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Mike Egnor offers to help Darwinist PZ Myers tell boys from girls

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For a person who believes so strongly in the power of natural selection, yes, how the genes get together would be a good thing to know. Myers recently asserted that when he meets people, he infers nothing about their sexual identity. Egnor responds to the general question and the particular one in two parts:

First:

If you want a shock, read this essay by two biologists in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Dangerous Denial of Sex.” The shock is not the thesis: that there are two biological sexes is obvious and has been obvious for, oh, the past million years or so. Nor is it a shock that our culture has reached the point at which the observation that there are two human sexes is expressed in an “opinion” piece. Even a cursory glance at the morning news affirms our cultural devolution.

The shock is that these scientists are lone voices affirming the most basic fact of human biology — unsupported by mainstream scientific journals and organizations — and that they risk their careers for affirming publicly the biological fact that there are two, and only two, human sexes.

Michael Egnor, “Is sex binary?” at Evolution News and Science Today

Well, yes, as we have been saying for years, there is a war on science. With the arts wrecked, the Woke have nowhere else to go. Their prize is the right to impose on the public a vast array of reality-defying nonsense that serves their agenda while bearing not the slightest relationship to reality. The science bureaucrats are caving to save their pensions, of course, all the while signalling Virtue like crazy. And the spoils for the victors—from compulsory taxation—are immense. – O’Leary for News

And as for Myers, well,

It’s risible that Myers — a professor of biology — claims to be unaware of rudimentary facts about the biology of people he meets. He is uncertain whether a woman he meets has female organs or a man has male organs. While it’s possible that we are misled, we can be quite sure about the chromosomes or sexual organs of the vast majority of people with whom we interact. We can be more sure about the biological sexual identity of people we encounter each day than we can be sure, for example, of the number of eyes or legs or lungs or kidneys they have — after all, it is not uncommon that people have prosthetic eyes or limbs or lack a lung or a kidney. Yet nearly all of the men and women we meet have chromosomes and organs to match.

Gender is a matter for linguists or sociologists, not for biologists. It is a fundamental fact of human biology that human sex is binary. There are intersex people — born that way — but intersex is a medical disorder, not an event on a normal spectrum, and “intersex” implies the reality of human sexual binary.

Michael Egnor, “Help a Darwinist Tell Boys from Girls” at Evolution News and Science Today

The nastiest part (not directly related to Myers, well beyond his sphere) is some of the provenance:

It is a rudimentary scientific fact that human sex is binary, that human life begins at conception, and that intelligent design is evident in living things. And don’t forget — the scientists who remain silent on these obvious facts also remained utterly silent when their paychecks flowed from Jeffrey Epstein.

Michael Egnor, “Is sex binary?” at Evolution News and Science Today:

Yes. You can read Egnor on Epstein and the corruption of science organizations run by our moral and intellectual superiors here.

While we are on this kind of topic in general, is there reason to think that a showdown is coming between our moral and intellectual superiors and ourselves?

See also: The progressive war on science takes dead aim at math

21 Replies to “Mike Egnor offers to help Darwinist PZ Myers tell boys from girls

  1. 1
    Truthfreedom says:

    It’s risible that Myers — a professor of biology — claims to be unaware of rudimentary facts about the biology of people he meets.

    Nothing is risible for the darwinian loons, people who have lost touch with reality and who, not so long ago, would have been locked in padded rooms.

    Thanks Dr. Egnor for your calm demeanor and rationality.

  2. 2
    JVL says:

    I don’t know exactly what Dr Myers was thinking but I think it certainly can be tricky deciding if a particular person is a male or female. People who have gone through sex reassignment surgery aside some folks can appear quite different just based on clothes, makeup and pose. For example:

    https://www.boredpanda.com/androgynous-model-rain-dove/

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    “People who have gone through sex reassignment surgery aside some folks can appear quite different”

    True, and that’s because they are attempting to disguise themselves for some reason.

    The real question is how and why a person arrives at the state of mind where they hate themselves enough to go to extremes to appear as if they were someone else.

    Andrew

  4. 4
    ET says:

    They can have all of the surgery they want. They will ALWAYs have either 2 X’s or an XY combination.

  5. 5
    JVL says:

    ET, 4: They can have all of the surgery they want. They will ALWAYs have either 2 X’s or an XY combination.

    True for most humans but it is possible for an individual to have something other than just XX or just XY.

    From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_chromosome

    However, a small percentage of humans have a divergent sexual development, known as intersex. This can result from allosomes that are neither XX nor XY. It can also occur when two fertilized embryo fuse, producing a chimera that might contain two different sets of DNA one XX and the other XY. It could also result from exposure, often in utero, to chemicals that disrupt the normal conversion of the allosomes into sex hormones and further into the development of either ambiguous outer genitalia or internal organs.

    Also see:

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

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics)

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Context, JVL. Geez…

  7. 7
    JVL says:

    Asauber, 3: True, and that’s because they are attempting to disguise themselves for some reason.

    Anyway, it can be difficult to determine sex just by looking which I think was Dr Myers’ point.

