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Tags biology , gametes , lexicography , pedantry

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Old 22nd September 2022, 11:15 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Methinks you're regarding the part she told you to disregard. Try to interpret what she wrote without that part included.
LoL. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE

All three of them have an axe to grind: "all humans are either male or female". They've painted themselves into a very tight corner and lack the intellectual honesty to deal with that fact - though Heying at least engaged with me on the point but then turned turtle and disappeared up her own fundament when push came to shove:

https://humanuseofhumanbeings.substa...heather-heying

You're just following them over the same cliff; you might try thinking about what they're actually saying, and not be quite so quick to follow suit just because it comports with your own dogma.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Sounds present tense to me.
LoL. "past" and "future" are always relative to the present. She's still referring to, and acknowledging and accepting past and future functionality as sufficient conditions for membership in her (polythetic) sex categories. As I've said several times, that doesn't, in itself, seem all that "fatal", even if it seems rather unscientific. The problem is that it conflicts rather badly with descriptions of the many species that change sex.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 11:37 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."
A line spoken by someone central to the story, rather than someone we can safely disregard.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"all humans are either male or female"
You keep putting words between quotation marks which no one has said nor written. Such an approach is misleading at best, dishonest at worst.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
They've painted themselves into a very tight corner...
Sort of like when you said there are three criteria to Hilton's conception of maleness and then left out the only actual criterion she listed while focusing on the part she told us to disregard.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
You're...might try thinking about what they're actually saying...
This is excellent advice. Here you go:

Originally Posted by Colin Wright;
It is crucial to note, however, that the sex of individuals within a species isnít based on whether an individual can actually produce certain gametes at any given moment. Pre-pubertal males donít produce sperm, and some infertile adults of both sexes never produce gametes due to various infertility issues. Yet it would be incorrect to say that these individuals do not have a discernible sex, as an individualís biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of evolved reproductive anatomy (i.e. ovaries or testes) that develop for the production of sperm or ova, regardless of their past, present, or future functionality.
Source

Notice that Wright is hinging everything on gametic structures (i.e. ovaries or testes) and nothing whatsoever on the past, present, or future function of said structures, which we may safely disregard for classification purposes when using his approach.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 12:32 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
A line spoken by someone central to the story, rather than someone we can safely disregard.
LoL. "Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up", amirite?

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You keep putting words between quotation marks which no one has said nor written. Such an approach is misleading at best, dishonest at worst.
Fairly accurate summation; calling a spade a shovel. None of you here seem able to give me anything in the way of straight answer, yes or no, to the similar assertion that "every member of every anisogamic species, including the human one, is either male or female, that none are sexless."

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Sort of like when you said there are three criteria to Hilton's conception of maleness and then left out the only actual criterion she listed while focusing on the part she told us to disregard.
LoL. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
This is excellent advice. Here you go:

Source

Notice that Wright is hinging everything on gametic structures (i.e. ovaries or testes) and nothing whatsoever on the past, present, or future function of said structures, which we may safely disregard for classification purposes when using his approach.
You might note that he also said:

Quote:
... an individualís biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of evolved reproductive anatomy (i.e. ovaries or testes) that develop for the production of sperm or ova
As I put it in an earlier comment to you that you're clearly unable or unwilling to answer, do you "perchance, know of a temporal state other than past, present, and future functionality that those 'anatomies for producing gametes' might be said to exist in"?

You or, more likely, others may wish to take a gander at some of my responses to Wright's quite unscientific claptrap:

https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/...omment/6213355
https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/...omment/5844487
https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/...omment/7974920
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Old 23rd September 2022, 12:58 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
LoL. "Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up", amirite?
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Old 23rd September 2022, 01:03 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
LoL. Is it a fact or not that the definitions of Parker & Lehtonen, of Google/OD, of Wikipedia and many other sources say diddly-squat about "past, present, or future functionality"?




That all you have in your camp is a letter in newspaper - hardly a peer-reviewed biology journal - by a couple of philosophically illiterate "biologists"?
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Old 23rd September 2022, 01:03 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Fairly accurate summation; calling a spade a shovel.
Can you quote the paragraph or sentence you're summing up?

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."
Quoth the wizard, furiously ignoring Hilton's actual unitary criterion.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
As I put it in an earlier comment to you that you're clearly unable or unwilling to answer, do you "perchance, know of a temporal state other than past, present, and future functionality that those 'anatomies for producing gametes' might be said to exist in"?
Both Hilton and Wright have said that "past, present, and future functionality" are not taken into account when classifying using their method. You are focusing (somewhat monomaniacally, TBH) on something that doesn't come into the OP sorting method at all.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 01:08 PM   #207
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"All we have in our camp" is centuries of English usage, probably millennia of usage in human language, so well understood by everyone that pedantically specifying structure rather than function isn't something usually considered necessary.

