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Royal Society - High Res -21

The Royal Society is the world’s oldest scientific society, and is held in high regard. To be a Fellow of that society is a great accomplishment. I am glad to have friends who have achieved this status, including one of the few couples who are both Fellows.

So, it is a considerable surprise to learn that the Royal Society has awarded their science book prize to Cordelia Fine’s “Testosterone Rex”. Awarding such a prize strongly implies that the science being described is reasonably well established, and that the prize-winning books can be trusted to give a fair and balanced account of their research fields. The prize implies a quality standard. The Society says:

Judges praised Fine’s powerful book, Testosterone Rex, for its eye-opening, forensic look at gender stereotypes and its urgent call for change.

Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds by psychologist and author Cordelia Fine is the 30th anniversary winner of the ‘Booker Prize of science writing’, the prestigious Royal Society Insight Investment Science Books Prize.

In Testosterone Rex, Fine uses the latest scientific evidence to challenge – and ultimately overturn – dominant views on both masculinity and femininity, calling for readers to rethink their differences whatever their sex.

Why do I doubt the wisdom of this award? Well, in my case it goes back years to debates about sex differences between Simon Baron-Cohen and Cordelia Fine. My assessment was that Baron-Cohen was publishing interesting studies, and that Fine was making criticisms without attempting to carry out replications. A research finding is not invalidated by a contrary hypothesis, since that merely outlines something which might be the explanation, and itself needs to be demonstrated. I judged that Baron-Cohen was a researcher and Fine was a mixture of critic and polemicist. As you may remember, Baron-Cohen confirmed to me recently that his work on neonate visual preferences (newborn boys prefer a mechanical mobile, newborn girls prefer a human face) has yet to be replicated and invalidated, and thus still stands 16 years later. Furthermore, on matters of detail, Fine’s criticisms of that study ignore the counterbalanced presentation actually used as a method.

It is a matter of judgment as to whether the debaters are being fair to the relevant literature. I felt that Fine was selective in her arguments, and lost confidence that she was reporting research findings in a balanced way.

I had always assumed that the Royal Society Science Book prize was awarded by the Fellows, and that they were consulted about the basic science as described in each of the books. It seems not.

Professor Richard Fortey FRS was joined on the judging panel by: award-winning novelist and games writer, Naomi Alderman; writer and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind, Claudia Hammond; Channel 4’s Topical Specialist Factual Commissioner, Shaminder Nahal and former Royal Society University Research Fellow, Sam Gilbert.

These are the basis facts I have been able to gather about the judging panel.

Prof Richard Fortey, FRS is a British palaeontologist, geologist by training, who served as President of the Geological Society of London, with a primary research interest in trilobites. He is the author of popular science books on a range of subjects including geology, palaeontology, evolution and natural history.

Naomi Alderman is a novelist, author and game designer. At Oxford she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Claudia Hammond is a broadcaster, writer and part-time psychology lecturer at Boston University’s London base where she lectures in health and social psychology. She has written three popular books.
Shaminder Nahal is a television journalist, Deputy Editor of a news program.

Dr Sam Gilbert, Institute of Cognitive Science, UCL. Has a strong research record in cognitive neuro-psychology.

By my reckoning, Prof Richard Fortey and Dr Sam Gilbert certainly, and Claudia Hammond probably, would have been perfectly capable of evaluating the arguments in the winning book, and looking at the critical reviews of Fine’s work over the years, at least going back to 2010. They could not have been out-voted. More recent reviews might have helped them:

In my view, two points stand out in these reviews. 1) Sex differences may exist for reasons other than testosterone 2) Dr Fine sometimes gives a selective view of a research paper in her text, and a more balanced view in a footnote, which might mislead a casual reader.

The stated judgment of the committee was that the winner had overturned dominant views on masculinity and femininity. Prof Fortey said:

“A cracking critique of the ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ hypothesis, Cordelia Fine takes to pieces much of the science on which ‘fundamental’ gender differences are predicated. Graced with precisely focused humour, the author makes a good case that men and women are far more alike than many would claim. Feminist? Possibly. Humanist? Certainly. A compellingly good read.”

Given that there will be a general perception that a prize-winning science book is full of prize winning science, I think it would be prudent for the panel to be composed of Fellows, or if that is not possible, to at least ask Fellows in the relevant disciplines to give all short-listed books a proper evaluation before they are given prizes on the basis of being a “good read”.

• Category: Science • Tags: Academia, Feminism, Political Correctness 
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  1. res says:

    Thank you for posting on this. I am sorry to say this incident has decreased my (still considerable) respect for The Royal Society.

    Thanks for stating this so concisely and well:

    My assessment was that Baron-Cohen was publishing interesting studies, and that Fine was making criticisms without attempting to carry out replications. A research finding is not invalidated by a contrary hypothesis, since that merely outlines something which might be the explanation, and itself needs to be demonstrated. I judged that Baron-Cohen was a researcher and Fine was a mixture of critic and polemicist.

    Fine’s behavior seems to be a trend in discourse about science. I do not like that trend. I am sad that the long esteemed Royal Society seems to be following along with it–at least in this case.

    Another good way to express an important aspect of this:

    It is a matter of judgment as to whether the debaters are being fair to the relevant literature. I felt that Fine was selective in her arguments, and lost confidence that she was reporting research findings in a balanced way.

    Here is information on the composition of the judging panel:

    A panel of judges decides the shortlist and the winner of the Prize each year. The panel is chaired by a fellow of the Royal Society and includes authors, scientists and media personalities.

    Looking at the historical winners, do you think Testosterone Rex is significantly worse than the lower end of the older winners?

  2. @res

    Thanks for your comments.Why is science going this way? Not sure, but it leaves me pretty confused.

    I cannot judge the past books because I have not read them, other than Chris McManus “Left Hand, Right Hand” which is the very best on that subject, a very comprehensive coverage of the field, with lots of historical background; and bits of the very different “The Age of Wonder” by Richard Holmes which is a great historical overview.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Joe Wong
  3. res says:
    @James Thompson

    I have only read about a half dozen of them (I need to change that, just added your two to my very long list). Of those perhaps Guns, Germs and Steel had the biggest problem with anti-science content. But it was a great read and covered enough interesting ideas that I can accept it.

    After reading your comments and Greg Cochran’s review, Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds sounds much worse regarding anti-science content. And that’s leaving aside the anti-science title.

    Taking a closer look at the winners and nominees I was pleased to see an offbeat book that I enjoyed in the 2002 list:
    The Madness of Adam and Eve: Did Schizophrenia Shape Humanity? by David Horrobin
    I am still curious whether genetic research will end up casting any light on his speculative hypothesis.

    • Replies: @Sean
  4. Sean says:

    King Charles II asked the Royal Society why it is that a dead fish weighs more than the same fish when alive. After receiving a number of learned explanations from leading scientists, the King replied: “Actually, it doesn’t.”

    • Replies: @David
  5. Sean says:

    James ‘DNA’ Watson had a schizophrenic son, so did Albert Einstein.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  6. dearieme says:

    “The Royal Society … is held in high regard.” So it was, so it was.

    In a way I don’t mind too much about the bastards ruining the BBC – it’s only showbiz. I mind more about The Royal.

    Still, I suppose there will remain people who look back on science and reckon it was a fine thing while it lasted.

  7. Let’s just state the obvious: the judges were, at least in aggregate if not in every single case, ideological hacks.

    They didn’t care how well Fine’s book respected the underlying science. They wanted a book that would smite the James Damores of the world, and they got it.

    It’s simply a disgrace that they would choose a book which, by any objective standard, was emphatically not describing anything like settled science, nor even attempting to be fair to both sides, nor even granting that the other side might have merit.

    One concludes that it was precisely the ideological hackery of the book that was, for them, its most compelling feature.

    This is how they view science — and that fact must reflect on the Royal Society itself.

  8. Jason Liu says:

    2 mins of Googling Naomi Alderman:

    An unattractive Jewish SJW who wrote a book about how different the world would be if women could instantly kill men with magical powers and thus be the dominant sex. She’s even got the whole insecure fat woman look–problem glasses, overly bright lipstick, false confidence, self-righteousness as emotional shield etc.

    Basically the most deranged type of tumblrina, cept older. That’s who’s judging your scientific literature, folks.

  9. helena says:

    Very Sad

    “A research finding is not invalidated by a contrary hypothesis, since that merely outlines something which might be the explanation, and itself needs to be demonstrated.” (JT)

    Well said.

    “One concludes that it was precisely the ideological hackery of the book that was, for them, its most compelling feature.” (#7)

    One concurs.

    It’s all about ‘some’, again. Perhaps the myth that should be explained to neomarxists is that nature is not perfect and natural processes and forms show variation around a ‘gene pool’ mean.

    ‘Unmaking the pseudo-scientific myths of the neomarxist mind’ – now there’s a book for someone to write.

  10. The book prize has been awarded over 30 years. It is not intended to be a prize for definitive science but rather a prize for authors who explore scientifically relevant issues. This book received its prize for being much more than a “good read”, as this review concludes. Perhaps quoting some of the eminent fellows of the society would have been more honest. Here is one overlooked quote from the press release:

    “Professor Brian Cox OBE FRS, the Royal Society’s Professor for Public Engagement in Science, hosted the awards ceremony at the Royal Society in which Fine’s book emerged victorious. He commented: “Science books are more valuable than ever in today’s so-called post factual world. They provide a snapshot of the state of the art of our knowledge on a vast swathe of subjects, some controversial, some not. Looking back over the 30 years of the prize reveals books on the widest variety of topics, from consciousness to Higgs Bosons, from the origin of life to climate change. This year’s prize goes to an exploration of gender and the scientific process more generally, and is considered by some to be provocative, although the very idea that a book about science as we currently understand it can be considered provocative tells me that there is something amiss in public discourse. The true value of all the books on this year’s shortlist is that they are a vital part of the battle to reestablish the factual world, which is the one we all live in whether we like it or not.”

    “The panel of judges praised the way 42-year-old Fine, a British psychologist and Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne, challenged their own perceptions of gender. The book reviews evidence forensically and poses questions about the way science is used and how results are sometimes cherry-picked or even distorted to back up popular theories. Testosterone Rex is a call to action for everyone to play their part in closing the gender gap.”

    Read the book before criticising it, especially on such weak grounds about process,as are presented here, rather than on the content of the book itself.

