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

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

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



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

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



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



Does not compute; Houston, we have a problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<snip>

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

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

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

"from contradiction, anything - and everything - follows"

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

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

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

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

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

But see physicist Sabine Hossenfelder:



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

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

"What problems would it solve?"

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

"What problems would it solve?"

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

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

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

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

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

"What problems would it solve?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Quote:
An intensional definition gives meaning to a term by specifying necessary and sufficient conditions for when the term should be used. In the case of nouns, this is equivalent to specifying the properties that an object needs to have in order to be counted as a referent of the term.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extens...al_definitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote:
Historically, medical research has primarily been conducted using the male body as the basis for clinical studies. The findings of these studies have often been applied across the sexes, and healthcare providers have traditionally assumed a uniform approach in treating both male and female patients. More recently, medical research has started to understand the importance of taking sex into account as evidence increases that the symptoms and responses to medical treatment may be very different between sexes.[24]
Let's go BACK to the old ways, when we did NOT realize symtoms and responses could be very difference between the sexes, since kids and old people are sexless!
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Old 26th January 2023, 09:27 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by AcesHigh View Post
1 - This chart seems to be made with HUMANS in mind. But this is about mammalian biology, so the classification must be as universal as possible for all mammals. So no sense in having transgender, vasectomees, etc, in the graph.
So what? I could make the title "Human Reproductive Classes" if you want. Post another couple of hundred JPEGs for all the other species with sexes -- several million at last count ...

Originally Posted by AcesHigh View Post
2 - According to your nonsensical classification, everybody not reproducing or not producing gametes, is sexless. Therefore, IF we do not know the status of gamete production in an animal, we can´t know it's sex. Therefore, EVERY human that is, in theory, not producing gametes anymore, should do breast exams AND prostate exams, in search for tumors. I mean, no sense in making the system more efficient doing prostate exams ONLY in what the world wrongfully considers as MALES and breast exams only in what the world wrongfully considers FEMALES, if they are all the SAME SEX (SEXLESS) according to you.
Hardly "nonsensical" since it's what's endorsed in the Glossary of that article in the Journal of Molecular Human Reproduction; you might try reading it:

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

And "sexless" is not a sex; as being "religionless" is not a religion. But that some third of us are technically sexless in no way obviates or nullifies the brute facts that half (approximately) of that third are XY and penis-havers and that the other half are XX and vagina-havers.

As for prostate and breast exams, you might try reading the article on proxies in a statistical context -- something that you should have some grasp of:

Quote:
Proxy (statistics), a measured variable used to infer the value of a variable of interest ....

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

I expect that at least 99.9% of those with prostate cancer have penises, testicles, and an XY karyotype. And prostates. The former constitute "proxies" for the latter. Whether they have a sex or not -- i.e., have testicles that are functional as per the biological definitions quoted -- is immaterial and largely irrelevant.

Great many people seem to be fixated on the idea that the sexes are "immutable identities" rather than simple labels for quite transitory reproductive abilities.
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Old 13th February 2023, 01:28 PM   #263
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Ah, my interest peaked with your baseless rejection of the structural definition of sex.
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Old 13th February 2023, 01:40 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Ah, my interest peaked with your baseless rejection of the structural definition of sex.
Bully for you. More credible commentators think the functional definition is much superior:



I await, with bated breath ..., your well-evidenced rebuttal ...
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Old 13th February 2023, 01:52 PM   #265
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The structural definition is factual, strict, useful, and conventional. I see no reason to abandon it in favor of a functional definition.
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Old 13th February 2023, 01:56 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The structural definition is factual, strict, useful, and conventional. I see no reason to abandon it in favor of a functional definition.
Seems you're unclear on the concept of "well-evidenced":

Quote:
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/d...oynihan_182347
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Old 15th February 2023, 06:24 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
You have not demonstrated any problems at all as regards the normal, everyday, and scientific, biological usage of the words male and female as we all understand them. (Even you.)
Mod Warning<SNIP>
Discussions of forum moderation belong in Forum Management Feedback.
Responding to this modbox in thread will be off topic Posted By:zooterkin


But since we had discussed on Twitter "Stuart's" rejection of the standard biological definitions for the sexes -- which are the subject of this thread -- I thought it might be useful to repost a portion of my previous comment.

