT'S entirely the point. Because the data is categorical, it has no inherent order. You cannot say that apples are > bananas. The sentence has no meaning, because there is no ordinal criteria under discussion. You could potentially say that the weight of apples > the weight of bananas - because weight is an ordinal variable. You could say that the number of apples is > the number of bananas, because number is an ordinal variable.

But apple has no ordinal value. What a plot looks like is 100% entirely dependent on an artificially imposed order that has nothing at all to do with the elements on the x-axis.

The same is true with your multidimensional speculation - it does not work when you mix ordinal and categorical data. It makes one of your n-dimensions meaningless.

There are methods for integrating categorical data into statistical analysis, so that you don't **** up the whole thing. But it is NOT done by assigning some random "order" to them. That biases the analysis beyond redemption.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
but don't see how you reasonably deny that there IS a family of probability distributions for heights for EACH of the karyotypes listed. All of which might reasonably be put into the joint probability distribution shown.
I 100% deny that there is a family of probability distributions for the height of each karyotype. If you wish to argue about that, I will need you to tell me WHAT you are MEASURING that shows VARIANCE AROUND the karyotype. Let's make it simple: How would you calculate the mean of karyotype 46XXY? How would you determine the standard deviation?
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Old 4th August 2022, 03:00 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm just looking in to say hi. No time to post tonight. Finished the Gaelic course and I'm back on to writing the book I'm working on. (My brain is slightly fried because the subject of the book has a German text - one day half the words I nearly said on the Zoom sessions were bloody Deutsch.)

I'm intermittently musing on the historical context of human beings being thought of as neither male nor female. I'm also musing on the huge amount of heavy lifting being required of the word "nominally" in an earlier post.


You might also "muse" on the time it took to get the heliocentric view accepted, to get evolution accepted.

Also on "produces" being a case of the "habitual tense" ...

Your cases of wild animals ovulating only once a year - your point if I'm not mistaken - being cases of that.

"regular" is somewhat context dependent. But, again, bit of stretch to argue that that word and tense can be applied to the prepubescent or to those who've had their gonads removed ...
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Old 4th August 2022, 03:02 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
In case anyone is wondering, I have a degree in Fine Art.
Wonderful! So does my house-husband!
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Old 4th August 2022, 03:04 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post


You might also "muse" on the time it took to get the heliocentric view accepted, to get evolution accepted.

Also on "produces" being a case of the "habitual tense" ...

Your cases of wild animals ovulating only once a year - your point if I'm not mistaken - being cases of that.

"regular" is somewhat context dependent. But, again, bit of stretch to argue that that word and tense can be applied to the prepubescent or to those who've had their gonads removed ...

Actually I'm waiting for you to clarify your position. I listed a lot of situations where individuals would not be reproducing at a particular time, for various reasons. I cannot tell which ones fit on the "sexed" side of your divide and which fit on the "no sex" side, from what you have posted so far.

I'd also like to know what a prepubescent trans child is transitioning from or to. And what embryologists are doing when they select either male or female embryos.

I also have no intention of contacting an academic to ask what he meant by a definition I am not relying on. I think the person who is relying on it need to do that.
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Old 4th August 2022, 03:23 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post

<snip>

I 100% deny that there is a family of probability distributions for the height of each karyotype. If you wish to argue about that, I will need you to tell me WHAT you are MEASURING that shows VARIANCE AROUND the karyotype. Let's make it simple: How would you calculate the mean of karyotype 46XXY? How would you determine the standard deviation?
A two-parter, in part because I think you're barking up wrong tree with the first half of your argument.

But the second half is more important since you're clearly missing my point.

It is that FOR EACH karyotype there's a population distribution of heights that has a mean and a standard deviation; try looking at each "slice" back behind each individual karyotype. If you actually look closely, EACH of those karyotypes has separate means and, probably, standard deviations for that range of heights.

Try thinking of the analogous case of TWO population distributions of heights for men and women. Which is what I showed with the two distributions of "agreeableness" by sex. All I'm doing with the karyotypes is "hypothesizing" a "sex spectrum" of greater than two possibilities. If we can use the categorical variable of a binary for comparison then I fail to see why we can't do so for a categorical variable with a dozen or more "levels".

But you can't reasonably say that EACH height has a mean and standard deviation - those are measures applicable only to the WHOLE population.

Likewise with the karyotypes: no individual karyotype has a mean and standard deviation. The whole set might have one, although that's probably dependent on which particular height you select and how you order the karyotypes.

Think you really need to take a close look at that multimodal article I mentioned earlier:

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

Although I'll readily concede to being somewhat in the dark how one calculates the standard deviations and means in such cases.
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Old 4th August 2022, 03:33 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Actually I'm waiting for you to clarify your position. I listed a lot of situations where individuals would not be reproducing at a particular time, for various reasons. I cannot tell which ones fit on the "sexed" side of your divide and which fit on the "no sex" side, from what you have posted so far.
Think you really need to take a close look at my recent response to you about habitual and present-tense indefinite. You brought up the idea - a useful one - but don't seem ready to consider the ramifications I've described.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'd also like to know what a prepubescent trans child is transitioning from or to.
Probably sexless of one form to sexless of another.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And what embryologists are doing when they select either male or female embryos.
Sorting those which will likely become females into one bin and sorting those likely to become males into another.