  11. polistra says:

    The Royal Society is NOT “well-regarded”. RS has been ferociously opposed to facts and reality in ALL realms of science for many years. This latest move is perfectly in character for a racketeering truth-smashing syndicate.

  12. Christopher Lasch, ‘The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations’, 1979, 1980, London already describes how truth, and science, do not matter any more.
    Alas in Europe we have the same ‘developments’.

  13. @dearieme

    Since, after Tony Blair replaced the BBC chairman because the BBC criticised his 45 minutes Saddam WMD’s, I no longer see the BBC as objective.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  14. Further to my previous comment, I believe it is important to understand the publicly-stated purpose and intent behind this prize. As the Royal Society states in its announcements,

    “Since 1988 the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize has celebrated outstanding popular science writing and authors. Open to books written for a non-specialist audience, hundreds of entries are submitted by publishers from all over the world.

    Over the decades, the Prize has celebrated some notable winners including Bill Bryson, Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene and more recently Andrea Wulf. Each year our panel of expert judges comprising eminent scientists, authors and media personalities choose the book that they believe makes popular science writing compelling and accessible to the public. Previous judges have included David Attenborough, Terry Pratchett, Ian McEwan, Tracy Chevalier, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Brian Cox. The winner is announced at a special award ceremony in the autumn.”

    This is not a prize for peer-reviewed, cutting edge scientific research. It is about making “…popular science writing compelling and accessible to the public”. It is for “books written for a non-specialist audience…”.

    • Replies: @helena
    , @res
  15. C’mon guys, this is too obvious. The RS, like every other formerly decent Western institution, has been completely taken over by leftie hacks, enviro-loonies, and feminazis. What else can one expect from them?

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  16. Tom Welsh says:

    I agree with candid_observer. There are two very unpleasant and disturbing trends in today’s science. One is the topic of this article and discussion thread; as I see it, there is a powerful tendency to popularize everything, well past the point that is compatible with truth and integrity. The whole point of science, after all, is that whenever there is a choice between believing something comforting and accepting the truth, we should do the latter.

    The other dangerous tendency is the creeping applicability of “the Golden Rule”: “he who has the gold, makes the rules”. It’s questionable whether that should necessarily be the case, and it should never be the case with science. Recently we have seen masses of evidence that reputable scientists have simply ignored their own experimental results and made up conclusions that suited their owners. (I use the word “owners” deliberately and in full awareness of its implications). More and more routine science is funded by government or corporations, each with its very large axe to grind. If research does not support the desired conclusion, it is either completely ignored (unpublished) or the conclusions are misrepresented.

    We should always remember the words of Richard Feynman:

    “Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves”. (And he added that it is always easiest to fool oneself).

    “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong”.

  17. @Sean

    “Great wits are sure to madness near allied,
    And thin partitions do their bounds divide”

    • Replies: @Sean
  18. It’s scary that Gawker-level clickbait could receive such a prize. But I suppose I should be used to it by now. Everything gets Converged in the end. Another black pill, ho hum.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  19. @dearieme

    “Still, I suppose there will remain people who look back on science and reckon it was a fine thing while it lasted.”

    Argh. Yes.

    At least the hard sciences in areas wholly unrelated to humans will hold out longer. But I expect to see Feminist Astronomy before I die.

  20. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Henceforth, what we shall call “Science” will be that which advances the Narrative. Anything else is sexist, or racist. If you raise objections, you are a Nazi.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  21. helena says:

    But don’t you see how the big paradigm shifts through small seemingly insignificant changes?

    All the more reason to be worried when as you say the target is ‘ about making “…popular science writing compelling and accessible to the public”. It is for “books written for a non-specialist audience…”.’

    That right there is the problem. People with very little science education, specifically an understanding of what ‘science’ means in terms of ‘scientific method’ are being indoctrinated to believe that a few people with a feeling or a ‘sense of’ something are as important a source of ‘knowledge’ as bona fide scientists.

  22. @simplyamazed

    The recommendation is itself crap.

    “The panel of judges praised the way 42-year-old Fine, a British psychologist and Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne, challenged their own perceptions of gender.”

    “Challenging perceptions of gender” etc. are buzzwords used by bullshit peddlers. I have read enough of them to know that. I have also read enough of sexual selection and sexual dimorphism in humans and others to know that it cannot be anything but crap.

    There are books challenging our views whether the Middle Ages actually existed (or was a big conspiracy?), but I have never read Heribert Illig’s books, because I know it’s crap. I have read enough of the subject (medieval history) to know that Illig’s “theory” must be crap. Do you agree? Would you read it before declaring it bullshit? Do you have time for ufologists and astrologers as well?

    By the way you can read actual reviews of this bullcrap book anytime you wish to do so. Greg Cochran is one, but there’s at least another one elsewhere, recommended in Cochran’s comments.

    • Replies: @simplyamazed
    , @Alden
  23. Joe Hide says:

    99%+ of those who live and work in the real world, agree with you. 99% of those who live in fantasy, political correctness, and insanity disagree. Of course, these are only approximations; based upon evidence, reason, and humor.

  24. @Jason Liu

    You made me look her up… she’s just like you described her.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  25. @Wally

    Yeah it was only those dumb Swedes who gave him the great leg up….. Of course it’s lucky he was a fraud. Otherwise there might have been real nuclear weapons and the Japanese wouldn’t have had to keep up such a pretence in Hiroshima.

    • Replies: @Wally
  26. @John Cunningham

    Is that a real “John Cunningham” making a fool of himself by blathering in a way which shows he’s never known a FRS and hasn’t a clue about what he’s talking about? The RS let off some meretricious PC stuff about AGW a few years ago but its own members forced it to go back to the drawing board and behave more sensibly. Go back a bit and you’ll find its president Lord Kelvin worrying about industry consuming the world”s oxygen supply. That was in the 1890s but the RS survived.

  27. Hu Mi Yu says:

    First of all, Einstein’s theories are substantially correct and are still confirmed by experimental data to this day. He was however notorious in not crediting the work of others that led to his insights unless they were Jewish.

    Instead of following convention, Einstein developed his own notation for relativity. He called it tensor calculus, as is illustrated in the video. Where Einstein wrote Rik, the proper notation is &#87062R/&#8706i&#8706k. As a result his work was inaccessible to others, and except for one uninteresting special case (the Schwartzchild nonrotating spherically symmetric case) general relativity remained unsolved at his death. It took the development of computerized numerical methods in the 1970s to provide some understanding of what the equations of general relativity meant.

    Current textbooks in differential equations have adopted Einstein’s peculiar notation as an alternate, but this is confusing to students. When you use differential equations for modelling physical problems, you absolutely need subscripts to distinguish between related variables. For example you might use vi and vk to represent two components of velocity. Using subscripts to represent partial derivatives is confusing to readers and potentially ambiguous. The Einstein cult has such a strong influence that this notation is taking hold despite its disadvantages.

    Also note that supposed pacifist Einstein was an enthusiastic supporter of atom bomb development. In 1939 Einstein initiated a series of letters [3] regarding nuclear energy
    to President Franklin Roosevelt. His August 2 letter states in part:

    This new phenomena (sic) would also lead to the construction of bombs,
    and it is conceivable – though much less certain – that extremely
    powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb
    of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well
    destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.
    However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for
    transportation by air.

    This was the original plan for the deployment of the new weapon: a boat with a suicide crew.

    Many point out that Leo Szilard drafted this letter, and they go on to claim that Einstein signed it without reading it. Yet clearly Szilard and Einstein were working together in some sense. In a scientific endeavor it is usual for the junior partner to draft a letter for the senior. It was Einstein’s famous equation that proved the bomb would work, and it was Nobel laureate Einstein who had the solid reputation that would open up federal coffers. Without Einstein’s signature, the bomb would never have been built.

    Einstein should be remembered not only as the father of the atom bomb, but the father of the suicide bomber as well.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Wally
  28. I’ve been trying to find my probably abusive blog comments made in response to an appearance of the clever attractive Cordelia Fine on ABC TV. I was probably responding most strongly to ABC intsllectual flabbiness and the lack of sharp questioning. I shall have to content myself for the moment with reading what Greg Cochran said. I seem to remember that she was being very cute with her straw men.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  29. @Jason Liu

    Your physical description was much too kind. After repeating reiner Tor’s experiment I’ll be doing a pass on breakfast today. Her credentials hardly qualify her for judging books on science, written for a nonprofessional audience.

  30. res says:

    This is not a prize for peer-reviewed, cutting edge scientific research. It is about making “…popular science writing compelling and accessible to the public”. It is for “books written for a non-specialist audience…”.

    Right. But I think the first (science related) goal for such a book (and most especially for books competing for the FRS award) should be not to misrepresent the existing scientific research. In particular the well established peer-reviewed literature.

    Since you were complaining about this not being a review, have you read Greg Cochran’s review?
    Any thoughts?

    As I see it the goal of a popular science book is to capture a scientific question or area in an interesting way without being actively misleading about the science. IMHO oversimplification is OK (especially if so noted in the text), speculation is OK (same), but don’t portray established science as the opposite of reality.

    I posted a Wikipedia link containing recent winners and nominees and all winners. In that comment I noted that I thought Guns, Germs and Steel had questionable moments but for me won out based on popular science book criteria. Can you say the the same about Testosterone Rex? Can you point to a single past winner (or even nominee) which was so egregiously wrong about the underlying science? Even the Stephen J Gould book which won was at least in his area of expertise (rather than his blatherings about IQ).

    P.S. Greg’s review is even better if you read the preceding post and comments:

    I will read and review Cordelia Fine’s Testosterone Rex

    But only if somebody pays me enough money.

    Also see:

  31. @Hu Mi Yu

    Exactly. Einstein could be criticized for a lot of things, but he really was a great physicist.

    • Replies: @Wally
  32. @Wally

    Einstein’s motivation for developing the theory of Special Relativity was to handle a basic problem in physics having to do with an incompatibility between Galilean transformations and Maxwell’s Equations. Among his motivations for the General Theory was to resolve issues having to do with definition of mass and extending the Special Theory to accelerating frames of reference.

    More fundamentally, you demonstrate a profound ignorance of physics. Any decent first year course in physics these days includes a complete work through of Special Relativity. It’s nearly impossible to do physics today without using and thoroughly understanding these principles.