Though, somewhat en passant, I'm not sure why you called him a "journalist". Seems he's "just" a reverend, even if with some credible arguments about Scottish politics. But I'm kind of "amused" though gratified to see that Sturgeon has decided to fold her tent and steal off into the night, possibly with the gendarmes on her tail, and possibly as a result of her putting transwomen rapists into women's prisons:

https://grahamlinehan.substack.com/p...ng-of-holyrood
https://wingsoverscotland.com/tell-m...w/#more-135329

In any case, most of my previous comment:

Apropos of that and the thread topic, I had been blocked by India Willoughby, Emma Hilton and your good buddy "Stuart" for championing the biological definitions "promulgated" in that article in the Journal of Molecular Human Reproduction [MHR], to wit:



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

India certainly wasn't much impressed by my argument that "she" lacked the functional ovaries that qualify as the "necessary & sufficient conditions" to qualify for membership in that exalted state. And Emma didn't seem keen to consider that her rather unscientific definition being published in the letters to the Editor section of the UK Times was trumped by the MHR article, one of the authors of it having an FRS to his name.

And Stuart seemed rather "reluctant" to actually look at what those MHR definitions were actually saying. You might ask him what he thinks he saw between the lines of it since his response was, like the others, little more than "Off with his head!!". Not a good look for someone who is supposedly a journalist -- though "journalism" seems to have fallen on hard times of late ...

In any case, you may have some particular interest in a post by evolutionary biologist Colin Wright which takes a more or less decent shot at a paper -- published on the bioRxiv site of all places -- that peddles the sex as spectrum "article of faith" -- something that India apparently subscribes to ...
https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/weekly-recap-e8d

Somewhat more broadly, y'all might have some interest in my own critique of both Colin's position and that of the bioRxiv paper:
https://humanuseofhumanbeings.substa...ltimodal-model

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Old 15th February 2023, 07:12 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Seems you're unclear on the concept of "well-evidenced":
All of that is very well evidenced, here in this thread among other places.
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Old 17th February 2023, 03:16 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
All of that is very well evidenced, here in this thread among other places.


Not that you're biased or anything like that ...

You've put diddly-squat on the table to justify your "arguments". Apart maybe from waving "conventional wisdom" around -- "The Bible tells me so!!" -- as if that is proof of anything.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_wisdom
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Old 17th February 2023, 03:58 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
In any case, you may have some particular interest in a post by evolutionary biologist Colin Wright which takes a more or less decent shot at a paper -- published on the bioRxiv site of all places -- that peddles the sex as spectrum "article of faith" -- something that India apparently subscribes to ...
Here is a proposed sexual spectrum:

Code:
Male
Former Male
Future Male
Sexless
Future Female
Former Female
Female
It's been a while since I've checked in on this thread, but I seem to recall that your classification system includes all seven categories. All I've done here is sort from most masculinized to most feminized.
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Old 17th February 2023, 04:28 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post


Not that you're biased or anything like that ...

You've put diddly-squat on the table to justify your "arguments". Apart maybe from waving "conventional wisdom" around -- "The Bible tells me so!!" -- as if that is proof of anything.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_wisdom
You misunderstand. You're here to convince me. It's no skin off my nose if you cannot into structural definition. I'm satisfied that it's fit for purpose. Nothing you've said so far makes think it needs to be replaced. In fact, your functional definition seems entirely useless for all the things I currently use the structural definition for. You're trying to solve a problem I don't actually have.
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Old 18th February 2023, 11:29 AM   #272
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Interesting piece

https://twitter.com/Telegraph/status...46600578793482

ETA: archive link
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Old 19th February 2023, 02:33 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Here is a proposed sexual spectrum:

Code:
Male
Former Male
Future Male
Sexless
Future Female
Former Female
Female
It's been a while since I've checked in on this thread, but I seem to recall that your classification system includes all seven categories. All I've done here is sort from most masculinized to most feminized.
Pretty colours ...

But sexless isn't a sex so shouldn't be on that spectrum.

And I don't see how "male" is more "masculinized" than either "future male" or "former male". The ordering is entirely arbitrary as I think we discussed earlier in the thread.

But each triplet -- eg, male, former male, future male -- basically replicates or reprises the HHW definition of "past, present, and future functionality":



Both make each sex a discrete spectrum of 3, a polythetic category with 3 sufficient conditions for category membership, only one of which is necessary.