Genitalia - the most likely basis for that sorting - is only a proxy variable; Emily - or her Cat - may provide some clarification if necessary:

Quote:
In statistics, a proxy or proxy variable is a variable that is not in itself directly relevant, but that serves in place of an unobservable or immeasurable variable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_(statistics)
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Old 4th August 2022, 05:21 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
A two-parter, in part because I think you're barking up wrong tree with the first half of your argument.
And I think you are statistically innumerate.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
But the second half is more important since you're clearly missing my point.

It is that FOR EACH karyotype there's a population distribution of heights that has a mean and a standard deviation; try looking at each "slice" back behind each individual karyotype. If you actually look closely, EACH of those karyotypes has separate means and, probably, standard deviations for that range of heights.

Try thinking of the analogous case of TWO population distributions of heights for men and women. Which is what I showed with the two distributions of "agreeableness" by sex. All I'm doing with the karyotypes is "hypothesizing" a "sex spectrum" of greater than two possibilities. If we can use the categorical variable of a binary for comparison then I fail to see why we can't do so for a categorical variable with a dozen or more "levels".

But you can't reasonably say that EACH height has a mean and standard deviation - those are measures applicable only to the WHOLE population.

Likewise with the karyotypes: no individual karyotype has a mean and standard deviation. The whole set might have one, although that's probably dependent on which particular height you select and how you order the karyotypes.

Think you really need to take a close look at that multimodal article I mentioned earlier:

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

Although I'll readily concede to being somewhat in the dark how one calculates the standard deviations and means in such cases.
You do not understand what you're talking about. You're so far away from how statistics actually works that you're into the realm of pseudomaths. Yes, I just coined a new term for the type of completely wrong speculative argument that you're making.
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Old 4th August 2022, 05:23 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Sorting those which will likely become females into one bin and sorting those likely to become males into another.
So... If they select an embryo that is likely to become female... how likely is that embryo to become male?
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Old 4th August 2022, 05:29 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
So... If they select an embryo that is likely to become female... how likely is that embryo to become male?
Maybe 2%? Genuflecting to the thread topic, same sort of ballpark for intersex in humans?

Certainly don't know the details of all the variations, but I get the impression that more than a few human intersexers are often "assigned" one sex at birth and later develop into the other.
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Old 4th August 2022, 05:51 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
And I think you are statistically innumerate.
And I kinda think that we're talking at cross-purposes here. I maybe muddied the waters with my joint probability distribution by karyotype and height. And I'll even concede something of your point that IF sex were a spectrum with a dozen or more sexes THEN we might just have a 2-dimensional bar-chart of each sex on the horizontal axis and the percentage of the total population on the vertical axis.

And I'll even concede your point that how we ordered those "sexes" would give very different shapes.

But that really wasn't my point. It was that REGARDLESS of how you ordered those sexes, you would STILL get the same number of peaks - at least as in my graph where there "valleys" between each adjacent karyotype value.

You really might try looking at what I actually said, not go off the rails on what you THINK I said:

Quote:
And if you were to mentally rotate the image so that you were looking directly at the "box" from the karyotype side then you would see - mirabile dictu - several peaks, several "modes". But there are several smaller or lower peaks off to the side so technically we have "sex" being multimodal.
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=185

Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
You do not understand what you're talking about. You're so far away from how statistics actually works that you're into the realm of pseudomaths. Yes, I just coined a new term for the type of completely wrong speculative argument that you're making.
Rather doubt that "how statistics actually works" in actuarial science is the be-all and end-all of statistics. Rather many different ways of using that tool. You really might want to take a closer look at my graph, at what I've actually said, and at what the Wikipedia article has to say about joint probability distributions - which you don't seem to have much of a clue about.
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Old 4th August 2022, 11:28 PM   #294
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I do like this argument;-

I have an automobile

Is it moving?

Not at present

So it isn't an automobile.

On the basis that it is defined by the action, not the possibility of action in the past present and future, it is quite correct, but at the same time ******* useless.

Technically correct - the best kind of correct.
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Old 5th August 2022, 12:23 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
I do like this argument;-

I have an automobile

Is it moving?

Not at present

So it isn't an automobile.

On the basis that it is defined by the action, not the possibility of action in the past present and future, it is quite correct, but at the same time ******* useless.

Technically correct - the best kind of correct.
False analogy. You might try picking up a dictionary and learning how to use it which might preclude making such bogus and clueless arguments.

