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Jerry Coyne takes on the SJWs on male and female brains

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Well, the guy has guts:

Cordelia Fine, a professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Melbourne, has carved out a niche for herself by attacking the notion that there are any evolved and genetically-based differences between males and females. Her books have been best-sellers (Testosterone Rex won the Royal Society book prize), probably because her conclusions appeal to those of a certain ideology. But those conclusions are flawed (see here, for instance). Fine’s critiques of some studies purporting to show sex differences are often good, but they’re combined with misguided characterizations of other work as well as the ignoring of results that go against her men-and-women-are-pretty-much-the-same thesis. In other words, Fine is tendentious, not objective, and her claims must always be taken with a grain of salt.

This is all on view in her op-ed with Daphna Joel (a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Tel Aviv University) in Monday’s New York Times …

He checks into one of the claims she makes that he is in a position to research:

The titles more or less tell you what’s going on: multivariate analyses are actually quite good at discriminating male and female brains into two groups. (I can’t find a reply by Joel et al. to these critiques, but one may exist.) Joel and Fine do not mention these credible criticisms of their paper; they just pretend that their statement stands clear and unrefuted. I find that a sleazy way to behave, and had I vetted the editorial for the NYT, I would have insisted that Joel and Fine at least point it out. Jerry Coyne, “Ideology trumps science once again: Daphna Joel and Cordelia Fine deny the notion of “male vs. female brains”” at Why Evolution Is True

Coyne seems to believe that the New York Times would be interested in the facts of the case. His belief illustrates that, during the largest revolution in media history since the printing press, he has been doing evolutionary biology. Which is okay until he chooses to take on a media- and Antifa must-have like Cordelia Fine.

A commenter observed that the New York Times wasn’t allowing comments. If so, that would save them the trouble of hearing, inconveniently, from Jerry.

Though, if he makes enough noise, they may give him an op-ed, to make himself a target.

It’s not Joel and Fine that Coyne, or anyone, need to worry about. It’s the students they empower, however they may feel about doing so. Not for nothing does Coyne refer to Bret Weinstein’s old stompin’ grounds Evergreen State’s rep as “The University of Antifa”. Right. And they’ve earned it.

Anyway, Cordelia Fine’s name rang a bell and sure enough, she is in our files:

Philosopher Cordelia Fine, who wrote a book on the neuroscience and other studies of the differences between men’s and women’s brains – and found most of them flawed – pauses to target a classic in evolutionary psychology: Why girls prefer pink.

… psychologists and journalists now speculate on the genetic and evolutionary origins of gendered color preferences that are little more than fifty years old.

Little more than how many years old? Read on:

For example, a few years ago an article in an Australian newspaper discussed the origins of the pink princess phenomenon. After trotting out the ubiquitous anecdote about the mother who tried and failed to steer her young daughter away from the pink universe, the journalist writes that the mother’s failure “suggests her daughter was perhaps genetically wired that way” and asks, “is there a pink princess gene that suddenly blossoms when little girls turn two?”Just in case we mistake for a joke the idea that evolution might have weeded out toddlers uninterested in tiaras and pink tulle , te journalist then turns to prominent child psychologist Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg for further insight into the biological basis of princess mania: “The reason why girls like pink is that their brains are structured completely differently to boys,” he sagely informs us. “Part of the brain that processes emotion and part of the brain that processes language is one and the same in girls but is completely different in boys … “

– Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, p. 208.

Okay, but if Dr. Carr-Gregg and other authorities are correct, the pace of evolution has been nothing short of catastrophic in recent decades. Formerly, blue was the colour for girls – and for boys?:

The preferred color to dress young boys in was pink! Blue was reserved for girls as it was considered the paler, more dainty of the two colors, and pink was thought to be the stronger (akin to red). It was not until WWII that the colors were reversed and pink was used for girls and blue for boys… –Dress Maker Magazine

Certainly, in Kate Greenaway’s late 19th century illustrations, fashionable girls strut in blue.

Fine also informs us that the early 20th century saw a concerted move to use infant and toddler clothes to reinforce gender differences. But that requires consumer choice. Most children’s clothing of long ago was pretty functional – swaddling clothes, smocks, et cetera, and cut down adult clothes. Few people could afford dyes of their choice.

So yes, it’s evolution – a very recent evolution of ideas about gender, which might depart with no offspring.

See also: Neuroscience: Philosopher rips “drivel” – pop science media ‘s bread and butter More.

Takehome? Cordelia Fine was bound to score at least some points off evolutionary psychology. Anyone can. (There’s way more out there, if anyone is interested…)

Coyne might usefully consider that as he tries to buck a system that has decided that whatever Antifa likes is Cool.

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See also: Is Darwinist Jerry Coyne starting to get it about SJW “science”? Ah, not a moment too soon.; Here is a perfect specimen of sp. SJW, Trollus bandwidthius. We have certainly dealt with them. He may find some in his own backyard.

The Darwinians’ cowardice before SJW mobs explained in detail: They thought the mob was coming for someone else.

The perfect storm: Darwinists meet the progressive “evolution deniers” — and cringe… Double down cringe… Rob Sheldon: Despite the pain they feel, they don’t seem to realize it is their own hands that have torn down the edifice of knowledge. They still think that discrimination is valid when they are in charge, that courtesy is only for friends, that objectivity is their personal possession. The mere argumentation used in this article reveals that the academic battles for truth were lost a generation earlier, and today we are simply sweeping up the shards.

and

Larry Krauss? Francisco Ayala? And now Neil deGrasse Tyson?

4 Replies to “Jerry Coyne takes on the SJWs on male and female brains

  1. 1
    PaoloV says:

    Feel sad for all those lonely people.

  2. 2
    EDTA says:

    Or could this all be urban legend spread quickly around the web? A response on the Google Answers page linked to:

    “Having read all over the Web the claim that the quotation about pink being most suitable for boys and blue for girls, I went to great lengths to obtain and check a copy of the _Ladies Home Journal_ for June 1918 (the date invariably mentioned) and found no such reference in it whatsoever. It is possible that someone got the date wrong and that this has just been repeated in ignorance. However, as an academic
    to whom it is important to verify such things I’d like to find out where the quotation actually comes from (perhaps another month of the same journal in the same year)… Dr Daniel Chandler, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

  3. 3
    EDTA says:

    (I’d check this myself, but I don’t have any copies of the Ladies’ Home Journal lying around. Only Popular Science, Field & Stream, and Guns and Ammo…) 😎

  4. 4
    OldArmy94 says:

    EDTA, I know it’s hardly conclusive evidence, but a quick search located a tinted photo from 1890 showing a female toddler in a blue dress.

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