And really, do stop relying on sources like Wikipedia which I could edit right now to say something entirely different.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 02:40 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Can you quote the paragraph or sentence you're summing up?
Let me know when you're ready to answer my questions; I won't be holding my breath ...

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Quoth the wizard, furiously ignoring Hilton's actual unitary criterion.
LoL.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Both Hilton and Wright have said that "past, present, and future functionality" are not taken into account when classifying using their method.
LoL. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? ...

Although that is largely your misinterpretation and/or their philosophical cluelessness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandy_...n't_he?%22

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
You are focusing (somewhat monomaniacally, TBH) on something that doesn't come into the OP sorting method at all.
LoL. No true Scotsman ...

You claim or assert Hilton's definitions apply to mammals, but they clearly apply to all anisogamic species. Either you have to come up with other definitions that apply to all the other species, or you have to deal with the contradictions that follow from applying them to species that actually change sex.
Edited by Agatha:  Removed rule 12 breach

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Old 23rd September 2022, 02:50 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
"All we have in our camp" is centuries of English usage, probably millennia of usage in human language, so well understood by everyone that pedantically specifying structure rather than function isn't something usually considered necessary.
You might just as well argue in favor of the Ptolemaic system, or the view that the Earth is only 6000 years old. Science moves on, much of the hoi polloi - and those who should know better, are still stuck in the Dark Ages. And get rather peeved when Science tries to disabuse them of their illusions and delusions.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And really, do stop relying on sources like Wikipedia which I could edit right now to say something entirely different.
LoL. Do try and say something like "2+2=5" and see how long you're able to do any editing there at all. Too many seem to think Wikipedia is just a free-for-all, that anyone can say anything at all they want. You might try reading something on that score; Wikipedia is generally as credible as the Britannica, more or less the gold standard:

https://www.livescience.com/32950-ho...wikipedia.html

But that comment of yours is largely just a red herring - the size of Moby Dick - since you clearly refuse to address the many other credible sources I've linked. Do let me know when some credible biological journals endorse Hilton's quite unscientific schlock - journals on par with ones on Theoretical Biology and Molecular Human Reproduction which have endorsed Griffiths', Parker's, Lehtonen's, and - of course - Wikipedia's.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 02:55 PM   #210
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You have got to be joking. Wikipedia is fine for uncontentious topics, especially if someone knowledgeable has taken some trouble with the article. For things where nobody can really be bothered it's anybody's guess, and for contentious topics where people with a vested interest try hard to get their agenda accepted, it's a disaster.

Mind you, in this case it's simply you not understanding, again.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:07 PM   #211
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I think it may be instructive to try to sort a few actual people into male/female/neither using both Hilton's approach and the other one on offer in this thread. I'm going to pick a few public figures out which have been discussed more or less widely.
  1. Fallon Fox
  2. Lea Lia Thomas
  3. Laurel Hubbard
  4. Zinnia Jones
  5. Sam Smith
  6. ‎David Reimer
  7. Darren Merager
  8. Caster Semanya

So far as I can tell, these people were all born with testicles so they would be sorted into the "male" bin using the OP method, except for the last one, who may be in the "neither" bin.

Using the Steersman method, we must check to see whether these folks are currently producing viable gametes, and come up with no answer whatsoever since none of them have been publishing their current sperm counts.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:10 PM   #212
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
You claim or assert Hilton's definitions apply to mammals, but they clearly apply to all [anisogametic] species.
Both of these statements are true.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:15 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Using the Steersman method, we must check to see whether these folks are currently producing viable gametes, and come up with no answer whatsoever since none of them have been publishing their current sperm counts.

Dang. I guess we'll have to sort them using structural definitions instead. Oh well.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:17 PM   #214
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I think Caster Semenya definitely also sorts as male by the OP method, and the chances are he also sorts as male by the Steersman method. Although for obvious reasons he's very definitly not publishing his sperm count.

By the way, it's "Lia" Thomas. As in Wil-LIA-m. Some people just call him Liam, although I gather he previously went by Will. Didn't even want to change his name, just changed the abbreviation.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:31 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think Caster Semenya definitely also sorts as male by the OP method, and the chances are he also sorts as male by the Steersman method. Although for obvious reasons he's very definitly not publishing his sperm count.
I only did maybe 10-15 minutes of googling on that one. We know his wife got pregnant somehow, but I couldn't find a source willing to go into details.


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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:58 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Try just whispering "sexless" - even when no one else is around ...