Quote:
car (noun): A four-wheeled road vehicle that is powered by an engine and is able to carry a small number of people.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/car

It's not the current action of carrying "a small number of people" that is the "necessary and sufficient condition" for category membership, but the ability to do so. A "car" that has had it's engine, wheels, and transmission removed no longer qualifies as one. It is at best, a "car" in name only, for reference purposes only, not in fact:

https://www.lexico.com/definition/nominal
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Old 5th August 2022, 05:23 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Think you really need to take a close look at my recent response to you about habitual and present-tense indefinite. You brought up the idea - a useful one - but don't seem ready to consider the ramifications I've described.

Probably sexless of one form to sexless of another.

Sorting those which will likely become females into one bin and sorting those likely to become males into another.

Genitalia - the most likely basis for that sorting - is only a proxy variable; Emily - or her Cat - may provide some clarification if necessary:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_(statistics)

Oh, I saw your recent moving of your goal posts. Having now figured out what the present habitual means, you no longer insist that a sexed individual has to be producing viable gametes right this minute. That's an advance. Presumably females are allowed to be female even when they're not actually ovulating, which presumably includes those of species who only cycle for part of the year? Or are they not female during the months when they're not cycling? There's a lot you haven't clarified. (Women naturally cycle continually except when pregnant or - possibly - lactating, but many species only cycle during a breeding season.)

If a vasectomised man (or ram or boar or whatever) isn't male, then what about the man who always uses a condom? If an infertile woman isn't female, what about a woman who is on the pill? Or has an IUD fitted? Under what circumstances are they regarded as having a sex, and why?

Sexless of one form and sexless of another form. Do we have words for these forms (and remember this isn't just about human beings) and if not why not? Likely to become male and likely to become female? Do we really use such language? Does anyone at all? What about the embryologist sorting embryos?

And what about the children with DSD conditions, which I think is where this started. I pointed out that people with DSD conditions are all male or female, and that many if not most DSDs are sex specific. For example Klinefelter's is a condition of males and Turner's is a condition of females. When these people are children we recognise them as boys and girls. They will never become fertile (OK, find me the rare cases, I dunno) so according to you they will never become one sex or the other. They're still boys and girls though, not equivalent beings.

The reason nobody is taking your conditions seriously is that we've thought about them and think you're talking nonsense. It's not for lack of considering your point of view that we reject it. It's because, having considered it, we can see the holes in the logic, the cases that can't be readily explained, the unnecessary complications, and, frankly, the howling misunderstanding that the whole thing is based on.

As I said before, I think you have become too invested in this misunderstanding and have gone too far down the rabbit hole dug by other people who share this misunderstanding (deliberately or inadvertently) to change your mind now. So we will probably go on talking past each other.

And I will go on referring to spayed and castrated pets as male and female. To boys and girls and puppies and kittens as male and female. To post-menopausal women as female. To men with Klinefelter's as male and to women with Turner's as female. Like pretty much 100% of all the people in the world, both in normal social discourse and in scientific communication.
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Old 5th August 2022, 06:02 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Steersman
Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
I do like this argument;-

I have an automobile

Is it moving?

Not at present

So it isn't an automobile.

On the basis that it is defined by the action, not the possibility of action in the past present and future, it is quite correct, but at the same time ******* useless.

Technically correct - the best kind of correct.
False analogy. You might try picking up a dictionary and learning how to use it which might preclude making such bogus and clueless arguments.

Quote:
car (noun): A four-wheeled road vehicle that is powered by an engine and is able to carry a small number of people.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/car

It's not the current action of carrying "a small number of people" that is the "necessary and sufficient condition" for category membership, but the ability to do so. A "car" that has had it's engine, wheels, and transmission removed no longer qualifies as one. It is at best, a "car" in name only, for reference purposes only, not in fact:

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

"Powered by an engine," so it's not a car when the engine is turned off and not powering anything? After all, the all-important dictionary definition says "powered by" not "equipped with" or "able to be powered by."

If the engine fails and I'm broken down by the side of the road, my vehicle is not only not being powered by the engine, it's not even able to be. So it's not a car then? If I call a tow company will they be confused by my wanting them to tow a four-wheeled vehicle that's not a car?

When my car is in the shop with its engine, transmission, and wheels removed for repair, it's not a car? Then what is it?

If the shop burns down while my (former?) car is in that condition, will my car insurance refuse to cover the loss because the policy only covers cars?

This is actually a quite good analogy to your arguments in this thread.
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Old 5th August 2022, 07:11 AM   #298
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This is getting back to the point I was trying to make earlier. What is the purpose of this definition Steersman is relying on? If the objective is to describe how the words male and female are actually used by speakers of the language, then clearly it is a huge fail. Speakers of English do not use these words exclusively to refer to fertile individuals during their years of fertility. And that applies to biological and medical scientists just as much as it does to ordinary lay conversation.

(Of course the original 1972 definition was not really a huge fail, the problem is that "philosophers" have decided to apply a meaning to the words of the definition which was certainly not intended, and Steersman has become their disciple.)

