Nature v. Nutjob: Loving Science With A Caveat

The simpleton’s retort is that the crazies on the right, the creationists, believe Genesis is a history book. Fossils? God planted them there to test us. And if you believe in evolution, you failed, sucker! This is the cover for their counterparts on the left, who love science, and aren’t at all blinded by religious ferver, but only so long as it confirms their bias as well.

One thing that makes the Left less appealing than it used to be is its overt resistance to scientific findings that supposedly go against the liberal narrative. For example, any suggestion that there might be evolutionary differences between human ethnic groups, or between men and women, is not only denied, but has become so taboo that merely to bring up these subjects risks opprobrium from the Left. Evolutionary psychology and studies of “race” have been demonized by many to the extent that these endeavors are sometimes deemed worthless.

Likewise, the Left obdurately resists any notion that there are evolved differences between the behavior, abilities, or preferences of men and women. Cordelia Fine, for example, has made this her goal, and while her two books on the subject are good in parts, they’re also deeply flawed in some of their critiques. For instance, males are larger and stronger than females, and it’s hard to explain this without invoking sexual selection. And if sexual selection on the human body caused dimorphism in morphology, isn’t it reasonable to expect it to have caused differences in behavior and brains— just the kind of differences that produce behaviors we see in human society?

An irrational truism of social justice is that, since all people are equal going in, all people should be equal coming out. Opportunity and outcome must match, and if they don’t, the difference, disparate impact, presumes discrimination.

As a rebuttable presumption, this may well work. It shifts the burden to the other side to prove that it’s not a product of discrimination, but rather caused by some other reason. Disparate impact arose as a means of overcoming a proof problem, where something appears to have been discriminatory, but it’s hard, if not impossible, to prove it because of the inability to show what happened in another person’s head.

Apparently neutral rules which have a decidedly unneutral impact may be, in fact neutral, or may be in fact proxies for discrimination, ways to circumvent what would clearly be unlawful if done any other way. But their intention is to discriminate, even if the intent is concealed below the surface.

The problem arises in testing whether the presumption is rebutted, as the next level of social justice refuses to allow any question of their fundamental ideological premise, that any outcome that fails to match opportunity proves inequality. Even raising the question proves racism, sexism, and whatever other -ism you can conceive, because no one else would even question whether the premise of equality of outcome is scientifically inaccurate.

Enter Andrew Sullivan, in his typically controversial way, raising two examples.

You can spend a lifetime in gender studies and the subject will never come up. All differences between the sexes, we are now informed, are a function of the age-old oppression of women by men, of the “patriarchy” that enforces this subjugation, and of the power structures that mandate misogyny. All differences between the genders, we are told, are a function not of nature but of sexism. In fact, we are now informed by the latest generation of feminists, following the theories of Michel Foucault, that nature itself is a “social construction” designed by men to oppress women. It doesn’t actually exist. It’s merely another tool of male power and must be resisted.

Except, as Sullivan notes, his experience as a gay man demonstrates that sexual behavior between men mirrors that between men and women, except men left to their own devices are “worse.”

I live in a sexual and romantic world without women, where no patriarchy could definitionally exist, a subculture with hookups and relationships and marriages and every conceivable form of sexual desire that straight men and women experience as well. And you know what you find? That men behave no differently in sexual matters when there are no women involved at all. In fact, remove women, and you see male sexuality unleashed more fully, as men would naturally express it, if they could get away with it.

And then there’s every other species on the planet.

Although they will organize to shut down an entire magazine to prevent an airing of an alternative view of gender, they are not currently campaigning to shut down the Planet Earth series because it reveals that in almost every species, males and females behave differently — very differently — and there appears to be no “patriarchy” in place to bring this about at all. They know enough not to push their argument into places where it will seem to be, quite obviously, ridiculous. But it is strikingly obvious that for today’s progressives, humans are the sole species on this planet where gender differentiation has no clear basis in nature, science, evolution, or biology. This is where they are as hostile to Darwin as any creationist.

Notably, none of this excuses conduct the law deems improper, whether illegal or unlawful. Nor does it suggest that anyone is better, or worse, than the other for being different. And indeed, it seems very likely that some differences will prove more societally useful while others will not.

In other words, this isn’t a qualitative distinction, but a quantitative one. There are differences. They may not apply to everyone, and they may not make anyone better than anyone else. But scientific fact doesn’t care about ideology, even though the team that clings with dear life to its belief that it’s more on the side of science than the other team is only willing to go so far.

Much as they claim to love science, their appreciation ends where their ideology begins. And they will call you every name in the book (just ask Charles Murray) to avoid any fact-based inquiry that might call their feelings into question. To the extent we seek to address, maybe even fix, problems in the legal system, avoidance of fact-based reality that conflicts with the ideology of equality will make that impossible. Fantasy facts father failed fixes.

27 thoughts on “Nature v. Nutjob: Loving Science With A Caveat

  1. B. McLeod

    Obviously, men are only larger and stronger because of the aeons in which we have kept most of the food from the oppressed womyn. Now that we have “feminists,” who refuse to forego their food, things are changing. (This is also why “feminists,” in the main, tend to be so much larger than the traditionally oppressed womyn).