    I take it that you avoid using Google maps, Magellan, and all other software applications based on geo-positioning hardware and software. These rely completely on basic principles of General Relativity.

    • Replies: @Wally
  33. Wally says:
    @Hu Mi Yu

    “Einstein’s theories are substantially correct”?

    Weasel words.

    Plus, see the timelines I linked to. The creep was a classic plagiarist.

    A ‘WASP’ would never get the cover of the media like he does.

    • Replies: @botazefa
  34. Wally says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    And Italians, and Germans. and Frenchmen, & many others.

    He was a plagiarist. IOW, he stole others’ work. Catch up.

    But it was “good for Jews”.

    • Replies: @Anon
  35. Hubbub says:

    Science is just a social construct.

  36. J1234 says:

    Thanks to James Thompson for a great article that’s accessible to us non-scientists.

    ….for its eye-opening, forensic look at gender stereotypes and its urgent call for change.

    Doesn’t that statement (from the Royal Society) reveal an ulterior motive? I would think so, especially since social advocacy masquerading as science has been around for decades.

    Anyway, this is one of those ideas that will have achieve relatively little society wide acceptance because it doesn’t correspond with many/most people’s anecdotal experience. I remember when global warming caught the attention of the public at large. Most of us living in regions with traditionally cold winters would often comment how winters from the 1980’s and 90’s were milder than winters from 20 or 30 years prior. Remarkably so. Whether that warming has been a result of human activity is still debated by some, or whether the warming is long term, but the rise in temperatures was undeniable, hence the general public’s acceptance of the notion (politics aside.)

    The real world isn’t cooperating with Dr. Fine’s theory…or at least my teenage daughter and son aren’t. Neither were my sisters when I was growing up. Nor is my liberal college professor wife. Or teachers. Or my liberal acquaintances who are parents of both boys and girls and tell me that, despite what they had expected, boy and girls are very different.

    Of course, every kid is different than every other kid – some girls like toy trucks and some boys like clothes. I’m guessing Dr. Fine is taking that football and running with it as far as she can.

  37. Wally says:
    @reiner Tor

    Yep, made a good living off of others work.

    • Replies: @gcochran
  38. Wally says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...


    He stole the ideas. Try to follow along.

    See timelines in my links.

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    , @Anonymous
  39. @Wizard of Oz

    Greg Cochran’s and Stuart Ritchie’s zingers now read. Glad to see they both used the expression “straw man” in their reviews . As I said….

    • Replies: @res
  40. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Thanks. Stuart Ritchie’s review is excellent:
    I see Dr. Thompson linked to it in the post, but for some reason I neglected to click through then. Also linked here because the original link did not have Ritchie’s name which I used as a search term.

  41. David says:

    Strange that the only reference I can find to this anecdote is the 2006 Guardian article your text is copied from. It seems to me that a google search of KC II, fish alive dead, and “actually it doesn’t” should turn up a much older source if it’s true.

    • Replies: @Sean
  42. dearieme says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Indeed, but it hadn’t been objective for decades before that. Witness its news coverage and “comedy” shows in the Thatcher era. But it’s just showbiz. (Anyone who doesn’t treat news programmes as showbiz is missing the point.)

  43. @simplyamazed

    Have you read the reviews by Stuart Ritchie and Greg Cochran that JT linked? *They* had read the book and showed up its failings which the RS should have seen as precluding tje award.

  44. hyperbola says:

    The Royal Society went downhill a long time ago. It seems now to primarily be a propaganda organization for mercantilist interests.

    Steven M. Druker, JD
    Executive Director, Alliance for Bio-Integrity
    It’s Time to Confront the Facts about GM Foods, Acknowledge the Misleading Statements You Have Made in Your Effort to Promote Them, and Take Steps to Set the Record Straight

    The UK’s Royal Society: a Case Study in How the Health Risks of GMOs Have Been Systematically Misrepresented

    For more than twenty years, many eminent scientists and scientific institutions have routinely claimed that genetically modified foods are safe. And because of the perceived authority of their pronouncements, most government officials and members of the media have believed them. But when the arguments these scientists employ to support their claims are subjected to scrutiny, it becomes clear that important facts have invariably been misrepresented — either deliberately or through substantial negligence. And when these facts are fairly considered, the arguments collapse (1).

    A prime example of a purportedly scientific — but in reality, inaccurate — publication on GM foods was issued by the UK’s Royal Society in May 2016 (2). Titled “GMO Plants: Questions and Answers,” it claims to provide “unbiased” and “reliable” answers to peoples’ most pressing questions. However, analysis reveals that it not only displays a strong pro-GMO bias, but that several of its assertions are demonstrably false. The following paragraphs examine these defects and reveal the surprising extent to which that document, as well as previous publications of the Society about GM foods, conflict with the truth……

    As part of their degeneration, the Royal Society had to abandon its long-standing principles and practices.


    And it has slowly been filling itself up with “politcally correct” garbage.

    Prince Andrew’s election to the Royal Society sparks anger among fellows
    Our national science academy should not be cosying up to the royals – especially one with such a chequered past…..
    …. In recent years, Lord Sainsbury, the philanthropist and former science minister, and Lord Bragg, the writer and broadcaster, have been made honorary FRS under this heading. And this year, it was the writer Bill Bryson’s turn, rewarded for his role in editing the Society’s 350th anniversary book Seeing Further. ….


    But then, the Royal Society has long been full of dodgy characters with rather specious “scientific” qualifications.

    Alphabetical List of Fellows ofthe Royal Society who were Freemasons

  45. @simplyamazed

    …although the very idea that a book about science as we currently understand it can be considered provocative tells me that there is something amiss in public discourse.

    Do you have any idea how dishonest that characterization is?

    What the book does, in fact, is to take to task the product of working scientists in the field of gender differences in an attempt to refute them. If anything, the preponderance of scientists in these fields are finding real and important differences, not the other way around. Ask Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge about how fair this characterization might be.

    Brian Cox, who produced the quoted claim, couldn’t be behaving more like an ideological hack. Even he, in his relative ignorance of the field in question, has to be aware of what a gross misrepresentation this is of the situation he’s describing.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  46. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    If anyone involved was Jewish, it was

    a) A Zionist plot
    b) A fraud
    c) Theft
    d) All of the above

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Yak-15
  47. hyperbola says:

    Well, I wanted to see what real science Cordelia actually worked on. Her list of publications at Melbourne University

    PROF Cordelia Fine
    Academic, Historical and Philosophical Studies

    seems mainly to be waffling with little real science. Indeed, her appointment seems to be a waffle:
    “History and Philosophy of Science Program”
    that is surely in keeping with her education as a criminologist and psychologist (neither of which really has much to do with either science or philosophy).

    So, I decided to read one recent article that at least from the title seemed as though it might have some real scientific content.

    Recommendations for sex/gender neuroimaging research: key principles and implications for research design, analysis, and interpretation

    Have a look for yourself. To me it looks like a storm in a teapot about a tremendous gobble-de-gook that has nothing to do with science. For a “Thompson-sponsored” article it is perhaps relevant to note the miniscule sample sizes of NI and highly ambiguous “classifications”. How did we ever start wasting resources on such balderdash?

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  48. @res

    Absolutely not the society has irreparably destroyed itself as has the entire scientific community, FAKE SCIENCE is what we have today. You cant really trust any of it without actually replicating the experiments yourself, at which point you find most of it was fraud.

    • Replies: @botazefa
    , @Wizard of Oz
  49. @reiner Tor

    I have read the other reviews mentioned and appreciate the fact that they actually talk about the content of the book and make reasoned criticisms. There are more than the two reviews you mention and some are critical and some are laudatory. I think it is good that there is dialogue about the merits of what is written since that is one of the essences of scientific reasoning and progress – subjecting views to honest and reasoned criticism. I do not think it helpful to shoot the messenger, though. The Royal Society has many, many, many functions outside of this one prize for “popular” writing about science and that activity continues today. It is that activity on which it should be judged, honestly looking at the whole picture and applying good critical analysis.

  50. gcochran says:

    You’re a fool.

    • Agree: Wizard of Oz
    • Replies: @Wally
  51. @reiner Tor

    We must be fair. Your description of Ms Alderman would certainly not apply to Claudia Hammond or to Ms Fine herself. I’ll let the distaff side comment on Sam Gilbert and Prof Fortey. As for the other judge, it suffices to know that she is a professional television journalist (not a self-driven maverick, though have their been any since Pilger?) .

    I took the trouble to listen to Ms Hammond on this afternoon’s R4 science show where they discussed the book. I don’t know (that’s a bit of a lie) what the producer thought a panellist would think about the winning entry, but as you might suppose it was more of a joint celebration than a discussion. I paraphrase, though not much

    “What sort of book wins?”

    ….. a book that looks very rigorously at the science and which speaks to something really important about our age, and about now, and this book is absolutely it.

    “Do you think this book in the future will become a landmark, in changing culture, in changing the way we think about gender?”

    Well it would be nice if it was …she takes apart the science forensically, and it ends with a real call to action in the last couple of pages, saying we can just say that things are changing slowly, lets watch that happen, or we can decide that it’s really really slow and we ought to do something about it – and it’s obvious she wants us to do something about it.

    There was a bit in the middle about unconscious bias, the demonic possession-equivalent of our modern age, how children are socialised into their “gender identity” at an early age (the name David Reimer didn’t come up, nor did I expect it to), and would you believe that the first thing people ask when you have a baby is “boy or girl”?

    (Ms Hammond is IIRC childless)

    I think the presenter is probably right, and the book will become a landmark in the same way that The Mismeasure Of Man did.

    2025 AD

    “Have you seen the research that shows x gender-difference?”

    (“gender” will have completely replaced “sex” in meaning – see the 2009 BBC reporting “Semenya told to take gender test”)

    “Not that tired old sexist pseudoscience again! Why don’t you read some real science books, written by real scientists like Cordelia Fine? She put all that nonsense to bed in 2017 with Testosterone Rex! The science is settled!”

  52. @hyperbola

    “Thanks for the link to her paper on neuro-imaging. It reminds me why I find her writing so confusing. She accepts some findings but then finds ways of explaining them away, and makes some sex differences mitigate against other sex differences.

    For example, on mosaic-ism:

    “an individual does not have a uniformly “female” or “male” brain, but the “male” form (as statistically defined) in some areas and the “female” form in others, and in ways that differ across individuals”.

