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Old 27th August 2022, 07:26 PM   #841
Steersman
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steersman:
YOUR very first post that started this thread asked "what fraction of people born with DSDs are really ambiguous between male and female?"

Not quite sure how you expect we can answer that - divination, perhaps? - if we can't agree on what is required to qualify as male and female in the first place ...
Using your preferred definitions of male and female, what is the answer to the OP question?
Edited by jimbob: 

You have been warned about incivility so the only reason why I am not binning this post is because a smidgen prompted a reply

But to answer your question, any of those DSDs that don't have any functional gonads are neither male nor female; they're sexless. And those which do have functional gonads of either of two types are therefore male or female.
Edited by jimbob:  pointless incivility snipped

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Old 27th August 2022, 08:29 PM   #842
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
But to answer your question, any of those DSDs that don't have any functional gonads are neither male nor female; they're sexless. And those which do have functional gonads of either of two types are therefore male or female.
None of them have functional gonads, they are newborns.
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Old 28th August 2022, 12:46 AM   #843
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
None of them have functional gonads, they are newborns.
Then I guess they're all sexless. Like all the other newborns ...
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Old 28th August 2022, 12:50 AM   #844
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Then I guess they're all sexless. Like all the other newborns ...
Complete and utter nonsense. Do you have children?
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Old 28th August 2022, 01:31 AM   #845
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Something of an addenda to my response to GlennB's comment on my earlier one to Rolfe:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=835
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...&postcount=833

There was a link to a RealClearScience article that GlennB apparently quoted from, but this passage in particular seems the crux of the matter:

Quote:
This means that male and female cells are fundamentally dissimilar on a genetic level.
https://www.realclearscience.com/blo..._the_same.html

And many other usages have similar constructions; see "male gamete" and "female gamete" from both Wikipedia and NCBI:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamete
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20298228/

And other constructions such as "male brains", "female brains", "male genitalia", and "female genitalia".

So such constructions are not actually saying that the cells or the gametes or the brains or the genitalia are males or females in themselves. Totally logically incoherent to say so since, by the biological definitions, to have a sex is to have the ability to produce sperm or ova. Which of course cells and gametes and brains and genitalia simply cannot do.

Bit of a puzzle that I've been wondering about for some time. But the answer seems to come from an analysis of the OED definitions for "male" and "of":

Quote:
male (adjective): of or denoting the sex that produces small, typically motile gametes, especially spermatozoa, with which a female may be fertilized or inseminated to produce offspring.
Quote:
of (preposition): expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.
"the sleeve of his coat"
So constructions like "male cells" MEANS "the cells OF a male", and "female brains" MEANS "the brains OF females".

And "male child" MEANS, presumably, "the child OF an eventual male". If it was actually a male then it would presumably be no longer a child.

Such constructions are placing cells, gametes, brains and genitalia as PARTS of the WHOLE entities "male" and "female", the ones doing the producing of either of two types of gametes. They are not asserting that the parts ARE the wholes. Which too many insist is the case - which has to qualify as incredibly sloppy language, at best.

As Francis Bacon put it:

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

And as 'Henry 'Higgins once put it:

Quote:
But use proper English you're regarded as a freak.
Why can't the English,
Why can't the English learn to speak?
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Old 28th August 2022, 02:28 AM   #846
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post

And "male child" MEANS, presumably, "the child OF an eventual male". If it was actually a male then it would presumably be no longer a child.
No, 'male child' means a child who is male. You're presuming your interpretation of the word 'male' is correct, but it isn't. It's idiosyncratic to an absurd degree.
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Old 28th August 2022, 02:31 AM   #847
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
No, 'male child' means a child who is male. You're presuming your interpretation of the word 'male' is correct, but it isn't. It's idiosyncratic to an absurd degree.
Indeed.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:24 AM   #848
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
That's just you reading in between the lines again ...
Yes. Thus my use of the phrase, "it's implicit".

Quote:
Except yours doesn't work when you apply it to large fractions of the other 7-odd millions of sexually reproducing species on the planet.
It works just fine once you realize we're using a structural definition of sex, rather than a functional one.

Quote:
A point you refuse to address - pretty big elephant that you've swept under the carpet there ...
Well, now that I've explained that we're using the same basic structural definition of sex for all the sexually reproducing species on the planet, I think we can reasonably consider this elephant seen and acknowledged.