The usage being touted now diverges hugely from actual usage in the scienctific and medical communities and the community as a whole. So what is the purpose of this? Has something new been discovered that needs new words? No. We've always known that mammals are not fertile before puberty, that some individuals are never fertile for various reasons, and that human females cease to be fertile in middle age. We've never needed any particular language to cope with this other than adding a descriptor to the words male and female. Castrated, spayed, pre-pubertal, post-menopausal, fertile, infertile and so on. (One point is that we often don't know whether a particular individual is fertile or not without specialist testing. Do I regard this bull or this man as male when he's never been tested? That's where the veterinary and farming term of "proven fertility" comes in - that is, this individual has reproduced already. Do we refrain from regarding all individuals who have not proven their fertility in this or another way as male or female?)

Our language as it has been used and has naturally evolved to handle the concepts of male and female being categories, and to qualify individuals within these categories according to their fertility status. That is a simple fact. We've coped fine that way and are still coping fine that way.

So why do we suddenly need words that exclusively belong to fertile individuals and can't be used for non-fertile individuals? Frankly, we don't. And if we did, we should be looking for new words, not re-defining words that are already in common use, to the general confusion of all.

This is a pointless rabbit hole. There are two sex categories of mammal, male and female. The debate as it has been conducted concerns whether there is a third category (no there isn't), whether there are individuals which cannot be properly allocated to either category, and whether individuals can switch categories.

The second is interesting, but has only ever concerned a small minority of individuals, in the DSD class. The third is the TRA's obsession.

I fail to see how redefining basic terms to exclude about 70% of all individuals from either box is anything but a pointless distraction.
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Old 5th August 2022, 07:17 AM   #299
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The best part is I know Steersman isn't confused at all, either. I guarantee when someone refers to a prepubescent child as "male", he doesn't run around tearing his hear out ranting about how the dictionary says the kid can't possibly be male.
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Old 5th August 2022, 07:27 AM   #300
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Good point.

Embryos are male or female. Sex is fixed at conception. Everybody who knows anything about mammalian reproduction knows this. If Cardhu hadn't been a male embryo and then a male foetus, he couldn't have screwed up his sister's development as he did. If his sister hadn't been a female foetus, her development couldn't have been screwed up by her brother's hormones.

Just suppose I had to give a lecture to veterinary students or even to farmers on how freemartin heifers occur. (It's quite possible I could have been asked to do that before I retired.) I wonder what language Steersman would have me use?
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Old 5th August 2022, 07:33 AM   #301
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Steersman has repeatedly linked to this online dictionary definition of male:

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

Thing is, the usage example from that very source is . . . .wait for it! . . . "male children".
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Old 5th August 2022, 07:41 AM   #302
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So it does. Bwahahahaha.

I wonder if the compiler of the definition deliberately chose that example in order to illustrate what he means by "the sex that produces...". To show that he is not specifically limiting his definition to individuals that are producing gametes at the time, but that he is describing a class. Something Emily's cat has repeatedly tried to explain.
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Old 5th August 2022, 08:07 AM   #303
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It does seem to me that if everyone could be convinced that 'male/female' refer only to individuals currently able to produce gametes, that we would immediately need new words to replace them. We would then use the new words almost all the time and only use the words 'male' and 'female' when we currently use terms like 'fertile male/female'. I don't think this would help to clarify anything.
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Old 5th August 2022, 08:16 AM   #304
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Exactly. The usage of "male" and "female" in ordinary conversation would also become so fraught that it would almost have to be dropped. How do you know someone is fertile? Only if they have produced a child. For a man, that's a hard one. How do you know his wife's child is actually his? For a woman it's more certain, but did you ask whether her child was adopted? And maybe she has had an early menopause.

In practice we more commonly use the words "man" and "woman" though. Given that pretty much any dictionary definition of these words is likely to rely on the words "male" and "female", it seems likely however that these will also be out of bounds.

In medicine and veterinary medicine we'd have to modify our language radically, only using male and female to refer to individuals of proven fertility. What the hell do we say when we're sexing puppies and kittens? Well, Mrs Jones, you have two which will probably become male and three which will probably become female?

Oh no, says Mrs Jones, I'm not going to breed from them, I'll be wanting you to neuter them as soon as they're old enough.

And yet, somehow, I still have two kittens that will need a castration operation and three which will require an ovariohysterectomy. How do I know which operation to do on which kitten?
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Old 5th August 2022, 08:36 AM   #305
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We currently have trans activists trying to forcibly redefine the word woman from its longstanding definition of "adult human female" to "anyone who claims to be a woman" or words to that general effect. Which is really something for the "what is identity" thread. Somehow we still need a word for the class of human beings which typically produces large gametes though. So we get suggestions such as menstruator, cervix-haver and so on. Even though not all women menstruate and some women do not have a cervix. (A few with particular DSDs may never have had a cervix.) It's regressive, confusing and frankly insulting.

At least we know why they're trying to do it though. It makes sense in their world-view.

This attempt to forcibly redefine the words male and female only to refer to proven fertile individuals during their fertile years is even madder, if only because there is no obvious reason (other than that it might generate academic papers in an obscure corner of a philosophy journal) why anyone would want to do that.