And, maybe arguably, mutually exclusive conditions -- rather hard to see how any organism could, for example, have simultaneously both past and future functionality, or current and past functionality. Think that's kind of the hallmark of spectra -- red is an entirely different state from green: a range of mutually exclusive sets of criteria for category membership as I had indicated in Sally's family:



But I'm at a serious loss to understand the philosophical or logical justification for adding potentiality or previous actuality into the criteria for category membership. Seems rather profoundly unscientific from the get-go.

A child of 5 IS a teenager because they have the potential to be in the age range of 13 to 19, inclusive? An adult of 55 IS also a teenager because they once were in that age range?

Does not compute -- little better than asserting that 2+2=5.

The rhyme and reason for creating categories is something of a murky topic, but really don't think it's a free-for-all.

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Thanks for the archive link.

Though a rather depressing illustration of pervasive cluelessness and scientific illiteracy. Even if we were to replace "female" with "egg producer" -- rather risible on its face since that IS the biological definition -- a definition for "woman" as "adult human egg producer" would likely follow. And following from that would be transwomen claiming whatever rights, opportunities, and cachet that might be attached to that word.

Just moving the goalposts, not solving the problem.

As I put it in an old Medium post now on Substack:

Quote:
One might suggest that if, today, the rest of us were to define a brand new word, say, “ovaprducr” as “produces ova” and attach as much cachet to it as now attends “female” then I expect that tomorrow [transwoman Zinnia Jones] and the rest of his tribe would be clamoring to be included in that class.
https://humanuseofhumanbeings.substa...-of-categories
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Old 21st March 2023, 12:48 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
But I'm at a serious loss to understand the philosophical or logical justification for adding potentiality or previous actuality into the criteria for category membership.
It comes down to why someone was hoping to sort people by sex in the first place. If for the sake of a Bene Gesserit breeding program, then all that matters are active ovulators and spermatozoa producers. The vast majority of real world applications of segregation by sex (e.g. locker rooms, leagues, shelters, sleeper cars, pools, private clubs) are not focused on family planning, however. Even some that are (e.g. youth sex-ed) should include those on the brink of menarche and not merely those who've recently passed that particular milestone on the female side of the educational program. Come to think of it, even the Bene Gesserit themselves planned well in advance of active gamete production, going so far as to rear children in hopes of securing a future mating opportunity. They knew, of course, which juveniles were female and which were male, just as mammal breeders do on Earth today.

ETA: Unrelated to the above but entirely on topic here, Hemant Mehta is punching up at Richard Dawkins again...

https://twitter.com/SwipeWright/stat...28371291430915
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Old 24th March 2023, 06:10 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
It comes down to why someone was hoping to sort people by sex in the first place.
Indeed, that IS the issue: what are the objectives, and what are the criteria that we'll use to design our go/no-go gauges to do that sorting?

Apropos of which and of the thread topic ..., I see something from your neck of the woods -- if I'm not mistaken -- about the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs [OCPA] which has weighed-in with a more or less credible set of definitions:

Quote:
The legislation defines “female” throughout Oklahoma statutes to mean “a natural person whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova,” and defines “male” to mean “a natural person whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.” The bill also defines “sex” to refer to “a natural person’s biological sex at birth.”
https://www.ocpathink.org/post/oklah...an-means-woman

Though it reminds me of various "perverse incentives", a classic one of which was French policy in Indochina to offer bounties for rats, the consequence of which led to the farming of rats:

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

More particularly, one might reasonably wonder whether that law would grant personhood to cattle, chickens, and pigs -- opens them up to charges of genocide ...

More problematically, while it is maybe great that the OCPA has more or less decoupled their definitions for "male" & "female" from actually having to have functional gonads -- presumably echoing Hilton's "past, present, or future functionality" -- the fact of the matter is that such definitions conflict rather badly with the strict biological definitions. They might have had more justification in defining "woman" and "man" with those phrases, qualifying them with "adult", and creating separate categories for "girl" and "boy" while qualify them with "juvenile".

But as a further complication, one might reasonably argue that there is some 1% of the population who don't actually have a "reproductive system developed" to produce either sperm or ova.