Maybe the next elephant we should come to terms with is the fact that everyone is using structural definitions for the sexes, and that these definitions are manifestly intuitive, practical, and scientifically sound. Let me know when you've got a handle on that one.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:27 AM   #849
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
And "male child" MEANS, presumably, "the child OF an eventual male". If it was actually a male then it would presumably be no longer a child.

Example usage: "My wife and I used to have three children, but two of them have started producing viable gametes, so now we only have one."

Yeah, that'll fly. Tell you what: go convince the U.S. Census Bureau that they've been foolishly misusing the word "children" since 1790. After they agree to change their definition (found here) to stipulate lack of viable gamete production as a requirement for being counted as a child on official census forms, then we can work more on "male" and "female."
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:36 AM   #850
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Don't think you quite get - or want to get - that you don't get to make up your own definitions. As you don't get to drive on any side of the road you want whenever you want.
... Says the guy trying very hard to make up his own definitions.

And rules of the road are not analogous to word usage in natural languages.

Quote:
And the only prescribed, stipulative definitions on the table that qualify as intensional ones, as those which specify necessary and sufficient conditions for category membership are the biological ones.

You may wish to try reading - <personal attack snipped> - the entries for "male" and "female" in the Glossary of this article in the Journal of Molecular Human Biology:

https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...2/1161/1062990
Those are structural definitions. The author is referring to the phenotypical structures that, when functioning, function in a specific way, distinct from their phenotypical counterpart.

You understand that structurally, there is one phenotype that will when functioning produce the larger gamete in anisogamous systems - the female phenotype structure. "Female", for short.

And you understand that structurally, there is one phenotype that will when functioning produce the smaller gamete in anisogamous systems - the male phenotype structure. "Male", for short.

You understand that phenotypes can be defined and denoted according to their structure.

Do you understand that pretty much everyone besides you is using these structural definitions in pretty much every context where sexual dimorphism in humans is important?

Do you understand we're using the structural definition for sex segregation in prisons? Do you understand we're using the structural definition for sex segregation in sports? Do you understand why it's important to use the structural definition in those contexts?

Do you understand why the structural definition is of supreme practical importance to homosexuals looking for sexual partners?
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:37 AM   #851
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Example usage: "My wife and I used to have three children, but two of them have started producing viable gametes, so now we only have one."

Yeah, that'll fly. Tell you what: go convince the U.S. Census Bureau that they've been foolishly misusing the word "children" since 1790. After they agree to change their definition (found here) to stipulate lack of viable gamete production as a requirement for being counted as a child on official census forms, then we can work more on "male" and "female."

What about birth certificates, that have required every neonate to be recorded as either male or female since I can't remember when?
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:38 AM   #852
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
And "male child" MEANS, presumably, "the child OF an eventual male". If it was actually a male then it would presumably be no longer a child.
Says the guy who also said:

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Don't think you quite get - or want to get - that you don't get to make up your own definitions.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:40 AM   #853
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Do you understand why the structural definition is of supreme practical importance to homosexuals looking for sexual partners?

Actually, of supreme practical importance to absolutely everyone who is looking for a sexual partner, with the exception, presumably, of bisexual people.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:51 AM   #854
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Actually, of supreme practical importance to absolutely everyone who is looking for a sexual partner, with the exception, presumably, of bisexual people.
I was going in that direction, but decided to leave room for a caveat about people who are really into making babies. But yeah.

And - not entirely seriously - even then... Isn't the functional definition itself kinda structural?

"Hey, I'm looking for a dedicated partner for the purpose of making babies together and raising them according to the family values of our culture. Would you say the gametes you're producing are structurally larger than the gametes I'm producing?"

"Actually, I'm not producing gametes anymore. Sorry."

"No problem! Wanna bang?"
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Old 28th August 2022, 08:00 AM   #855
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It's not simply that we might want to produce babies that makes heterosexual women go for male sexual partners, trust me on this one.
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Old 28th August 2022, 08:03 AM   #856
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's not simply that we might want to produce babies that makes heterosexual women go for male sexual partners, trust me on this one.
I never said it was. I trust you explicitly and unquestioningly on this one.
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Old 28th August 2022, 08:11 AM   #857
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We are in accord, then.
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Old 28th August 2022, 08:35 AM   #858
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
What about birth certificates, that have required every neonate to be recorded as either male or female since I can't remember when?