Five times, looking in the mirror? Not afraid at all. Because, well, I'm just a modern guy. Had it in the ear before, etc. If anybody wants to call themselves sexless, I am with it. Just let me know what pronouns ___ prefer me to use and I'll do it. But this is a derail more suited to the "Identify as" thread. This thread is about mammalian biology.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 03:59 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
I only did maybe 10-15 minutes of googling on that one. We know his wife got pregnant somehow, but I couldn't find a source willing to go into details.

No. We're all free to draw our own conclusions though.

Actually fine. I hope they are his own children. You only have to listen to Erik Schinneger talking about how much joy he has had from his daughter to realise how much that could mean.

I just wish he would stop living a lie. But it's his choice.
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Old 24th September 2022, 12:23 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
No, not in this thread. It is rather intellectually dishonest to repeatedly try to change the thread topic to suit your own dogma.
LoL. You might just as well say that the definition of "glider" as an "aircraft with no engine" is dogma:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dict...y%20definition

That and the stipulative definitions of biology are "true" by definition. There's no "dogma" at all involved.

Originally Posted by porch View Post
And no, even outside the confines of this thread, no one is obligated to come up with one single definition and then use it all the time, regardless of how nonsensical or unwieldy it is in the situation. You see, it is a common trait for humans from earth to think with a bit of flexibility, depending on the context at hand. What's confusing for bad AI isn't confusing for humans.
Don't think you quite understand how science works - though that seems typical of so-called "social sciences" and their "patchwork" definitions for the sexes. There isn't one definition for, say, "prime number" that applies in the northern hemisphere and a completely different one that applies in the southern one. Science and mathematics work because they have common definitions that are broadly applicable:



If you can't, or won't "state criteria that distinguish between [organisms] that qualify [as male and female] and [organisms] that don't" then your definitions are sort of useless. If not worse than useless.

People don't get to make up their own definitions - regardless of whether they "think" they are "nonsensical or unwieldy". As they don't get to drive on any side of the road they want whenever they want.
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Old 24th September 2022, 12:52 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steersman:
Try just whispering "sexless" - even when no one else is around.
Five times, looking in the mirror? Not afraid at all. Because, well, I'm just a modern guy. Had it in the ear before, etc.
Bravo. For your next step in your 12-step program to being free of unscientific dogma, try saying "many members of many anisogamic species are neither male nor female but are sexless" ...

Originally Posted by porch View Post
If anybody wants to call themselves sexless, I am with it. Just let me know what pronouns ___ prefer me to use and I'll do it.
Pronouns generally follow whether people look like typical "men" and "women". Not whether they have, had, or will have any functioning gonads typical of them ...

Originally Posted by porch View Post
But this is a derail more suited to the "Identify as" thread. This thread is about mammalian biology.
Hardly a derail since the OP asserted that Hilton's quite unscientific definitions for the sexes were "essentially correct about what makes a mammal either female or male." And I've been providing massive amounts of solid evidence that they're not, that they conflict rather profoundly with the standard biological definitions. By which some third of us - at any one time - are, in fact sexless:



"sexless" is more or less the crux of the matter, not a side issue.
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Old 24th September 2022, 02:56 AM   #220
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Arbitrary pie chart is arbitrary. I'll be back in a while with one that supports 'flat earth theory'.
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Old 24th September 2022, 04:48 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
That and the stipulative definitions of biology are "true" by definition.
I don't think that phrase means what you think it does.

Quote:
Definitions may be classified as lexical, ostensive, and stipulative. Lexical definition specifies the meaning of an expression by stating it in terms of other expressions whose meaning is assumed to be known (e.g., a ewe is a female sheep). Ostensive definition specifies the meaning of an expression by pointing to examples of things to which the expression applies (e.g., green is the color of grass, limes, lily pads, and emeralds). Stipulative definition assigns a new meaning to an expression (or a meaning to a new expression); the expression defined (definiendum) may either be a new expression that is being introduced into the language for the first time, or an expression that is already current.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/definition#ref1034298

It is possible that somewhere a biologist has stipulated a definition for the sake of introducing a new idea within a paper, but there are no definitions stipulated for the entire field of study; commonly used terms are lexical, even if its a specialized lexicon.
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Old 24th September 2022, 08:16 AM   #222
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Absent the Steersman Conundrum, is there anything left to discuss, on this topic? Seems like we're all pretty much settled as far as strict biological definitions go. We all see the general utility and clarity of the structural definitions. We're all agreed that in some contexts certain functional definitions are better. We all understand that specific details of sex and sex definitions may vary wildly from species to species. None of us are confounded by basic properties of natural languages, such as apparent ambiguity and the importance of context clues.
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Old 24th September 2022, 11:28 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Absent the Steersman Conundrum, is there anything left to discuss, on this topic? Seems like we're all pretty much settled as far as strict biological definitions go.
I'd say the interesting questions basically fall into the DSD thread, which ought to have been in this forum instead of the social issues forum.
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Old 24th September 2022, 11:38 AM   #224
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That's a good point about the location of the DSD thread. But I think the wider question of whether a definition using the present habitual tense should be interpreted as meaning that to be a member of the group that individual must at that very moment fulfil the stipulated criteria is worth arguing.