    I think this means that men and women, while having different brains, have many features in common, and there is plenty of overlap. Well, yes. It also means that if you look at specific areas of the brain you will not always find the same effect sizes as for the brain as a whole. Well, yes. I would say: “No mosaic, just a florid way of describing sex differences in brain areas”. However, from this jumbled logic Fine concludes:

    “In other words, just as individuals are not comprehensively feminine or masculine in traits, roles attitudes, etc., so too is it not possible for an individual to have a “single-sex” brain.”

    Of course, men and women do have single sex brains, because they are single sexes, but the overall differences do not have exactly the same effect sizes for different brain areas.

    Enough, enough.

    • Replies: @simplyamazed
  53. @Wally

    You can’t show me any physicist or mathematician before Einstein that devised a method of transforming from one inertial reference frame to another and maintaining the invariance of physical laws, e.g., Maxwell’s Equations.

    Also theory of heat capacity, proof of atomic theory via Brownian motion, photoelectric effect, etc.

    geochran is right. You’re an idiot, you’re profoundly ignorant, you’re smugly ignorant of just how profoundly ignorant you are.

    I doubt you have the vaguest knowledge of any physics or mathematics beyond – just perhaps maybe – a poorly digested taste of first year HS algebra.

    • Replies: @Wally
  54. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Can’t imagine why you’d have any respect for today’s Royal Society. It’s gone PC, like Science Magazine under the editorship of Marcia McNutt who runs the US National Academies where, no doubt, she is busy imposing the rule of political correctness.

    All these outfits are funded by government and all therefore submit to the globalist narrative, which ordains that the Western nations are to be replaced by people from elsewhere. Thus, when Science reported on the declining fertility of Americans, now far below the replacement rate, it treated it not as a matter of reproductive dysfunction deserving scientific investigation, but instead published articles advocating as a solution (a) more immigration, and (b) wealth transfer from the aging dying Euro-Americans to the flood of Third Worlders (no wonder the Third Worlders are swarming the borders of the Western nations).

    The Royal Society showed is true PC colors over the affair of Tim Hunt. The
    then President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, who shared a Nobel Prize with Tim Hunt, booted Hunt from the Society for what was intended as a whimsical remark about women in science. Here it is in full:

    Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry. Professor, Sir Tim Hunt, FRS, Nobel Laureate

    Considering that Tim Hunt’s present wife was his former graduate student, the remark was essentially autobiographical.

    As for women crying when criticized, my wife tells me it’s such a common occurrence that when a student approaches her for advice, she begins by asking if they are sure not to cry if her remarks seem critical. I guess if a male academic said the same thing, he’d be immediately hounded from the profession.

    Clearly, Western institutions, including the most august institutions of science and higher education, are now PC to the core. Western civilization is over. We are now embarked on an age of censorship, propaganda, and intimidation, leading to a society as sick and vicious as that of the Soviet Union. For science, it means Lysenkoization in every field that contradicts the PC narrative.

    • Replies: @res
    , @Grandpa Charlie
  55. res says:

    Agreed that the Tim Hunt affair was disgraceful (I forgot that the Royal Society had a starring role in that). But leaving PC book awards and Hunt’s defenestration aside, what is the current status of the society itself? Are the fellows still as competent? Do they have any obvious “affirmative action fellows”? Has their research funding become obviously corrupted by PC? Has there been any backlash? It seems like the older generation of scientists would have something to say about all of this. Or was Hunt defenestrated pour encourager les autres?

    Can anyone explain the decision making process of the Royal Society? I am not seeing any good description of that at Wikipedia:

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  56. Joe Wong says:
    @James Thompson

    The author is paranoid; even the “highest integrity authority” of the world, the Nobel Prize, representing the height of the Western civilization commits fraud on the regular basis, like giving Nobel Peace Prize to war criminals, slave owner, religious swindler, political snakeoil salesmen, etc. unscrupulous characters in order to provide a moral foundation to legitimize the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in apply organized violence.

    The Royal Society is just one of the myriad of shops below the Nobel Prize upholding the current international framework established by the western greedy barbaric imperialists to serve the western interests on the moral high ground, mis-allocating a prize for a book to serve its agenda is simple way of life and the norm of the Western standard and integrity institutions or societies, it is not worth upsetting at all.

    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
    , @Wizard of Oz
  57. Looks like a choice made on grounds of political and public-relations considerations—a bone for the feminist lobby. Here is a speculative defense of that choice: If Fine applies legitimate questions into ‘gaps’ in current scientific views on the biological causes of gender difference, then it could be a legitimate bone for science to throw to the feminist lobby. Science not only benefits from criticism, but critical questions should be considered part of whole project of science, even if they are parasitic upon it.

  58. Joe Wong says:

    Wally, are you sure the YouTube video “Albert Einstein was a FRAUD” is not describing the American?

  59. Wally says:

    e) What’s good for Jews

    Fixed it for you.


    America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars

    The True Cost of Parasite Israel
    Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.

    Israel’s Dirty Little Secret
    How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House

    How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room

  60. Wally says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    IOW, you didn’t read what I posted and desperately resort to personal attack.

    Once again, timeline.

  61. Alden says:
    @reiner Tor

    What’s Philosophy of Science? Sounds like another POS course so the STEM university departments can add feminazi profs who couldn’t pass their middle school general science class to the science faculty.

  62. @James Thompson

    I hoped to avoid taking sides in this debate about what Cordelia Fine’s scientific position might mean and I hope I am not doing so now. However, I cannot let it pass that this comment on her work is dismissive without any rationale that actually refutes what she is saying. Your leap of logic is not valid.

    Cordelia Fine and her colleagues (in fact she is not the lead writer in this article) argue that the design of studies about brain function and other characteristics are flawed because they demonstrate conclusion bias, and then argues that such studies should be modified to eliminate such bias. In other words, these studies contain fatal flaws that must be addressed before a conclusion can be said to be demonstrated. The discussion of mosaicism, for instance, is about brain behaviour and morphology that undermine the thesis that a brain is predetermined by sexual differences.

    I am not a specialist in this field, but even I do not find the arguments in this paper confusing. And blaming Cordelia Fine alone fails to note that she is not the primary researcher or author.

  63. Wally says:

    A classic dumb hick response to what you can’t bear to hear. LOL

    Albert Einstein was a Fraud

    Einstein, plagiarist of the century

    • Replies: @nickels
  64. @CanSpeccy

    “We are now embarked on an age of censorship, propaganda, and intimidation, leading to a society as sick and vicious as that of the Soviet Union. For science, it means Lysenkoization in every field that contradicts the PC narrative.” — Can Speccy

    We aren’t at the Lysenkoization point yet, because we don’t — so far anyway — have a Stalin.

    It’s easy and “safe” to denigrate Lysenko, but his idea that you could grow lab rats on an apple tree, was really adumbration of the discovery that DNA was universal throughout the biosphere. The concept that modifications that occur during an organism’s lifetime can be inherited was really Lamarkism, which preceded Lysenko and which Lysenko embraced … but he wasn’t the only one and he didn’t invent it.

    OTOH Lysenko was one of many “scientists” and others who were complicit in thousands of Russian scientists/researchers being sent off to Siberia. It was the Stalin era, and Stalin was an evil genius. Lysenko was an unprincipled political opportunist, as were (are) all Communists (Party members) except for the ‘True Believer’ dupes, the government infiltrators (who may be a kind of political opportunist), and, in this postmodern era, the technocratic rulers of the People’s Republic of China — they are billionaires but also sometimes seem to cling to some kind of Communist belief-system.

  65. @Jason Liu

    Your so-called criticism of Naomi Alderman says a lot about you and very little about her.

  66. @simplyamazed

    Thanks. Yes, you are right that I should have leveled my criticisms at all the authors, so Fine should only have part share.
    However, you and I are far apart in our evaluations of the paper. For example, you say that the paper is about “conclusion bias”. Which bias have these authors identified? The bias of saying whether the people they are studying are male or female? I am truly confused about this. It does not make sense to me, and I am used to reading quite technical papers on brain scanning. For example, here is my comment on brain scans and sex differences:

    I hope you will find it easier to understand. Looking at it, and then at the paper of which Fine is part-author, can you use the arguments in her paper to show “these studies contain fatal flaws that must be addressed before a conclusion can be said to be demonstrated.” What are the fatal flaws in the Human Connectome project? It just compares men and women, and sets out the differences. Explanation, please.

  67. @simplyamazed

    Have you read the Stuart Ritchie and Greg Cochran reviews of her book that JT linked? (They confirmed the impression I had from listening to her as well as being coherently argued so I commend them higbly).

    How can you fail to wonder what she is up to? My best guess is that she has been seeking promotion by publication and well publicised books may suffice if she can’t produce much cited peer reviewed research papers).

  68. Yak-15 says:

    I agree. The hilarious part is that these same people see the irrationality of blacks constantly talking of white privilege and then simultaneously juxtapose that same moronic logic into Jewish privilege or thievery.

    There is some cause for criticizing Jews but these types of statements are grounding the alt-right into ideological meal. Part of me is starting to suspect these posts are by FBI informants or anti-right trolls.

    • Replies: @simplyamazed
  69. @Yak-15

    For some reason this comment was attached to Yak-15. It is meant to be a response to Wizard of Oz at comment 70. Sorry for the mistype.

    Read my comment at 51 above. Read the book and you might get a better idea of what she is about. Perhaps there is not some secret, hidden agenda. Perhaps she says what she means. In any event, the science in this area is difficult and subject to controversy, some scientific, some not. Some is about the meaning of conclusions made in various reports and some is about the scientfic process that underlies the rationale for such conclusions. I am not in a position to make conclusive judgments but I do like to learn from all viewpoints that examine the issues with honest critical analysis. Her curriculum vitae by itself is quite strong and I doubt she needs too much self-promotion. This does not make her infallible.

  70. botazefa says:

    Summarizing your commentary: WASPs were mistreated by Jews. Albert Eisntein was a Jew. You hate Jews.

    You have been heard.