Well, to be fair, the designation of sex on birth certificates, and the later usage of those designations, has become controversial in some contexts. Perhaps Steersman will want to claim this as an advantage of his idiosyncratic definition that declares pre-pubescent children as sexless. But whatever issues "sex observed and documented at birth" creates would not be thereby eliminated, merely deferred until about a dozen years later (when the children are still minors). Meanwhile, do we make all nine-year-olds use the same bathrooms and locker rooms?
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Old 28th August 2022, 01:00 PM   #859
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I think one of Steersman's posts I wanted to respond to is now in AAH, but I was curious to know if discovering a way to reverse a vasectomy easily and rapidly would make men with a (not yet reversed) vasectomy male? If I recall, the issue was the time needed to reverse it.
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Old 28th August 2022, 02:19 PM   #860
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Meanwhile, do we make all nine-year-olds use the same bathrooms and locker rooms?
I suppose we could alter the defintions of boy and girl to include Steersman's preferred prefixes.

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Old 28th August 2022, 02:49 PM   #861
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
I think one of Steersman's posts I wanted to respond to is now in AAH, but I was curious to know if discovering a way to reverse a vasectomy easily and rapidly would make men with a (not yet reversed) vasectomy male? If I recall, the issue was the time needed to reverse it.
In Steersman-speak, a person contemplating a vasectomy reversal would have to be 'One who was previously male and might become male once again'
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Old 28th August 2022, 03:07 PM   #862
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
In Steersman-speak, a person contemplating a vasectomy reversal would have to be 'One who was previously male and might become male once again'
Presumably, too, although the process of reversal does take time, there is some tipping point at which some pre-determined level of fertility is reached. We are presuming that, since in real life fertility is variable, such a tipping point can be determined. Thus, a person, in the theoretical sexual steerage, would be sexless at one moment, and male a moment later. I wonder if there might even be an uncomfortable period of oscillation, if some specific number of viable sperm is required for full standing. I suppose the same would be true of adolscents. Which raises a somewhat problematic issue of when and how such a transition would be determined. Our puritanical society might balk at periodic testing.
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Old 28th August 2022, 03:17 PM   #863
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Among the more bizarre consequences of Steers' novum lexicon has to be that I don't know whether I'm male anymore, at least not with any certainty. Haven't fathered a child for over a decade now, perhaps I've been shooting blanks these days.

If I was designing language to enhance uncertainty, I'd maybe give this idea more serious consideration.
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Old 28th August 2022, 04:05 PM   #864
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Presumably, too, although the process of reversal does take time, there is some tipping point at which some pre-determined level of fertility is reached. We are presuming that, since in real life fertility is variable, such a tipping point can be determined. Thus, a person, in the theoretical sexual steerage, would be sexless at one moment, and male a moment later. I wonder if there might even be an uncomfortable period of oscillation, if some specific number of viable sperm is required for full standing. I suppose the same would be true of adolscents. Which raises a somewhat problematic issue of when and how such a transition would be determined. Our puritanical society might balk at periodic testing.
I'm old and don't do a lot of 'full standing' these days.
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Old 28th August 2022, 04:16 PM   #865
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Originally Posted by Steersman:
Quote:
And "male child" MEANS, presumably, "the child OF an eventual male". If it was actually a male then it would presumably be no longer a child.
Says the guy who also said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steersman:
Don't think you quite get - or want to get - that you don't get to make up your own definitions.
Where, pray tell, have I done anything of the sort?
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Old 28th August 2022, 05:39 PM   #866
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
In your entirely unevidenced and clearly biased opinion ...

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/d...oynihan_182347

But still waiting for you to provide any evidence at all that I'm "making up my own definitions".

And for any evidence that that structure-absent-function schlock of Heying, Hilton, & Wright has any credibility at all in ANY reputable dictionary, encyclopedia, or biological journal.



What unmitigated horse crap.


https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...2/1161/1062990

"produces" is an ongoing process. No process, no membership card; no tickee, no washee.