I'd love to know how the people who are pushing this redefinition would actually talk about a litter of puppies or kittens in real life.
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Old 5th August 2022, 09:20 AM   #306
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
There are two sex categories of mammal, male and female. The debate as it has been conducted concerns whether there is a third category (no there isn't), whether there are individuals which cannot be properly allocated to either category, and whether individuals can switch categories.
I would say that the rabbit hole isn't entirely pointless, since it's generally good to clarify what we mean by "male" or "female" in threads like this one.

By "female" I mean someone born with ovaries and follicles in the primordial stage of folliculogenesis, whether or not they get the chance to grow up and ovulate and regardless of whether they have already gone through menopause.

By "male" I mean someone born with testes, physiologically likely to undergo spermatogenesis when the time comes, whether or not they actually get the chance to ejaculate (e.g. castratiWP).

Plenty of people with DSDs will fall into the above two categories, but a handful (including many CAIS individuals) have a mix of sex-typical characteristics from the get-go and cannot produce either form of gamete. These I would not call male or female, but rather "intersex."
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Old 5th August 2022, 09:50 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I would say that the rabbit hole isn't entirely pointless, since it's generally good to clarify what we mean by "male" or "female" in threads like this one.
My view is that the meanings are already clear enough to anyone interested in good faith discussion.
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Old 5th August 2022, 09:50 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I would say that the rabbit hole isn't entirely pointless, since it's generally good to clarify what we mean by "male" or "female" in threads like this one.

By "female" I mean someone born with ovaries and follicles in the primordial stage of folliculogenesis, whether or not they get the chance to grow up and ovulate and regardless of whether they have already gone through menopause.

By "male" I mean someone born with testes, physiologically likely to undergo spermatogenesis when the time comes, whether or not they actually get the chance to ejaculate (e.g. castratiWP).

Plenty of people with DSDs will fall into the above two categories, but a handful (including many CAIS individuals) have a mix of sex-typical characteristics from the get-go and cannot produce either form of gamete. These I would not call male or female, but rather "intersex."

I think that is a reasonable position, but it's one I would argue against. I think that if you drill down into your "intersex" category it gets smaller and smaller until it may well disappear completely.

The "mix of sex characteristics" is never a 50/50 split where a classification could go either way, but is generally an individual with predominantly (often overwhelmingly) one or the other set of characteristics and the characteristics of the other sex being vestigial. It's virtually impossible to find someone where a full diagnosis of their condition leaves you scratching your head. (Someone on twitter insisted "here's one" to me, but the abstract of the paper, which was in a very obscure publication, described the person as a man throughout and revealed that he had fathered children. He had some vestigial ovarian tissue which someone claimed showed histological evidence of having ovulated. I'd seriously like to see that evidence, given that the hormonal milieu of an individual who had actual spermatogenisis couldn't possibly support ovulation.) These people think of their bodies as male or female, but with some anomalous structures, and it's hard to see why this should be denied to them.

CAIS women are perhaps more anomalous than most. Nevertheless they think of themselves as female and they are phenotypically female apart from certain internal structures.

It's simple enough to put them in the female box, simply by adopting the definition of female as "not having a functional SRY gene" and defining a functional gene as requiring the necessary hormone receptors to allow that gene to be fully expressed. By an analogy with the freemartin heifer who has plenty "normal" (in structure) SRY genes in her white blood cells, but the gene cannot be meanungfully expressed.

One of the pernicious things being done by the TRA lobby is to weaponise the medical problems grouped under the DSD umbrella and claim that these people are not male or female, not "real" men or women. This not only upsets them a lot, it flies in the face of the actualité, where people who truly don't have a sex don't exist.

(I think this is where the derail started, when Steersman chipped in to insist that about 70% of the population doesn't have a sex. Basically, only if you redefine basic words in the language in the way the TRAs have pioneered.)
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Old 5th August 2022, 10:20 AM   #309
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Basically, what I'm doing with the "functional SRY gene system" and defining functional as having the necessary tissues and hormone receptors to enable the gene to be expressed in the normal way, is trying to find a definition that accords with the way the words "male" and "female" are actually used by ordinary speakers of the language in normal conversation. We had definitions that were perfectly useful, until people with agendas came along and started to twist the wordings of the definitions in ways the original authors had not intended.

In normal life, nobody is recognised as not belonging to one sex class or the other. They may wish they weren't, they may want to transfer themselves to the class they aren't, but the reality is that in 99.92% of births visual inspection will get the sex right, and in the other 0.08% genetic and hormonal analysis will reveal the correct classification.

CAIS individuals will be classified as girls at birth and often nobody even notices there's something amiss until their early teens. Of course their particular medical condition has to be considered by their doctors, but that's the case with anyone who has a congenital anomaly of either the chromosomes or hormone receptors.

Using the "functional SRY gene system" gets as close as possible as it's possible to get to how people are actually allocated as male or female in real life. Which is what a good dictionary definition should do. It's certainly true that it's a bit esoteric for normal dictionary use, but it's a better position than starting to parse and over-parse a definition that has been written for lay consumption and start insisting that the normal classification of human beings as male and female, men and women, must be wrong because it doesn't fit the dictionary definition.

