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Friday, April 17, 2009

Darwinism: Men vs. Women

I am finally back to posting, after a work-related absence. Remember, bloggers are volunteers, and if you like this blog, you could click the PayPal button and help end that status ...

Anyway, some friends were having a discussion about Darwin's assertion of the superiority of men over women, and I commented:

It would have been more scientifically accurate to the evidence to say that the male population features many more outliers than the female one does - on both sides - than to merely claim that men are superior to women.

Darwin missed all that because he started with the presumption of the superiority of men and did not take the whole range of the evidence seriously. The whole range shows that men can be much bigger failures than women, as well as much bigger successes.

A useful, evidence-based discussion might result from an attempt to discover why female achievement is more tightly clustered around a bell curve than male achievement.

For example, a smart girl gets straight A’s in maths and sciences and goes on to become an excellent high school teacher.

A smart guy might win a medal for solving some previously unsolved math problem.

Or he might try scamming the Lotto, fail, get nailed, and land up in Slam! – and on the Angels’ range, worse luck.

I don’t know that we yet have a good explanation for the outlier question.

The trouble with claims about superiority is that they simply begin with recitations of grievances, real or imagined, and end with pronouncements - when the discussion should have begun with a full and fair examination of the range of the evidence.

The horror perpetrated by backward religious leaders who think women should not be educated is that they disable half their potential "ordinary" work force who would produce much wealth and learning for their peoples, given a chance.

On the other hand, feminists who claim that hard science is sexist because so few women do it (or, worse, that legislation is needed to deal with the situation) only add to the problem by creating a "counter-fanaticism".

One fanaticism is enough, thanks.

In fact - to me - no fanaticism at all sounds like a good starting idea.

Let's just go where the evidence leads, and I am sure we will arrive at a fair system.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:


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