  71. hyperbola says:

    My criticism of Cordelia Fine is that she is making a mountain 0ut of a mole hill that has ZERO chance of identifying/proving the sorts of hypotheses she advances. Think about some of the recent discussions here about sample size and SNPs/genes in relation to the complex (ambiguous) trait of IQ. If tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands of samples are required to even have a chance of finding meaningful correlations (and so far even this is largely a failure), the few tens or hundreds of samples used in neuroimaging are simply a joke. THEN within this sample set, Fine wants to “calibrate” for a whole series of “corrections” based on largely specious arguments from equally small sample sets used by others. This house of cards is so fraudulent as not to even merit the name “pseudo-science”.

    To maybe put all this in perspective, today I came across an article in Science that is summarized here. The extrapolations are pretty typical of “archaeology” – maybe we should now conclude that Neanderthals must have been substantially smarter than modern humans?

    Reconstructing how Neanderthals grew, based on an El Sidrón child
    Neanderthal growth rate is very similar to that of Homo sapiens
    How did Neanderthals grow? Does modern man develop in the same way as Homo neanderthalensis did? How does the size of the brain affect the development of the body? Researchers have studied the fossil remains of a Neanderthal child’s skeleton in order to establish whether there are differences between the growth of Neanderthals and that of sapiens…..

    …. According to the results of the article, which are published in Science, both species regulate their growth differently to adapt their energy consumption to their physical characteristics.

    “Discerning the differences and similarities in growth patterns between Neanderthals and modern humans helps us better define our own history. Modern humans and Neanderthals emerged from a common recent ancestor, and this is manifested in a similar overall growth rate,” explains CSIC researcher, Antonio Rosas, from Spain’s National Natural Science Museum (MNCN). As fellow CSIC researcher Luis Ríos highlights, “Applying paediatric growth assessment methods, this Neanderthal child is no different to a modern-day child.” The pattern of vertebral maturation and brain growth, as well as energy constraints during development, may have marked the anatomical shape of Neanderthals.

    Neanderthals had a greater cranial capacity than today’s humans. Neanderthal adults had an intracranial volume of 1,520 cubic centimetres, while that of modern adult man is 1,195 cubic centimetres. That of the Neanderthal child in the study had reached 1,330 cubic centimetres at the time of his death, in other words, 87.5% of the total reached at eight years of age. At that age, the development of a modern-day child’s cranial capacity has already been fully completed……

    I think maybe the real question about phony “scientists” like Cordelia Fine is: what “networks” do such individuals belong to that enables them to fund and publish obvious pseudo-science? As noted in one of my previous comments, these “networks” seem to have corrupted even scientific institutions such as the Royal Society.

    • Replies: @Sean
  72. hyperbola says:
    @Grandpa Charlie

    Stalin serves as a convenient cover-up/distraction for the sect that actually committed many of the crimes in the Soviet Union. Let the Israelis tell you about the sect.

    Ynetnews Opinion – Stalin’s Jews,7340,L-3342999,00.html
    We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish

    Here’s a particularly forlorn historical date: Almost 90 years ago, between the 19th and 20th of December 1917, in the midst of the Bolshevik revolution and civil war, Lenin signed a decree calling for the establishment of The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, also known as Cheka.

    Within a short period of time, Cheka became the largest and cruelest state security organization. Its organizational structure was changed every few years, as were its names: From Cheka to GPU, later to NKVD, and later to KGB.

    We cannot know with certainty the number of deaths Cheka was responsible for in its various manifestations, but the number is surely at least 20 million, including victims of the forced collectivization, the hunger, large purges, expulsions, banishments, executions, and mass death at Gulags…..

    …. And us, the Jews? An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name “Genrikh Yagoda,” the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century, the GPU’s deputy commander and the founder and commander of the NKVD. Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin’s collectivization orders and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system. … In 1934, according to published statistics, 38.5 percent of those holding the most senior posts in the Soviet security apparatuses were of Jewish origin. …. Turns out that Jews too, when they become captivated by messianic ideology, can become great murderers, among the greatest known by modern history…..

  73. nickels says:

    Euclidian space, Newtonian time.

  74. Sean says:

    I think it is pretty well established that artistic abilities and schizophrenia often go together in family trees. For science, I suppose one would have to posit a creative factor that when allied to high IQ gives the bearer the ability to come up with something new because in general high IQ people tend to stable achievement not brilliant ideas and schizophrenia is relatively uncommon among the families of the elite

    But there is method in the madness of claiming women must be given half of the good jobs because they as aggressive or strong as men. The elite’s daughters will be given good jobs they could not get otherwise.

  75. Sean says:

    Well Charles II (whose father was beheaded of course ) was known for mocking the Royal Society’s activities, and he granted a pension to an aged Thomas Hobbs who also disliked the experimental method.

    Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, where life in the State of Nature is famously described as “nasty, brutish, and short.” Pre-civilized existence is a war of all against all, with theft and murder normal daily occurrences, and even the mightiest humans in permanent danger of being clubbed to death in their sleep. Given the horrific prospects of such a world, approached in some respects by the brutal English Civil War of Hobbes’ own era, the paramount need is for order. We should salute nearly any government, no matter how oppressive, as a bulwark against the terrors of the night. Even if we join those commentators who view Hobbes as the founder of liberalism, insofar as he seeks to depoliticize social life for the pursuit of happiness and economic gain, the basic pessimism of Hobbes’ vision is clear. Since even a brutally oppressive regime would be preferable to civil war, the key is that nothing should be regarded as transcending the sphere of the state. Not only religion, but even science must be blocked from claiming access to a superior truth beyond the power of the sovereign. Hobbes himself went so far as to denounce the chemist Robert Boyle to the English government for claiming direct access to the truth of the vacuum.

    The point is that no less than in Hobbs’s day the powers that be determine what is to be regarded as truth, and the scientists have the job of explaining it. The lady author we are discussing is a full professor in psychology I believe. So is her sister.

  76. Eagle Eye says:
    @Joe Wong

    Nobel “Peace” Prize is awarded by the Norwegian parliament, unlike the other prizes which are awarded by Sweden.

    It is true that the “peace” prize usually goes to advocates of politically correct genocide.

    One should consider the possibility that the committees awarding the prizes have come under the control of one or several secret services. Pedophilia is apparently an important bonding ritual for some active politicians.

  77. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    But leaving PC book awards and Hunt’s defenestration aside, what is the current status of the society itself? Are the fellows still as competent?

    In my view, the Hunt affair is is sufficient to show that the mission of the Royal Society “for Improving Natural Knowledge” is seriously compromised by political influence.

    I know only two other things about the society: first, my PhD supervisor of more than 50 years ago was an FRS who talked a blue streak but displayed no discernible competence for scientific research; and second, Bill Bryson, a man without any scientific qualifications or accomplishments, but a trusty advocate of whatever is politically correct, is an honorary fellow of the Royal Society.

    My suspicion, therefore, is that if the Royal Society were wound up forthwith, there would be no detrimental consequences for British science, but a significant saving to the taxpayer.

  78. David says:

    Thanks for that. I love Hobbes. I love him and everything he wrote. I just want to say that the only sovereign Hobbes didn’t think should be obeyed was one that didn’t protect one’s life, including descendants. So there’s a limit to the oppressiveness. He said that no servant ever cut off his own balls at his masters command.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  79. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Grandpa Charlie

    “We are now embarked on an age of censorship, propaganda, and intimidation, leading to a society as sick and vicious as that of the Soviet Union. For science, it means Lysenkoization in every field that contradicts the PC narrative.” — Can Speccy

    We aren’t at the Lysenkoization point yet, because we don’t — so far anyway — have a Stalin.

    No, you don’t have Stalin, but you have the Democratic Party and all the morons within academia and without who support the Democratic Party’s bigoted view of science. For example:

    Attorney General Lynch Looked Into Prosecuting ‘Climate Change Deniers’

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  80. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    And here’s a moron academic urging punishment of climate “deniers”:

    Michael E. Kraft, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, suggested in an op-ed in the Providence Journal on April 11 that the Department of Justice should use RICO statutes to punish “climate change deniers.”

    So you’re dead wrong Gramps. Lysenkoism has arrived not only in Britain, but in America also.

  81. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    the only sovereign Hobbes didn’t think should be obeyed was one that didn’t protect one’s life, including descendants.

    Lord Salisbury, UK Prime Minister (1895–1902), would have agreed with Hobbes, believing as he did, that the only real breach of the British Constitution would occur if the government did something of which the great majority of the population strongly disapproved.

    Genociding the nation by a combination of suppressed fertility (legalized abortion, prostitution, pornography, no-fault divorce, legalized enforcement of feminist repression of men, immigration-driven wage depression and housing-cost inflation, plus compulsory K-12 sex “education”, i.e., incitement to engage in every conceivable perversion while treating reproduction as the only sexual vice) and mass replacement immigration is something of which the great majority (70% plus) of the British people strongly disapprove as opinion surveys have repeatedly shown for many years. Still, beginning with that old pervert, Ted Heath, and continuing without break to the present incumbent, Thereason May, the British Treason Class have remained in control and in pursuit of the most grievous breach of a national constitution it is possible to imagine.

    • Replies: @helena
  82. @James Thompson

    You insist on challenging me to argue the merits of the statements and analysis contained in the paper, “Recommendations for sex/gender neuroimaging research: key principles and implications for research design, analysis, and interpretation” by Gina Rippon, et al. Yet my comment you respond to is not about whether these views are ultimately right but about whether the disussion can be understood. I find the discussion understandable, though I am not in any position to “prove” or “refute” them. This area is exceptionally complex and controversial but interesting.

    At a great risk of oversimplification, as I understand the paper, the authors indicate that neuroimaging is having an increasingly influential role in exploring and understanding brain function and human behavioural traits. However, the small sample sizes, for instance, of most studies suffers from oversimplification because brain function is complex, shifting over time and subject to outside influence. Ascribing differences to sex differences just because the study author chooses to separate samples by sex does not prove association or causation since the “effect sizes” shown in most studies are very trivial and overlaps are common. In addition, using the data to talk about differences might be ignoring the perspective that such samples actually demonstrate similarity overwhelmingly. Thus large sample sizes and complex data sets properly controlled for more than male vs female using techniques they identify appear to be necessary properly to identify real differences, which might include sex differences but also might include many other factors. Neuroimaging studes, again to oversimplify, are snapshots that freeze complex, dynamic functions at a discrete point but fail to capture the movielike quality of brain function and the influences on it that occur over time during each lifetime and between individuals. The authors believe these shortcomings can be addressed by engineering studies that compensate using various techniques.