Bit of a sticky wicket to create definitions that are scientifically accurate and that don't create more problems than they are designed to solve -- self-identification being the "paradigmatic" case of that. Somewhat apropos of which, you might be interested in this supposedly classic legal case from the UK -- one that transwoman Debbie Hayton quoted some years ago:

Quote:
The law should adopt the chromosomal, gonadal and genital tests. If all three are congruent, that should determine a person’s sex for the purpose of marriage.
https://swarb.co.uk/corbett-v-corbet...fd-1-feb-1970/

Bravely spoken though they seemed to have been rather "light" on the details of how specify that "congruence".

Some reason to argue -- as at least I and Griffiths have done -- that "sex" per se is simply the wrong tool for the gatekeeping jobs that society is trying to press it into doing. In consequence, there might be some additional reasons to argue that we should simply define "woman" as "adult human vagina-haver" and "man" as "adult human penis-haver".

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
They knew, of course, which juveniles were female and which were male, just as mammal breeders do on Earth today.
Which juveniles probably are or will become male & female ...

Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
ETA: Unrelated to the above but entirely on topic here, Hemant Mehta is punching up at Richard Dawkins again...

https://twitter.com/SwipeWright/stat...28371291430915
Tough job, someone has to do it ...

But not really impressed with either Mehta, Dawkins, or Wright. None of them seem to have a clue that the definitions for the sexes are a matter of stipulation, and not of gospel truth. Mehta may actually have a bit of a point in more or less agreeing -- apparently or in effect -- with that premise, but he seems clueless that there's a great deal of reason for the biological definitions. Whereas Dawkins hasn't, as far as I've seen, tendered any definitions of his own -- just a bit of hand-waving and gesturing hypnotically. And Wright is, of course, in there like a dirty shirt with the "Heying-Hilton-Wright Hypothesis" while being reluctant to consider how those definitions make the sexes into spectra.

A rather unedifying spectacle that is turning much of biology into a clown show.
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Old 29th March 2023, 07:06 AM   #276
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Indeed, that IS the issue: what are the objectives, and what are the criteria that we'll use to design our go/no-go gauges to do that sorting?
The criteria should be fitted to the task at hand, which is usually not human breeding à la Bene Gesserit or lebensborn or what-have-you. I mention this merely to point out that active gamete production may well be useful as a criterion in some narrow contexts (e.g. family planning) but probably not more generally.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I see something from your neck of the woods -- if I'm not mistaken -- about the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs [OCPA] which has weighed-in with a more or less credible set of definitions:
https://www.ocpathink.org/post/oklah...an-means-woman
The OCPA press release (quoting SB408) does go to the trouble of naming some of the situations in which we might want to sort people by sex: “Any policy, program, or statute that prohibits sex discrimination is to be construed to forbid unfair treatment of females or males in relation to similarly situated members of the opposite sex. The state or its political subdivisions shall not be prohibited from establishing distinctions between sexes when such distinctions are substantially related to an important government objective including but not limited to biology, privacy, safety, or fairness in locations and circumstances such as prisons or other detention facilities, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, athletics and locker rooms, and restrooms.”

LGBTQ+ activists are up in arms about this attempt to sort people by sex rather than gender identity, as one might well expect:
https://twitter.com/lgbtpr0/status/1633380152716451842

I might cross-post this last bit to the trans thread, since it fits better over there, and it would be interesting to see what arguments are presented either way.
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Old 7th February 2024, 10:31 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
The criteria should be fitted to the task at hand, which is usually not human breeding à la Bene Gesserit or lebensborn or what-have-you. I mention this merely to point out that active gamete production may well be useful as a criterion in some narrow contexts (e.g. family planning) but probably not more generally.
Sure. Though that is largely Paul Griffiths' point that the biological definitions are of limited use for social applications. But he also emphasized their importance for biology. And that is the problem -- too many, not just the transactivists, are busily engaged in trying to bastardize and corrupt those definitions.

However, in some related news, I see that the tweet that is the basis for the screen-shot of Emma Hilton's definitions for the sexes that you started this thread with has apparently been deleted:

https://twitter.com/FondOfBeetles/st...63359589527554 ("Hmm...this page doesn’t exist. Try searching for something else.")