Bit of a wan hope, but y'all might try reading a very good essay at Psychology Today by Robert King on that point:



https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...biological-sex
The idea that people need to be producing sperm or eggs to meet the definition of male or female is laughable. The number of people who accept definitions like this is so small that the definitions can be safely dismissed.
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Old 28th August 2022, 05:42 PM   #867
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"produces" is an ongoing process.
So is "conceives" in the "sex which conceives and brings forth young," but no one thinks you have to be actively conceiving (or birthing) young to be a member of that sex.

You're fundamentally misunderstanding what the lexicographers are trying to tell you, bro. The members of class "female" are the ones who ovulate, conceive, and give birth. They don't have to be literally in the act to be a member of the class, they need to be the sort of animals who could do those things or who could have done so.

In no possible universe (Everett branch) did Jazz Jennings ovulate, concieve, or give birth, so we can safely say Jazz is not female under the usual definitions.
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Old 28th August 2022, 07:07 PM   #868
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
So exactly where's your definition and source?
I've already told you that.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Then you have to accept Wikipedia's assertion that Laurel Hubbard "transitioned to female"
I've also already told you that I don't discuss trans issues in the thread which I created to make it clear that DSDs are something else entirely. There is already a thread about Laurel Hubbard, as you well know.
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Old 29th August 2022, 02:12 AM   #869
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post

https://academic.oup.com/molehr/arti...2/1161/1062990

"produces" is an ongoing process. No process, no membership card; no tickee, no washee.
That's a terrible misinterpretation of how English works.
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Old 29th August 2022, 02:42 AM   #870
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
That's a terrible misinterpretation of how English works.
English and logic.
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Old 29th August 2022, 04:59 AM   #871
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
The issue is the definitions for the sexes which undergird your OP question.
We've already established that Hubbard was born sexless for purposes of the OP question, given your idiosyncratic interpretation of what "male" should be taken to mean.

We also have no idea whether Hubbard is male or sexless today, again, given your idiosyncratic interpretation of what "male" should be taken to mean.
Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
The biological ones for which you clearly and adamantly refuse to accept, much less even consider.
None of the reputable biologists accept your idiosyncratic interpretation of what "male" should be taken to mean. They would happily point out that Hubbard was born male, rather than sexless or intersex.
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Old 29th August 2022, 09:47 AM   #872
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I’d be completely on board for a set of terms that boils down to identifying ONLY people who have the relevant gametes to contribute to a fertility clinic. But I can tell you firsthand that 99% of everyone does not want ‘male or female’ to be that set of terms, many to the point of deep insult at the suggestion. Even with animals, we call a boy dog whose puppy makers were removed “neutered male,” not “ex-male” or “sexless” etc.

And I’m still in the dark as to its utility. Is it just the first set of terms in a group of many, which will be able to clearly identify various situations of anatomy or behaviour?

Sorting out which people have active gametes of whichever type has been the lowest hanging fruit of the Other Issues Going On, for a while, I think. That’s not the complicated part of any question.

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Old 29th August 2022, 10:01 AM   #873
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Sorting out which people have active gametes is pretty much only useful in situations where you're trying to do active gamete stuff, and looking for qualified candidates.
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Old 29th August 2022, 10:07 AM   #874
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I'm still in the dark as regards how Steersman would classify a femal mammal in anoestrus or pro-oestrus or metoestrus. Are they only female when actually releasing a fertile ovum (oestrus)? Or does the fact that they do that on a regular basis cover the times in between? Even if that time in between is months or even (in some species) a couple of years?

If Steersman can cope with these gaps in fertility seen in all female mammals, and still call them female, I don't understand why a temporary restriction in delivering viable sperm into a female (due to vasectomy, or God help us, putting on a condom) should disbar these individuals from being male.

I'm also not sure whether to be male one actually has to be doing the necessary to deliver that sperm into a fertile female or not. Something about being ready to do so if required, I think?

Nobody needs words that mean these things. Nobody wants words that mean these things. But I don't think he's going to give up.
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Old 29th August 2022, 11:52 AM   #875
d4m10n
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sorting out which people have active gametes is pretty much only useful in situations where you're trying to do active gamete stuff, and looking for qualified candidates.
And tragically enough most of us choose our mates without even bothering to do a gamete check first.