    There is not enough time or space to have a full discussion, I am not advocating the conclusions of the authors but I believe what they are saying makes sense and is clear enough to be understandable. They believe there is reason to explore deeper and more comprehensively before any solid statements about sex differences on brain function and behaviour can be made with sufficient degrees of confidence. Perhaps deeper studies, larger data sets and an appreciation of considerations thrown up in recent studies will yield more robust results.

    Yes, this will be difficult to achieve, take time and cost a lot. However, this area of enquiry involves exploring complex phenomena. In many ways the magnitude of the task resembles the huge task undertaken to “find a cure for cancer” that was premised on the belief cancer is a single disease with a single cause. Not so, it has turned out. However, that bias in thinking wasted a lot of research time and resources (I am thinking of the vast sum spent on searching for the virus that causes cancer).

    That really is all I can say in this confined space.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  83. helena says:

    There’s a book to be written about how Britain went from baby boomers to TFR<2. Who was working in this field at the time and saw the population collapse coming? what attempts were made to inform policy makers about pending population collapse?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  84. Sort of off topic but “illustrating a wider truth”, this tells us something about UK universities today.

    “A researcher has been refused permission to study cases of people who have surgery to reverse gender reassignment by a university that said it risked generating controversy on social media sites.

    The proposal was rejected with an explanation noting that it was a potentially “politically incorrect” piece of research and could lead to material being posted online that “may be detrimental to the reputation of the institution”.

    James Caspian, a psychotherapist, who wanted to conduct the research for a master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy at Bath Spa University, accused it of failing to follow “the most basic tenets of academic and intellectual freedom of enquiry”.

    Mr Caspian, 58, a counsellor who specialises in therapy for transgender people, embarked on the research after speaking to…”

    To be fair I doubt if the university can stop him doing the research on his own buck, but they don’t want him putting it in his masters dissertation! It’s likely there will be more regret cases as the number of reassignments increases.

  85. @Sean

    No the lady is not a full professor but an associate professor and not of pschology or any harder science. I think we can believe Wikipedia on this.

  86. @Joe Wong

    I think this “Joe Wong” must be an invention (maybe a team or syndicate like the unlamented Rehmat though so far the evidence suggests a lone wolf hoping for a job offer) by someone of devious mind who wants people to say “look it’s not just the Israelis who employ dimwitted hasbara with poor or at best unidiomatic English, the Chinese government demeans itself in just the same way”. The trouble is it is so hard to pitch at just the right level of shared ignorance. Apart from the barely literate English the commeter’s evident ignorance about the various Nobel Prizes, who awards them, and by wbat processes completely disqualifies him.

  87. The writer Andrew Sullivan’s experience of medically administered testosterone is anecdotal but interesting.

    “At that point I weighed around 165 pounds. I now weigh 185 pounds. My collar size went from a 15 to a 17 1/2 in a few months; my chest went from 40 to 44. My appetite in every sense of that word expanded beyond measure. Going from napping two hours a day, I now rarely sleep in the daytime and have enough energy for daily workouts and a hefty work schedule. I can squat more than 400 pounds. Depression, once a regular feature of my life, is now a distant memory. I feel better able to recover from life’s curveballs, more persistent, more alive. These are the long-term effects. They are almost as striking as the short-term ones.”

    The short term ones being increased sociability, increased sex drive, shorter fuse on anger and increased propensity to get into fights with strangers.

  88. @James Thompson

    I know you are not specifically an evolutionary psychologist or biologist but I wonder if you would care to comment on the validity or just persuasiveness of some common sense arguments that appeal to me.

    I mean arguments of the form “given what we know, what must evolution by natural selection have favoured and why?”.

    Thus the average 90 per cent greater upper body strength of males over females seems to me compelling evidence that males outbred one another by taking advantage of greater upper body strength and that they inherited behavioural traits and tendencies – and abilities like skill in throwing or swinging weapons – which made that upper body strength selectively advantageous.

    If that test case doesn’t work anti-Fine then I don’t know what would. Another example that seems obvious to me is the superiority of women’s hearing on average. I believe it to be the fact and there is obvious greater advantage for the mother to be able to hear the baby’s cry and also to derect the sounds of danger in the night. Then again I note that brain structure and functioning has to support the pleasure a mother gets from breastfeeding a baby so that had to evolve as a difference between male and female mammals, And why are females on average better with words – at least when young? If you can’t impress with physical strength……

    • Replies: @James Thompson
    , @CanSpeccy
  89. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    what attempts were made to inform policy makers about pending population collapse?

    Look, if our rulers are so totally clueless they don’t know that they’re losing their population, then we are truly screwed (which we are anyway because our politicians are deliberately destroying their own population).

    The Anglo-American establishment are engaged in the genocide of their own people, who they have always hated and despised*, to make way for the New World Order, which is to say, a new world order without nation states, and thus without nations. Whitey has to die and be replaced by Mongrel Man. The project was clearly set forth in the works of Carroll Quigley, Bill Clinton’s history mentor at Georgetown University.

    * British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli’s wrote of “Two Nations” between whom, as a character in his novel “Sybil” (1945) remarked:

    there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets. The rich and the poor.

  90. @Wizard of Oz

    Interesting question. The simple explanation is that men fight each other for access to the most desirable women. On its own, that is not much of an explanation. However, if something similar happens in most mammals, then it could be seen as a general trend, and that suggests a unifying theme of sexual dimorphism.
    I do not know that women have better hearing. They may pay more attention to noises in the night, but that would be consistent with greater anxiety. Again, I would look to other mammals regarding hearing, or sensitivity to noises, to see if there are common features.
    Frankly, sexual dimorphism is so pervasive that I regard it as a fact of nature, and applicable to humans. That certainly does not cut out cultural effects, as evidenced in the last century, but there are still significant sex-based differences, in my view.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  91. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    the average 90 per cent greater upper body strength of males over females seems to me compelling evidence that males outbred one another by taking advantage of greater upper body strength and that they inherited behavioural traits and tendencies – and abilities like skill in throwing or swinging weapons – which made that upper body strength selectively advantageous.

    Sexual selection, specifically, female preference for males with bulging biceps, etc., may have been as, or more, important than male conflict over females, in maintaining human sexual dimorphism long after civilization put an end to most physical conflict over females. Thus, your imposing upper body musculature may, in fact, be as useless as a peacock’s tail, and indeed an impediment in most respects other than in attracting the attention of bikini’d babes while perving on Bondi Beach.

  92. @botazefa

    do you have any idea what percent of studies cant be replicated these days more than half, peer review means socially approved nothing more

  93. @simplyamazed

    Thanks for your reply. I must say, I find it easier to read your writing than the paper in question. So, I will begin by responding to what you have written. I don’t argue with the points you make.

    Samples. There is general agreement that all research should be based on representative samples which are sufficiently large to allow the analysis of the measures taken. Since scanning generates lots of scores, it should have large samples, say above at least 100 and preferably 400 and above for stable results. That is why I asked you to look at the Human Connectome results on sex differences in intelligence. Typically, brain scanning studies have been on small samples, mostly because of the cost of the procedure. This is commonly criticised as regards the early papers. However, some studies have since done much better. Richard Haier and Rex Jung are good people to read on this issue.

    Effect sizes. Of course, if an effect size is small then it is of less interest, unless one is looking at extreme performance. Small differences in means are great at the extremes. By the way, on effect sizes, the authors of the paper, and many others, quote Hyde’s work on sex differences. However, there are criticisms, namely that she has obscured and downplayed some important differences.

    Corrections. Much of my blog is taken up with discussing “corrections” and the assumptions that underlie them. Should studies of sex differences “correct” for differences in brain size between men and women? I don’t think so, not if intellectual abilities are being discussed. Too many corrections result in massaged results.

    Back to the actual paper by Rippon et al.

    In order to ensure the maximum possible contribution of NI research to these goals, we draw attention to four key principles—overlap, mosaicism, contingency and entanglement—that have emerged from sex/gender research and that should inform NI research design, analysis and interpretation.

    Whereas I find your comments easy to understand, I still have more difficulty with these principles. I think they mostly re-describe standard procedures but then require complex corrections which I find problematical.

    That is why I wondered how these principles would apply to the Human Connectome paper. That has substantial effect sizes, and is relevant to the discussion of sex differences.

    • Replies: @simplyamazed
  94. @CanSpeccy

    No its the.ability to take the tops off jars which went on counting forever.

    You do provide a reminder that natural selection would have favoured those girls who had the wit to avoid the negatives and, especially, take advanatage of humans’ dimorphism. That eouldn’t necessarily involve genes which contribute to IQ but would have affected genes affecting what goes on in the brain.

  95. @Colleen Pater

    “you find most of it was a fraud”. Interesting to know who you are referring to as that “you” as I suspect that it has never been you. But maybe you have professional qualifications of some kind. If you were a lawyer you would probably accept the idea not only that causes of error other than fraud are common but also that the standard of proof of fraud, where there is error, is especially high. Can you prove fraud?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  96. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    To say “most of it [i.e., reported science] is a fraud” may be an exaggeration. However, fraud in science is almost certainly rampant. How else explain the non reproducibility of most reported psychological studies? A similar degree of non-reproducibility has been found in other fields, including drug trials, and as we now know, all model predictions of twenty-first century climate warming due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions have turned out to be wrong suggesting that the supposed validity of the models was fake, if not fraudulent.

    The Public Library of Science published a well regarded paper entitled: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. among the reasons given being:

    Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true.

    Most scientists are surely aware of the weaknesses of their study designs, but proceed with them anyway because better designs would either entail more trouble or expense or would simply be impossible.

    To the extent that scientists claim to have established as a fact what they should know is at best weakly supported by the evidence seems tantamount to fraud.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  97. @CanSpeccy

    Thanks for links which I shall follow up, not that I need persuading.

    Let me however toss in another explanation for the problems described. That is twofold. First is the huge preference of journal editors for the “breakthrough” or at least novelty. The second is getting money or being willing to give one’s time to replication. Bad, but no need to find positive fraud.