      1. B. McLeod

        As I perused the images of the recent march, size was the greatest common denominator. Maybe “don’t touch our food” was what the march was about.

    1. PseudonymousKid

      Some feminists at least see far enough and are consistent enough to want to eliminate gender in its entirety. So, your rationale wouldn’t be too far off the mark for the radical. Yep, men benefited from the unfairness of gender they say, so the nuclear option is the only way to “correct” the “imbalance.”

      1. S. Boigenzahn

        What do you mean by ‘some feminists’? I don’t know any feminists in my personal life that want to do that, and a cursory Google search doesn’t really help.

        The only one I know of academically that might fit the bill is Dworkin (of whom SHG so helpfully provided a picture of earlier), but her views aren’t at all standard within either groundling nor academic gender studies.

        But what can I say here? You have assumed right off the bat that the only ‘consistent’ feminism is that which wants the elimination of gender without providing any clear examples, which means that any of the numerous examples I could happen to pull up of feminist theory that wants no such thing will be dismissed outright as being ‘inconsistent’. There is no way of disproving that statment as it is currently worded, as it makes no contestable claims.

        I suspect punching strawmen is far more entertaining.

        1. SHG Post author

          PK was, I believe, being snarky and hyperbolic. On the other hand, your insight is informed by the “feminists you know in your personal life,” whoever you are. If you’re going to criticize PK for punching a strawman, you’re going to have a swing a lot harder than that.

            1. PseudonymousKid

              Radical feminists are flesh and blood and not straw. Stop dehumanizing them even though they want to dehumanize all of us.

              Snark and hyperbole mostly, but radicals with interesting ideas exist.

  2. Keith Lynch

    When will gender studies majors and Social Justice Warriors demand that as many women as men be convicted of felonies and sent to prison? By their rules, it can’t possibly be that men commit more crimes.

    1. SHG Post author

      This is the sort of retort that makes them feel better about themselves. Just as their cries of -ism fail to persuade any rational person, do you think this sort of tu quoque response is any different?

    2. Billy Bob

      You are treading on thin ice, Keith. Keep it up, and we will have to lynch you,… from SHG’s backyard apple tree. Not only are men convicted of more *crimes*, but they are more frequently innocent of all charges. Did anyone ever think of that? Ever heard of *crimes committed by no one*? Well, I have.
      P.S., God forbid that you should appear in criminal court before a lady prosecutor, a lady judge, represented by a lady public pretender. Been there, done that. It is not a pretty picture. Constituitional protections/rights, rules of procedure, case history and precedent,… fuhgeddabbout it. You are down for the count!

      Oh, the probation office was all women too. Forgot to mention! There’s no way out.

  3. Richard Kopf

    SHG,

    That a gay guy schools woke women regarding biology is deliciously ironic. And, so far as I know, Sullivan does not wear stiletto heels. All the best.

    RGK

    1. SHG Post author

      Since I rarely look at other people’s shoes, I have no idea whether Sullivan wears heels or flats. But if he does wear heels, I would bet they would be stilettos, given his propensity toward sharpness.

    2. Patrick Maupin

      With all due respect, Judge, you’re not looking at this through the correct lens. Andrew Sullivan just confirmed to all woke women that all men — yes, even the nominally intersectionalist gay ones* — are cads, so (as PseudonymousKid hints at in a comment above) we must all be eliminated.

      My short time atop the heap was nice while it lasted.

      * SHG’s question above about the sale of cute shoes is pertinent here. Eliminate the gays along with the rest of us, and it may take decades for the fashion industry to recover.

  4. Richard Kopf

    Patrick,

    My lenses have been incorrect, and uncorrectable, for a very long time. If there was a painless Seppuku, perhaps I should commit it now.

    But wait, I have second thoughts. Sullivan’s wonderfully elaborated, patently obvious, but studiously ignored, point (straight and gay men are different from women because biology equals destiny) is, from the perspective of the woke, proof that all men should commit, at the very least, figurative suicide. So, I guess I will just tag along.

    All the best.

    RGK

  5. Fubar

    They know enough not to push their argument into places where it will seem to be, quite obviously, ridiculous. But it is strikingly obvious that for today’s progressives, humans are the sole species on this planet where gender differentiation has no clear basis in nature, science, evolution, or biology.

  6. Ken Mackenzie

    Mr Sullivan’s observations won’t trouble the intersectionalists at all. Viewed through their prism, the “toxic masculinity” he describes is an extension of the social conditioning of gay men by the patriarchy. The beauty of this analysis is that it is impregnable to criticism. Any male who disagrees is defending their vested interest in male entitlement. Any female who disagrees is a victim of social conditioning.

  7. Lucas Beauchamp

    If gender differences are functions of the patriarchy, how did the patriarchy begin? Before the patriarchy, there was, what, no such thing as gender? If so, the patriarchy could not have differentiated between males and females to form a patriarchy.

    I’m sure some theorist has an answer to this conundrum.

    1. Patrick Maupin

      It was all that guy with the sneeches-on-the-beaches star-making-and-removal machine. This knowledge has been suppressed because Dr. Seuss was, you know, racist.

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