That's completely arse-backwards. The dictionary definition should strive to fit with actual usage, not the other way around.
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Old 5th August 2022, 12:11 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolfe:

There are two sex categories of mammal, male and female. The debate as it has been conducted concerns whether there is a third category (no there isn't), whether there are individuals which cannot be properly allocated to either category, and whether individuals can switch categories.
I would say that the rabbit hole isn't entirely pointless, since it's generally good to clarify what we mean by "male" or "female" in threads like this one.
Thanks, entirely agree; progress!

As I've been saying from day one, the crux of the matter is Voltaire's demand: "if you wish to converse with me, define your terms".

The problem is that virtually everyone has a different and conflicting definition for the terms in play: are "male" and "female" to be seen as exhaustive or non-exhaustive categories? Are they to denote sexes (reproductive abilities), genders (personalities, personality types, and other traits that merely correlate, to a greater or lesser degree, with reproductive abilities), or (gawd help us all) entirely subjective gender-identities ("the merging of science, magic, and religion")?

No wonder pretty much everyone and their dogs, cats, and gerbils is riding madly off in all directions.

Seems to me that the only rational way off the the horns of that rather "painful" dilemma is to start with the biological definitions that are clear, explicit, and entail "necessary and sufficient conditions" for monothetic category membership.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
By "female" I mean someone born with ovaries and follicles in the primordial stage of folliculogenesis, whether or not they get the chance to grow up and ovulate and regardless of whether they have already gone through menopause.

<snip>

Plenty of people with DSDs will fall into the above two categories, but a handful (including many CAIS individuals) have a mix of sex-typical characteristics from the get-go and cannot produce either form of gamete. These I would not call male or female, but rather "intersex."
Fine. Though "intersex" is then either another sex or it's a polite euphemism for "sexLESS" - call a spade an effen shovel, let the chips fall where they may. But what YOU mean by "male" and "female" is NOT what is meant and entailed by the biological definitions. We can't possibly have a rational conversation if everyone means different things by the same words.

You - and Rolfe and far too many others - seem desperately committed to the idea that everyone has to have a sex, that "male" and "female" are exhaustive categories. Which is flatly contradicted by standard biological definitions that have far more "epistemic justification" than yours. You're in the same (leaky and sinking) boat as Novella and transactivists; here's a recent response to me (as OaringAbout) on Novella's sadly misnamed blog that underlines that perspective and "argument" - one based on little more than "feelinz" ("How dare you?!!" )

Quote:
The point you're completely disregarding, which is central to Novella's argument, is that your definitions don't qualify everyone. They exclude CAIS persons and many others too. That's Novella's main point - it's exclusionary, and that doesn't make for good science ....
http://disq.us/p/2q7pvsh

I haven't had time yet to respond to "Alfie", but my argument is largely, "so effen what? CAIS and others are included in the sexLESS category." It is that scientific categories are NOT designed to be "inclusive", they're not intended as "participation trophies"; they're designed to get a handle on some brute facts which are crucial to survival as individuals and as a "civilization.

But that objective is precluded if not made impossible by muddying the waters by trying to include everything but the kitchen sink in their definitions: if they mean and encompass everything then they MEAN nothing and are thereby USELESS, if not worse than useless. Alfie and Novella wouldn't recognize "good science" if they fell over it. Cretins.

To underline that point, a quote from Pinker's How the Mind Works (pg 12):

Quote:
An intelligent being cannot treat every object it sees as a unique entity unlike anything else in the universe. It has to put objects in categories so that it may apply its hard-won knowledge about similar objects, encountered in the past, to the object at hand.
To insist on including everything in every category is to abandon, abrogate, and repudiate every last principle of reason and logic on which our "civilization" is founded.

But many others have drawn attention to that "philosophy" and modus operandi of the "lumpers", including Jane Clare Jones and Helen Joyce who have, more or less, rallied around the logical and scientific flag of the "splitters":

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

Jones:

Quote:
Trans woman: Ok, but why would you want to define woman as “adult human female” and define “female” like that? That excludes trans women.

Quote:
We’re not trying to exclude you from the category of female. You just are excluded. Because you’re not female. It takes no effort and no desire whatsoever on our part to get to that conclusion. What, however, would take a great deal of effort and desire is performing the conceptual jiggery-pokery with the meaning of the ontological and political category we belong to in order to include you, which we’re not going to do, because it’s a harm to us, and because the only reason for doing it is to service your feelings, and mate, we’re feminists
.
https://janeclarejones.com/2019/06/0...s-womans-mind/

Joyce, 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/

Some foundational principles are being swept under the carpet in pandering to transgender dogma. Which you and Rolfe - and too many others - are "aiding and abetting" by pushing your own rather idiosyncratic and quite unscientific definitions.
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Old 5th August 2022, 12:33 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
As I've been saying from day one, the crux of the matter is Voltaire's demand: "if you wish to converse with me, define your terms".
"If."