    As to the dozens of hopeless climate models that the IPCC has given credence to, again I think it is usually more complex human behaviour than fraud though the models patent failure to account for non CO2 emissions causes of climate change over decades, centuries and millenia should have been a red flag to the great and good (rarely physicists) who flocked to the support of and joined the warmists even when money rewards had nothing to do with it. Consider this. Australia, thanks to cheap coal had some of the world’s lowest power prices 10 years ago and then ànd now emits about 1.5 per cent of the world’s CO2. Now thanks to virtue signalling support for renewables it is amongst the most expensive and unreliable in developed countries. Yet nothing Australia does or says will affect its climate related fate in any way. I have been astonished to find some of Australua’s- and the world’s – most distinguished medical scientists – piously in the warmist camp for reasons which, to me, knowing that they know no relevant physics, can only be that they have a pathetic faith in the competence and honesty of almost anyone arguably described as a scientist – and that they sould be embarrassed when overseas amongst the great and good of the Royal Societies or their American equivalents to be seen as guilty of Badthought. We also have a PM who was a Rhodes Scholar and succesful lawyer and businessman. That he cannot see and lead the way at least to comonsense is disappointing to say the least.

    And yes there’s fraud too if you count monstrosities like the Hockey Stick.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  98. @CanSpeccy

    An ethereal personable Cordelia came yo me in a deam last night and said
    “We domesticated the wolf and selected for the neurology of modern dogs. What makes you think we haven’t domeaticated our male human hulks similarly? There was a lot of nasty junk to breed out or around but we did it!”

    What should my dreaming self have replied?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  99. @James Thompson

    Let me try out my @104 [at present] reply to CanSpeccy on you too.

  100. @James Thompson

    Perhaps a reference to an article published by Professor Rippon in New Scientist in which she summarises her viewpoint in simpler and more user friendly terms might help shed light:

    And here is a link to the paper by Daphna Joel that is referred to by Professor Rippon:

    It appears to me from a reading of these articles that both authors feel neuroimaging has a strong role to play in understanding the human brain. However they both seem to feel starting with the assumption that behaviour is based on differences in male and female brains is not helpful, in light of what has been uncovered in recent research.

    • Replies: @res
  101. Allow me to put another simple hypothetical in the hope that, if it is hopelessly wrong, someone can knock it on the head with science, fact and logic.

    Let there be a rare allele on the X chromosome which, given suitable genetic conditions, supercharges high I Q brains to be capable of mathematical feats that are one in a million. Ĺet it be the case that the allele isb’t dominant so that, in a female it is only of minor effect.

    Is this a possible explanation for a greater likelihood of genius in males?

    If so it would no doubt create an expectation of more frequent idiocy in males????

    • Replies: @res
    , @CanSpeccy
  102. Pericles says:
    @Grandpa Charlie

    It’s easy and “safe” to denigrate Lysenko, but his idea that you could grow lab rats on an apple tree, was really adumbration of the discovery that DNA was universal throughout the biosphere.

    Aren’t there plenty of well-funded university departments stuffed with theories equally foolish and more malign? I think I read about a new one every week.

  103. res says:

    I really like the obvious bias in the headline of your first reference: “A welcome blow to the myth of distinct male and female brains”

    From the start of that article:

    One of the biggest barriers to equality is crumbling, thanks to a study that blows away the misconception that male and female brains are distinct.

    Based on detailed and careful analysis of core features seen in scans of more than 1400 female and male human brains, Israeli researcher Daphna Joel and colleagues demonstrated that most are unique mixes or “mosaics” of features previously thought to be either “male” or “female”. A brain that is not a mix was found to be extremely rare.

    Gosh, did you know that since some women are taller than some men there is no meaningful difference in average heights between women and men?


    Most recently, researchers showed that, on over 100 different behavioural measures, male and female scores could not be reliably (or accurately) grouped into two distinct categories.

    From the abstract of the referenced paper:

    Many people assume that sex differences in social behavior are categorical—that these differences represent fundamental distinctions between two distinct categories (taxa) of humans. Contrasted with this view is the idea that sex differences are dimensional—that differences between men and women indicate nothing more than relative positions along overlapping continuous dimensions.

    Nice strawman!

    The abstract of your second paper (emphasis mine):

    The underlying assumption in popular and scientific publications on sex differences in the brain is that human brains can take one of two forms “male” or “female,” and that the differences between these two forms underlie differences between men and women in personality, cognition, emotion, and behavior. Documented sex differences in brain structure are typically taken to support this dimorphic view of the brain. However, neuroanatomical data reveal that sex interacts with other factors in utero and throughout life to determine the structure of the brain, and that because these interactions are complex, the result is a multi-morphic, rather than a dimorphic, brain. More specifically, here I argue that human brains are composed of an ever-changing heterogeneous mosaic of “male” and “female” brain characteristics (rather than being all “male” or all “female”) that cannot be aligned on a continuum between a “male brain” and a “female brain.” I further suggest that sex differences in the direction of change in the brain mosaic following specific environmental events lead to sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    First highlighted part is an obvious strawman. Second highlighted part is an obvious fallacy.

    That you find references like these compelling says all that needs to be said here. Strawmen, fallacies, and rhetoric do not make for meaningful arguments.

    P.S. I see why you don’t want to engage in a discussion of the merits of various articles and books (comment 87).

  104. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    X chromosome genetics generally work in the opposite fashion (i.e. one good allele is enough for females, see sex rates of colorblindness).

    Does anyone know of an exception?

    This link may help:
    Notice the tortoiseshell and calico cats example.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  105. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    The second is getting money or being willing to give one’s time to replication. Bad, but no need to find positive fraud.

    Isn’t getting money by false pretences the most common and mundane form of fraud?

    That he [Australia’s Rhodes scholarship winning PM] cannot see and lead the way at least to comonsense is disappointing to say the least.

    That he’s a Rhodes scholar, like Bill Clinton, tells you all you need to know to understand his position on global warming. The global warming scare, whether based on real science or not, is used by the Money Power (through the media, corporate-owned politicians, etc.) to put a brake on the global economy.

    The elite see no point in an unproductive mass of humanity consuming, polluting and cluttering up the place with their ugly suburbs, their hideous shopping centers and their general propensity to put a blight on the planet.

    And a Rhodes scholar is just the person to buy into the program and sell the BS to convince the plebs to stop driving their cars so much, and so far as possible stop buying anything other than porn, social media BS, crap entertainment, fake higher education, junk food and all the other forms of consumption that undermine the fertility of the people while diminishing their use of physical resources.

    Not convinced? Then you have yet to read the complete works of Carrol Quigley, historian of the Rhodes-Milner secret society for global governance and the Georgtown University history professor so much admired by his protege Bill Clinton.

  106. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    What should my dreaming self have replied?

    Domestication and evolutionary change are quite different things. Evolutionary change favors whatever enhances representation in succeeding generations, under whatever are the prevailing environmental and social conditions. Domestication favors whatever those running the breeding program want.

    Until the end of the 19th Century, changes in the human genome were largely driven by evolutionary or chance factors. However, during the 20th century, multiple developments created the possibility for an elite-controlled human domestication project. These developments were:

    (1) Selective, industrial scale genocide, for which the Germans are credited. However, since the Germans were the losers in WWII, their approach to gene pool modification is now widely held to be unacceptable, although as we know, ethnic cleansing by various more or less industrial scale methods continue to be used in various places.

    (2) Various means of human fertility control — including not only contraceptives but also safe hospital abortions, and no-fault divorce provide means to achieve significant changes in the gene pool. These effects have, however, generally been counterproductive, reducing the fertility of high status women, while having minimal effect on welfare mothers who must keep producing children to preserve their welfare status.

    (3) Psychological genocide by way of:

    (a) mass media and fake higher education propaganda about the non-existent (in the West) population bomb and pending human-caused environmental disasters, the aim of such propaganda being to make large families a matter not of pride but of shame;

    (b) state-enforced sex “education” that teaches that the only sexual vice is reproduction;

    (c) feminism and the promotion of girls’ education, etc., which suppresses the fertility of the most intelligent section of the female population;

    (d) mass migration, mainly from the Rest to the West, which means total destruction of the Western nations, as their falling numbers are more than made up for by Third Worlders from Africa (fertility rate three times the Western mean), the polygamous Muslim world, etc.

    (e) and last but most important, political correctness, which labels and criminalizes as racism, sexism, misogyny, and xenophobia, all efforts by the people of the Western nations to assert their right to exist in perpetuity and in occupation of their ancestral lands.

  107. @res

    Thank you. My vincible ignorance is rolled back a little but it doesn’t negate my hypothetical posdibility does it?

    • Replies: @res
  108. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    Your logic seems good to me. In fact I spelled it out on some thread here just a week or two ago. What makes it particularly plausible is that the X chromosome caries many genes affecting mental capacity:

    The X-chromosome has played a crucial role in the development of sexually selected characteristics for over 300 million years. During that time it has accumulated a disproportionate number of genes concerned with mental functions. Source

  109. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I don’t think it negates your possibility, but IMHO it does make that possibility quite unlikely. I’d be interested in hearing another reasoned opinion.

  110. @res

    The piece from Wikipedia that CanSpeccy has just quoted is some sort of answer. Obviously numbers and proportions count and we are not expert enough to do much more than guess…. though it is always nice to have a Just So story which actually could be true. Of course one immediately sees that the genetic source of some exceptional chararacteristic should prima facie be looked for in the maternal line. And it could be mother’s father’s X chromosome that was the bearer of the supercharging allele, which he would have got from his mother and…..

    How far can genes be swapped between the two X chromomes in a female? Or can’t it happen at all? That’s just a matter of curiosity which isn’t critical to my previous observations.

    • Replies: @res
  111. @res

    Test case for us comparative amateurs. How does the baldness gene descend and how many different alleles contribute?

    • Replies: @res
  112. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I have no beforehand knowledge of baldness genetics, but a quick search finds this 2017 paper:
    which says they found 250 genetic loci.

    That paper also uses the UK Biobank data. That data set seems to be revolutionizing genomics.

    P.S. I sort of expected some X-linked behavior given the old wives tale of baldness coming from maternal grandfather (that is a signature of X-linked inheritance).

  113. res says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Recombination happens for the X chromosome from the mother. Not for an X chromosome from the father for daughters. More at
    I think the pictures there are helpful.

  114. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @James Thompson

    Thanks for the thanks. I enjoyed making those points. However, I made the mistake fatal to an examination candidate of not reading the question carefully. What W.O. is really asking is how has female mate selection affected the characteristics of the human male, which is an interesting and tricky question.