Wonder why that might be ... Quite possibly because I've been posting it thither and yon trying to get a rise out of her and her "partners in crime"? 🤔 😉🙂

You -- or others here still with an active Twitter account -- may wish to call her on that; not terribly impressed that she apparently is unable or unwilling to stick to her guns.

In some further related news, you might note that a recent Wiley Online Library article -- by a couple of well regarded biologists by the look of it, and also linked to on the Sex Matters website -- have endorsed that "active gamete production" as THE criterion to qualify all members of all anisogamous species, including the human, as members of the sex categories:

https://sex-matters.org/?s=biological+sex
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...202200173?af=R

Quote:
Wiley: "A widespread misconception among philosophers, biomedical scientists and gender theorists – and now also among some authors and editors of influential science journals – is that the definition of the biological sex is based on chromosomes, genes, hormones, vulvas, or penises, etc. .... Another reason for the wide-spread misconception about the biological sex is the notion that it is a condition, while in reality it may be a life-history stage.[33] For instance, a mammalian embryo with heterozygous sex chromosomes (XY-setup) is not reproductively competent, as it does not produce gametes of any size. Thus, strictly speaking it does not have any biological sex, YET. [my emphasis]."
From zygote, to embryo, to fetus, to the onset of puberty, none of us are or were "reproductively competent" -- we are not or were not yet male or female; we are or were sexless. If that's the case then it's simply incoherent, and quite unscientific, to insist that we are all either male or female right from conception to death.
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Old 7th February 2024, 11:14 PM   #278
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There are people without. [gametes]
So what? Sex is defined on the type or reproductive system that an individual has, not whether or not that system successfully produces gametes. Geldings are still male horses. Freemartins are still female cows.
Sex -- the biological type -- is most certainly NOT "defined on the type of reproductive system an individual has".

You too may wish to take a gander at a recent Wiley Online Library article -- by a couple of well regarded biologists by the look of it, and also linked to on the Sex Matters website -- which has endorsed the "active gamete production" as THE criterion to qualify all members of all anisogamous species, including the human one, as members of the sex categories:

https://sex-matters.org/?s=biological+sex
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...202200173?af=R


Quote:
Wiley: "A widespread misconception among philosophers, biomedical scientists and gender theorists – and now also among some authors and editors of influential science journals – is that the definition of the biological sex is based on chromosomes, genes, hormones, vulvas, or penises, etc. .... Another reason for the wide-spread misconception about the biological sex is the notion that it is a condition, while in reality it may be a life-history stage.[33] For instance, a mammalian embryo with heterozygous sex chromosomes (XY-setup) is not reproductively competent, as it does not produce gametes of any size. Thus, strictly speaking it does not have any biological sex, YET. [my emphasis]."

From zygote, to embryo, to fetus, to the onset of puberty, none of us are or were "reproductively competent" -- we are not or were not yet male or female; we are or were sexless. If that's the case then it's simply incoherent, and quite unscientific, to insist that we are all either male or female right from conception to death.

I surely would like to see someone post some links to some -- even any -- reputable biological journal, encyclopedia, or dictionary that endorses that "reproductive system that an individual has", particularly that it applies to all anisogamous species. What "reproductive system" does a newly hatched clownfish have? How about embryos, or the fertilized eggs of alligators before they're incubated?
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Old 8th February 2024, 12:21 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
What "reproductive system" does a newly hatched clownfish have? How about embryos, or the fertilized eggs of alligators before they're incubated?
The debate about trans rights in public policy would be very different if it were about giving newly hatched clownfish access to women's restrooms.
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Old 8th February 2024, 01:42 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
Sex -- the biological type -- is most certainly NOT "defined on the type of reproductive system an individual has".
Utter poppycock!

None of the irrelevant claptrap (which I have snipped for that reason) has anything to do with this debate.

Here, we are talking about a specific branch of mammalia - HUMANS... NOT clownfish. NOT alligators.

Originally Posted by Steersman View Post
I surely would like to see someone post some links to some -- even any -- reputable biological journal, encyclopedia, or dictionary that endorses that "reproductive system that an individual has", particularly that it applies to all anisogamous species.
https://open.lib.umn.edu/evolutionbi...the-gametes-2/
Attempting to find a distinguishing characteristic that can be universally applied across sexually reproducing organisms is challenging! But, biologically speaking, the distinction is quite simple—sexes can be distinguished, across the board, by gamete (or sex cell) size.
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