Quote:
The problem is that virtually everyone has a different and conflicting definition for the terms in play.
I strongly disagree.

I'm pretty sure everyone has largely similar and/or complementary definitions for the terms in play. There may be some academic debate about the exact terminology to use for very specific things in very narrow and relatively esoteric technical contexts, but that's about it.

Here, in the threads discussing the topic on this forum? I'm pretty sure everyone agrees on the definitions. I'm pretty sure the real problem is that some people have an ideological agenda that benefits from pretending not to understand what we mean by these terms, and from pretending there's some meaningful ambiguity or illogic to their common use.
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Old 5th August 2022, 12:48 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Some foundational principles are being swept under the carpet in pandering to transgender dogma. Which you and Rolfe - and too many others - are "aiding and abetting" by pushing your own rather idiosyncratic and quite unscientific definitions.

That is completely hilarious. The guy insisting that children are neither male nor female is accusing others of "pushing idiosyncratic definitions".

The guy who can't concisely define who is to come under the "has a sex" and who is to come under the "doesn't have a sex" categories, let alone explain how we're supposed to tell, is calling a definition that states "a male is someone who received a functional SRY gene system at conception ("system" to include the required hormone receptors, enzymes etc necessary for the gene to affect the body in the normal way)" unscientific.

And the guy who is pushing a definition that leaves 70% of the population as biologically neither male nor female is accusing others of "pandering to the transgender dogma". (Of course it suits the trans agenda very well if, for example, post-menopausal women aren't female. Goodbye single-sex spaces and provisions for post-menopausal women.)
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Old 5th August 2022, 12:59 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steersman
As I've been saying from day one, the crux of the matter is Voltaire's demand: "if you wish to converse with me, define your terms".
"If."
Not quite sure how you think the issue can be resolved if we don't - you know - try conversing with - talking and listening to - the proponents of the other sides ...

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steersman
The problem is that virtually everyone has a different and conflicting definition for the terms in play.
I strongly disagree.
And your evidence for that is what?

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm pretty sure everyone has largely similar and/or complementary definitions for the terms in play. There may be some academic debate about the exact terminology to use for very specific things in very narrow and relatively esoteric technical contexts, but that's about it.
Don't think you've been paying attention. Or even looked very far into what I've quoted and linked to.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Here, in the threads discussing the topic on this forum? I'm pretty sure everyone agrees on the definitions. I'm pretty sure the real problem is that some people have an ideological agenda that benefits from pretending not to understand what we mean by these terms, and from pretending there's some meaningful ambiguity or illogic to their common use.
The only "true Scotsmen" are here?

Again, you may wish to try reading and thinking about the sources I've linked to.

No dispute whatsoever on the "pretending" - most of the transgendered seem rather desperate to get everyone to go along with delusions that they actually qualify as "men" or as "women", that they've actually changed sex - hence the desperate efforts to redefine the sexes as spectra.

But a rather large number of people have the more or less justified view that "men" and "women" are NOT defined as sexes - i.e., "adult human male (sex)", and "adult human female (sex)" - but as genders, as anyone who happens to have the least bit of "family resemblance" to those who are actually adult human males (sex) and adult human females (sex).
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:12 PM   #314
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Just a recap on how I got to where I am at present. Imagine a twitter conversation with anyone who feels like it butting in with their tuppenceworth.

"A woman is an adult human female." This is a standard and until recently pretty much uncontested dictionary definition. (Which I note Steersman wants to repudiate, or else he wants to deny that I'm a woman, one or the other.)

"Define female."

"Someone with two X chromosomes" gets chimed in at this point, inevitably.

"What about XXY?" (This of course is a male karyotype.)

Usually this gets resolved when someone gets over the point that it's the presence of the Y chromosome that makes someone male, and its absence that makes someone female, typically.

"What about Swyer's syndrome and XX males?" (I don't think there is a particular term for XX males.)

This gets resolved when it's pointed out that it's the presence of the SRY gene, usually on the Y chromosome, that makes someone male, not the actual Y chromosome itself. So, presence of SRY gene, male, absence of SRY gene, female. This is the actual definition that was used by the Olympic Games when they were enforcing sex segregation.

This is the point where they then start bringing up CAIS, chimeras and mosaics. It seems to me that if one simply specifies that the SRY gene system as a whole has to be functioning in the body, then we're there.

There's nothing either contentious or unscientific about this. It's simply a process of refining a definition that was good enough until the TRAs started getting militant.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:13 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
But a rather large number of people have the more or less justified view that "men" and "women" are NOT defined as sexes - i.e., "adult human male (sex)", and "adult human female (sex)" - but as genders, as anyone who happens to have the least bit of "family resemblance" to those who are actually adult human males (sex) and adult human females (sex).

Now who is pandering to the transgender lobby?
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:35 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Now who is pandering to the transgender lobby?

Maybe you think Merriam-Webster is doing so as well?