I mean it's the seven-legged spider question, or the "can you be a mammal if you lack mammary glands and fur?" thing.
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Old 24th September 2022, 01:45 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
But I think the wider question of whether a definition using the present habitual tense should be interpreted as meaning that to be a member of the group that individual must at that very moment fulfil the stipulated criteria is worth arguing.
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Old 24th September 2022, 02:59 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's a good point about the location of the DSD thread. But I think the wider question of whether a definition using the present habitual tense should be interpreted as meaning that to be a member of the group that individual must at that very moment fulfil the stipulated criteria is worth arguing.

I mean it's the seven-legged spider question, or the "can you be a mammal if you lack mammary glands and fur?" thing.
If we are arguing about what a woman is, then we are so hopelessly lost that what the definition should be is the least of our worries. It's like arguing what the appropriate procedure is if you walk off a cliff, should you plummet to the ground, or something else. It's only a discussion that you would have if we've parted company from reality.
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Old 24th September 2022, 03:35 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
If we are arguing about what a woman is, then we are so hopelessly lost that what the definition should be is the least of our worries.
Hey now, we're not here to argue about social roles.
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Old 24th September 2022, 04:18 PM   #228
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"We" seem to be arguing whether an organism that has the set of organs that produces either small or large gametes is technically male or female respectively on that account alone, or whether the organs have to be actively producing gametes (and capable or delivering them too, apparently) at the time in question.
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Old 24th September 2022, 04:26 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
"We" seem to be arguing whether an organism that has the set of organs that produces either small or large gametes is technically male or female respectively on that account alone, or whether the organs have to be actively producing gametes (and capable or delivering them too, apparently) at the time in question.
Among mammals, I think it's enough that the organism develops organs which could potentially produce mature gametes someday.

(No need to worry about sequential hermaphrodism, obvs.)
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Old 25th September 2022, 01:44 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
"We" seem to be arguing whether an organism that has the set of organs that produces either small or large gametes is technically male or female respectively on that account alone, or whether the organs have to be actively producing gametes (and capable or delivering them too, apparently) at the time in question.
Only one person is really arguing against that premise. If not for them this thread would never have been necessary.
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Old 25th September 2022, 06:12 AM   #231
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That's why "we" is in inverted commas.
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Old 25th September 2022, 06:50 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Among mammals, I think it's enough that the organism develops organs which could potentially produce mature gametes someday.

(No need to worry about sequential hermaphrodism, obvs.)

I can see the issue with sequential hermaphrodites, but I think it's pinhead-dancing. The organs the clownfish has now are the organs that produce or are capable of producing (we could imagine an infertile clownfish) one or the other type of gamete. A male clownfish that's firing blanks is still a male clownfish, not a female one, because he has the organs that are associated with the production of small gametes. The fact that these organs have the potential to change into those associated with the production of large gametes isn't the point.

It's the type of gonad possessed by the organism at the point in time we're referring to that is the deciding criterion. The potential or actual type of gamete produced by that type of gonad. Obviously for mammals that is equivalent to saying the type of body.
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Old 25th September 2022, 07:12 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's the type of gonad possessed by the organism at the point in time we're referring to that is the deciding criterion.
That approach would make it fairly tricky to classify people who undergo therapeutic hysterectomies or orchiectomies, one of whom I included on my test list of people (probably) born male.
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Old 25th September 2022, 07:21 AM   #234
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OK, I'm not thinking this through at the level Steersman wants us to think it. The type of body development, one path or the other, possessed by the individual at the relevant point in time? Would that work?

I realise I'm digressing here, as you quite reasonably don't want to talk about clownfish, but it's an interesting intellectual point to consider while we're not being bombarded with misinterpreted and irrelevant links, meaningless charts and a large helping of condescension.
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Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, I'm not thinking this through at the level Steersman wants us to think it. The type of body development, one path or the other, possessed by the individual at the relevant point in time? Would that work?
I think it's enough to say that the individual organism went down one path or another in utero, so long as we are confining our discussion to mammals or other non-hermaphrodites.
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Old Yesterday, 01:46 PM   #236
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I agree.
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