    I suppose there has always been a feminist strain to female mate selection, since most women, at least during a portion of the menstrual cycle (if women still have menstrual cycles) probably want a gentle man, a man slavishly devoted, caring, nurturing and all that*. But in a world where force rules, women want sons who can win in the struggle for girls, guns and gold. That, presumably, explains the weird, to a male, fact that male serial killers have fanatical female admirers.

    So although feminist mate selection, if real feminists really have mates, may explain the emergence of the feminist male wimp, it seems that real women prefer real men who, though perhaps not mass killers and rapists, can assert themselves both physically and socially.

    * I wonder, could use of the birth control pill explain the apparent widespread appearance of radical feminist misandry? It surely explains the general decline in male interest in marriage. What real male wants to marry a permanently sterile female, who never smells good?

    • Replies: @hyperbola
    , @Wizard of Oz
  115. hyperbola says:

    Perhaps at the time the foreign sect did not yet control the Royal Society as they do today. Perhaps we should not be surprised that this produced a Hobbes in perfect synchrony with “chosen people”. Perhaps we should not be surprised that the “natives” were producing geniuses (Newton and Shakespeare) just before this period.

    google( How The Jews Took Great Britain )
    …. Cromwell To Ebenezer Pratt of the Mulheim Synagogue in Amsterdam,
    16th June 1647:
    — “In return for financial support will advocate admission of Jews to England: This however impossible while Charles living. Charles cannot be executed without trial, adequate grounds for which do not at present exist. Therefore advise that Charles be assassinated, but will have nothing to do with arrangements for procuring an assassin, though willing to help in his escape.” —

    To Oliver Cromwell From Ebenezer Pratt, 12th July 1647:
    — “Will grant financial aid as soon as Charles removed and Jews admitted. Assassination too dangerous. Charles shall be given opportunity to escape: His recapture will make trial and execution possible. The support will be liberal, but useless to discuss terms until trial commences.” —

    Cromwell had carried out the orders of the Jewish financiers and beheaded King Charles I on January 30 1649.

    Beginning in 1655, Cromwell, through his alliance with the Jewish bankers of Amsterdam and specifically with Manasseh Ben Israel and his brother-in-law, David Abravanel Dormido, initiated the resettlement of the Jews in England……

  116. hyperbola says:

    Remember that “behavior” is usually a very poorly defined concept.

    NATURE | NEWS Sharing
    Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test
    Largest replication study to date casts doubt on many published positive results.

    Don’t trust everything you read in the psychology literature. In fact, two thirds of it should probably be distrusted.

    In the biggest project of its kind, Brian Nosek, a social psychologist and head of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, and 269 co-authors repeated work reported in 98 original papers from three psychology journals, to see if they independently came up with the same results.

    The studies they took on ranged from whether expressing insecurities perpetuates them to differences in how children and adults respond to fear stimuli, to effective ways to teach arithmetic…..

  117. hyperbola says:

    There may be other explanations.

    Gerald Warner: Impact of politically correct Britain – The Scotsman

    …. Political correctness is cultural Marxism. The term was coined by Anton Semyonovich Makarenko, Lenin’s education guru and favourite wordsmith (he also invented the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat”). From the beginning, Marxists recognised there was a lot more involved in imposing totalitarian social control than nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange. In Hungary in 1919, during the short-lived but murderous Communist dictatorship of Bela Kun, his deputy “commissar for culture”, Georg Lukacs, introduced a programme of “cultural terrorism” under which he imposed pornographic sex education on schoolchildren, promoting promiscuity, denouncing the family and encouraging pupils to mock their parents and religion. The question Lukacs posed was: “Who will save us from Western Civilisation?”

    Four years later, Lukacs was one of the founders of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, from which emerged the obscenity known today as Frankfurt School Marxism, dedicated to the destruction of civilisation. Max Horkheimer, its sometime director, followed up Lukacs’ experiment by grafting Freudianism onto Marxism. In this he was followed by Herbert Marcuse, an admirer of the Marquis de Sade, who expressed his belief in “polymorphous perversity”. …..

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  118. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    There may be other explanations.

    Yes, there are many other pieces to the puzzle. But for the cultural Marxists, the globalist elite, or the vendors of cigarettes, whisky and junk food to manipulate the public they must exploit inherent human behavioral propensities, which so long as those propensities remain inherent, will continue to exert a selective force.

  119. @Anonymous

    “Henceforth, what we shall call “Science” will be that which advances the Narrative. Anything else is sexist, or racist. If you raise objections, you are a Nazi.”

    Yes, because everything is easier this way. People are overworked, nervous, tired. They freeze and are hungry. They want to go home and have their backs scratched (that’s why they still buy science books – to scratch their backs with them).
    The white men’s world is the other people’s burden.

    Isn’t that all very disturbing?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  120. @CanSpeccy

    I’m glad I provided the occasion for that and I shan’t pick through it for nits to pick. However it doesn’t really answer my question because domestication and evolutionary change are NOT “quite different things” unless you choose not necessarily useful definitions to make them so.

    The starting point is simply that a manmade or chance natural environment ensures that the bearers of particular genes have more descendants than those that don’t.

    Although I was mostly joking I wouldn’t mind credit being given to a feminist or realist argument that females have long had a say in which males fathered their children and that those who e.g. did their fathering by rape were eventually reduced to a small minority by the exercise of female preferences, not excluding their enlisting of other males to punish rapists.

  121. @CanSpeccy

    Sorry I have already replied with #127 before reading this which I am now about to continue….. done: thanks…

  122. @James Thompson

    Yes but – see #127 and of course CanSpeccy’s thoughtful follow up in #121…

  123. @Dieter Kief


    The professsional world produces lots of frustrated women. Therefore, they are in need of comfort. Those books – the fact that such books like Fine’s Testosterone Rex exist, is already comforting. And it seems to be enough, that they sound scientific/ that they can succeed in giving the impression, that they were scientifically correct or can at least be looked upon as serious works.

    Those seem to be the days of the scientific discourse as a therapeutical instrument. Books likes Fine’s might be read to compensate the frustrations, that emerge from the very idea, that men and women are totally alike, by insisting that they are. Fine might have understood that it’s not so much the science, that counts, but the handy thesis. She knows how to be successful, playful, and ironic, even (cf. the title of her book).

    By and large, every part of this story seems to fit quite nicely into the mindset of our exhausted postmodern late capitalistic world.

    With the Royal Society as one of it’s proud members.

    That in the end, success is not everything, is an ethical point of view, which at times seems to be – by it’s very nature – weaker, than the boring old stuff of methodologically sound scientific reasoning.

    Yeah well – and haven’t Fine’s readers heard of critical postmodern “positions” , that doubt the very foundations of scientific decency? – Of course they have – and that makes it even easier for them, to stick with Fine…

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  124. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    That in the end, success is not everything …

    In evolutionary terms, of course, success (in raising reproductive progeny) is everything. Postmodernism, feminism, globalism, are all ways for Western society to commit suicide.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  125. @CanSpeccy

    In evolutionary terms, of course, success (in raising reproductive progeny) is everything. Postmodernism, feminism, globalism, are all ways for Western society to commit suicide.

    Did you realize, that I too critisized postmodern thinking? Ok I admit – I did critisize postmodernism not only because it’s deeply flawed, but also because it is successful – which it indeed was – and unfortunately still is.

  126. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Did you realize, that I too critisized postmodern thinking? Ok I admit – I did critisize postmodernism not only because it’s deeply flawed, but also because it is successful – which it indeed was – and unfortunately still is.

    Yes. Right. Absolutely!

    Postmodernism is successful in making us evolutionarily unsuccessful, for the better evolutionary success of the postmodernist manipulators, one might suppose, although postmodernist theology is such a stupid pile of crap that one must consider whether it is simply a contagious and lethal form of insanity that will destroy us all, both manipulators and the manipulated.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  127. @CanSpeccy

    Postmodernist theology is such a stupid pile of crap that one must consider whether it is simply a contagious and lethal form of insanity that will destroy us all, both manipulators and the manipulated.

    If you know this stuff and wouldn’t mind, I’d be interested in some good examples of American postmodernist theology. I’d be curious. I know potmodernist*** thoughts in the arts and the literary science and philosophy. And not all of this stuff is completely uninteresting/useless/dumb. At least some of it is well worth the sweat of the nobles – cf. Jürgen Habermas’ secular tome “The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity”.

    (I know my suggestion to name a few of the postmodern theologists – could well be a bit cruel. Reminds me of an advice, Robert Christgau once gave, while being confronted with an utter piece of female Rock’n’Roll disgust: “If I’d see a cat trapped inside a washing machine, I wouldn’t set up a recording studio there – I’d just open the door…”).

    Ahhh – a typo: But have a look at it: That’s even beyond Freud: It’s a productive slip, isn’t it?

  128. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Those links prove nothing. It’s silly stuff.

    It is fair to say Einstein was ethnocentric in the extreme. And that he is overrated. But saying he was just some dumb thief is ridiculous to any professional in the field.

  129. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    If you know this stuff and wouldn’t mind, I’d be interested in some good examples of American postmodernist theology. …. And not all of this stuff is completely uninteresting/useless/dumb. At least some of it is well worth the sweat of the nobles – cf. Jürgen Habermas’

    Decades ago, I tried that stuff, including Habermas — what tedium I suffered. And Derrida, ugh:

    “In philosophy, you have to reckon with the implicit level of an accumulated reserve, and thus with a very great number of relays, with the shared responsibility of these relays.”

    Even those who wrote with some display of artistic merit, Sartre and Camus, for example, I found essentially vacuous. So no, I don’t know that stuff beyond an awareness that it leads to endless nonsense, such as “race is a social construct” or, any time now, surely, “gender, as in male or female, is a social construct.”

    In particular, I consider the rejection of empiricism as a fatal flaw that makes the world of postmodern thought wide open to every kind of anti-scientism, intellectual fraud, and corruption, as exposed by, for example, Alan Sokal.

    But no one is harmed by post-modern rubbish provided they have a sound empiricist training: Locke, Berkeley and Hume, are all you really need to know, or merely a summary of their ideas such as Russell provided in numerous books, The Wisdom of the West, for example.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  130. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Re: Postmodernism and anti-scientism

    See the WSJ article by Heather Heying:

    First, They Came for the Biologists
    The postmodernist left on campus is intolerant not only of opposing views, but of science itself. …

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