Quote:
Among those who study gender and sexuality, a clear delineation between sex and gender is typically prescribed, with sex as the preferred term for biological forms, and gender limited to its meanings involving behavioral, cultural, and psychological traits. In this dichotomy, the terms male and female relate only to biological forms (sex), while the terms masculine/masculinity, feminine/femininity, woman/girl, and man/boy relate only to psychological and sociocultural traits (gender). This delineation also tends to be observed in technical and medical contexts, with the term sex referring to biological forms in such phrases as sex hormones, sex organs, and biological sex. But in nonmedical and nontechnical contexts, there is no clear delineation, and the status of the words remains complicated.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict...gender#usage-1

Maybe you think there's no useful distinction between "sex" and "gender"? No justification for arguing that they're entirely different kettles of fish?

That's the problem with Novella's ignorant and quite clueless screed - he's trying to mash what MW is referring to as gender into the category of sex and calling it the latter. But there's a great deal of historical justification - largely the basis of your own "arguments" - for using "men" and "women" as genders, as being totally disconnected from any reproductive abilities - past, present, or future - at all.

Rather large number of "feminists" and fellow-travelers who've staked their reputations - such as they are ... - on defending "adult human female (sex)" as THE definition for "woman". But that is something of a late arrival on the scene, somewhat arbitrary, and contingent on the definition for "female" - which is the crux of the matter which you're apparently trying to avoid dealing with.

Absolutely no question that there is something in the way of a "natural kind" of those who actually have functional gonads - those which produce, habitually, on a regular basis - gametes of one sort or the other that can be used in reproduction. But HOW we name those categories and what might reasonably follow in the way of social policies towards those who are, and are not, members of those two categories is the issue.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:44 PM   #317
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Yes, they probably are. Dictionaries are a major target of the trans lobby, and just as capable of being captured as the police, the schools, the courts, governments, you name it.

Getting the definition of woman as adult human female junked is their first objective.

Steersman, this question is not intended to be a negative one, and by all means don't answer if it embarrasses you, but are you somewhere on the autism/Asperger's spectrum? A fair few forum members are. I ask merely because very literal interpretation of language seems to be a thing for such people. Being very keen on devising and defining categories is another,
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:46 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Some foundational principles are being swept under the carpet in pandering to transgender dogma. Which you and Rolfe - and too many others - are "aiding and abetting" by pushing your own rather idiosyncratic and quite unscientific definitions.
Just because you use the word "unscientific" doesn't actually make it unscientific.
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Old 5th August 2022, 01:58 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Yes, they probably are. Dictionaries are a major target of the trans lobby, and just as capable of being captured as the police, the schools, the courts, governments, you name it.
Sure. But that some are is no justification for arguing that all are.

Or arguing that everything that comes from any one of them is necessarily beyond the Pale. Is that statement from MW "valid" or not?

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Getting the definition of woman as adult human female junked is their first objective.
Yeah, them and the Illuminati ...

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Steersman, this question is not intended to be a negative one, and by all means don't answer if it embarrasses you, but are you somewhere on the autism/Asperger's spectrum? A fair few forum members are. I ask merely because very literal interpretation of language seems to be a thing for such people. Being very keen on devising and defining categories is another,
Probably, to some degree.

But that's not much if anything to charge against categorization. As I've indicated in one place or another, that's pretty much the bedrock principle of science, mathematics, and civilization itself; that, as some have argued - even if with tongue firmly in cheek, it is taxonomy which is the "world's oldest profession". If we can't agree - particularly when push comes to shove - on what are the "necessary and sufficient conditions" for category membership then I think we're all "screwed, blued, and tattooed".
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Old 5th August 2022, 02:17 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Just because you use the word "unscientific" doesn't actually make it unscientific.
Top of the morning to you Emily

Are the definitions published in the Journals of Theoretical Biology and of Molecular Human Production not more or less exactly what Lexico, Wikipedia, Google/OED, (philosopher of biology) Paul Griffiths, and many other sources are endorsing and promoting?

https://www.lexico.com/definition/female
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female
https://twitter.com/zaelefty/status/1459925709426728961

You, perchance, have similar sources which endorse the "definitions" that Emma Hilton and Company are peddling?

Absent the latter, I'm not quite sure how you can possibly insist that the former don't qualify as THE scientific definitions for the sexes.

But maybe you don't quite realize, or want to face the fact that many definitions - particularly in science, mathematics, and biology - are stipulative definitions, they're "true", by definition:

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

Such definitions are the "axioms" of our discourse; we can't PROVE them to be true, we assert a priori, that what we MEAN by the terms are encompassed by their definitions. They're "true" by definition:

Quote:
by definition idiom
: because of what something or someone is : according to the definition of a word that is being used to describe someone or something
A volunteer by definition is not paid.
A glider is by definition an aircraft with no engine.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict...y%20definition

We won't EVER find a glider with an engine - even if we search from one end of the world to the other - because, BY DEFINITION, the necessary and sufficient condition to qualify as such is to NOT have one.
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