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Old 29th August 2022, 12:37 PM   #876
theprestige
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
And tragically enough most of us choose our mates without even bothering to do a gamete check first.
Turns out that structural definition is super practical and easy to use!

Quote:
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I've always admired your taste in hardware, but why is it always the same crappy software?
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Old 29th August 2022, 01:37 PM   #877
Steersman
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
That's a terrible misinterpretation of how English works.
In your entirely unevidenced OPINION. Not sure how you think, apparently, that that is worth more than diddly-squat.

Did you bother to read the Psychology Today article that was part of the comment you responded to? Particularly this quoted passage?
Quote:
"No one has the essence of maleness or femaleness, for one simple reason: Since the 17th century, what science has been showing, in every single field, is that the folk notion of an 'essence' is not reflected in reality. There are no essences in nature. For the last three hundred years or so, the advance of science has been in lockstep with the insight that is what really exists are processes [functions], not essences."

Processes are fundamental elements in pretty much all of biology - it's the science's sine qua non. Was doing some spelunking through the topic of Philosophy of Biology the other day, and Wikipedia's article underlines the point:

Quote:
Scientific reductionism is the view that higher-level biological processes reduce to physical and chemical processes. For example, the biological process of respiration is explained as a biochemical process involving oxygen and carbon dioxide. Some philosophers of biology have attempted to answer the question of whether all biological processes reduce to physical or chemical ones. On the reductionist view, there would be no distinctly biological laws.

Holism in science is the view that emphasizes higher-level processes, phenomena at a larger level that occur due to the pattern of interactions between the elements of a system over time. ....

Philosophers of biology have also examined the notion of “teleology.” Some have argued that scientists have had no need for a notion of cosmic teleology that can explain and predict evolution, since one was provided by Darwin. But teleological explanations relating to purpose or function have remained useful in biology, for example, in explaining the structural configuration of macromolecules and the study of co-operation in social systems.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philos...omy_of_biology

Processes are essential elements, they're often the "necessary and sufficient conditions" for category membership. As with the biological definitions for the sexes. Structure by itself is often irrelevant and secondary. A recently dead body has pretty much the same structure as the previously alive one, but it's missing the property of essential processes and functions - like a heart that beats (habitually, regularly, present tense indefinite):

https://www.thoughtco.com/habitual-p...rammar-1690830
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/simple-present/

Pretty solid expositions of "how English [actually] works" if you ask me ...
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Old 29th August 2022, 01:53 PM   #878
d4m10n
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I've always admired your taste in hardware, but why is it always the same crappy software?
You might enjoy Luminous by Greg Egan, in which the software becomes the hardware.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm also not sure whether to be male one actually has to be doing the necessary to deliver that sperm into a fertile female or not.
We males see "doing the necessary" as more of an avocation.
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Old 29th August 2022, 01:58 PM   #879
Steersman
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm still in the dark as regards how Steersman would classify a female mammal in anoestrus or pro-oestrus or metoestrus. Are they only female when actually releasing a fertile ovum (oestrus)? Or does the fact that they do that on a regular basis cover the times in between? Even if that time in between is months or even (in some species) a couple of years?
Given that you brought up the concept of "habitually", I'm not sure why you would be asking that question. You might take a gander at my latest comment quoting that idea.

But I wonder, as per another recent comment of mine which you apparently didn't read, whether you think that "every cell has a sex" is "utter dreck" or not. You think it's true?

Similarly, "female child" may have some justification - at least as long as it's clearly understood that prepubescent children don't yet have a sex.

But's that the problem, the same as with "male cells" and "female brains" - most people haven't got a clue - and are too pigheaded to even consider that's the case - that those phrases MEAN "cells OF a male" or typical of a male, and "brains OF a female" or typical of a female. Likewise, "female child" can MEAN, at best, the childhood stage OF a female - NOT that they are actually female themselves.


Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Nobody needs words that mean these things. Nobody wants words that mean these things. But I don't think he's going to give up.
Clearly, nobody - or very few people - want definitions for the sexes that deprive them of their sex-category membership cards. Or which "offend" those near and dear ...

But them's the facts - ma'am. And their logical consequences.
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Old 29th August 2022, 01:59 PM   #880
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Likewise, "female child" can MEAN, at best, the childhood stage OF a female - NOT that they are actually female themselves.
Your application for the Turner Prize has been accepted.
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