    The real question is how and why a person arrives at the state of mind where they hate themselves enough to go to extremes to appear as if they were someone else.

    That’s a different issue of course. I suspect each person has a reason that makes sense to them because it certainly takes some effort with a high risk of social ostracisation.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    JVL,

    “It can be difficult to determine sex just by looking which I think was Dr Myers’ point.”

    I would say this is trivially true.

    I have a problem with this:

    “so all the sex details are irrelevant to our interactions”

    I think the above is pretty obtuse and indicates he’s out of touch with reality.

    Andrew

  9. 9
    JVL says:

    Asauber: 8: I have a problem with this: “so all the sex details are irrelevant to our interactions”

    I think the above is pretty obtuse and indicates he’s out of touch with reality.

    Who knows why he thinks so? Maybe as an academic it’s mostly not something that affects the way he deals with students and such? Maybe he’s just postering? I don’t read his blog so I have no insight into his statements AND I don’t particularly care how he looks at people as long as he treats them with respect and understanding and does his job well. And that should not depend on their genomic sex or gender identification.

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    “I don’t particularly care how he looks at people as long as he treats them with respect and understanding”

    JVL,

    I don’t think you can treat someone with proper respect and understanding if both of you are in deliberate denial or ignorance of who both of you are.

    Andrew

  11. 11
    Truthfreedom says:

    @9 JVL

    That’s a different issue of course. I suspect each person has a reason that makes sense to them because it certainly takes some effort with a high risk of social ostracisation.

    Well, according to this EvoTard, this is the reason:

    “What’s true of our aching backs and blinkered vision also applies to our brains. The human mind, Marcus writes, is “the most fantastic kluge of them all,” an organ whose “haphazard construction” is apparent in our memory slips, credulous beliefs and self-defeating choices.”

    The brain instantiates the “self”, and since the brain is a “kluge”, our “self” is always “confused”.

    We are our stupid brains.

  12. 12
    JVL says:

    Asauber/Andrew 10: I don’t think you can treat someone with proper respect and understanding if both of you are in deliberate denial or ignorance of who both of you are.

    I wouldn’t say he’s in denial, more like he just doesn’t care about your genomic sex or gender identity or says he doesn’t anyway. And I suspect he’s being a bit PC to be honest. Anyway, we’re not him and who cares what he thinks about such things anyway?

    Truthfreedom . . . and justice and liberty I hope!, 11: The brain instantiates the “self”, and since the brain is a “kluge”, our “self” is always “confused”. We are our stupid brains.

    To be honest, I don’t get some of what is said about consciousness and free will. That is, what I feel and sense in my head doesn’t mesh with what some folks claim to be true. I understand that memory is fallible and that our view of the world is a high-level approximation but some of the other stuff . . .

    Anyway, I’m not even going to try and defend any more!! Like I said above: I suspect Dr Myers probably was being a bit PC and maybe wants to try and make sure he only judges people based on what they express to him which is good; we should all listen before judging. But, again, who cares what Dr Myers thinks about such things? He’s just one very opinionated academic with a lot of followers but that doesn’t make him right. He’s not one of my ‘influencers’ if you know what I mean. I don’t read his blog and when I come across one of his statements then I examine it the same way I do any other opinion by anyone else.

  13. 13
    asauber says:

    JVL,

    I do appreciate your comments. It’s nice to have some conversation about these issues. In my sphere, people usually aren’t interested in talking about anything I’m interested in. lol

    Andrew

  14. 14
    polistra says:

    Looking at this from a broader view, pretending to be another species or another gender is EXTREMELY common in all forms of life. Humans do it with an overlay of intention and intelligence, but it’s pretty much the same as any form of camouflage by birds or insects or bacteria.

    When you “refuse to infer” the underlying reality, you’re going to be fooled and rooked and scammed all the time. You won’t last long. Seeing through the disguise is crucial for survival.

  15. 15
    Truthfreedom says:

    @11 JVL

    To be honest, I don’t get some of what is said about consciousness and free will. That is, what I feel and sense in my head doesn’t mesh with what some folks claim to be true. I understand that memory is fallible and that our view of the world is a high-level approximation but some of the other stuff . . .

    The problem is that 90% of those claims are garbage. What bothers me to no end is how they tarnish and twist science. It seems that today any trash can be published.

    Btw, thank you for your comments. 🙂

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    Andrew/Asauber, 13: I do appreciate your comments. It’s nice to have some conversation about these issues. In my sphere, people usually aren’t interested in talking about anything I’m interested in. lol

    I think these issues are interesting as well! As long as we stay a bit . . . skeptical of what some people say.

    Polistra, 14; When you “refuse to infer” the underlying reality, you’re going to be fooled and rooked and scammed all the time. You won’t last long. Seeing through the disguise is crucial for survival.

    I really, really think that one of the first characteristics we try and discern is gender; I think we do it with other animals as well. It feels so . . . basic to us it’s hard to not do. There must be some reason that is fundamental. I understand not wanting to judge and to be non-bias but I can’t honestly say that I don’t decide on a person’s gender really quickly after seeing them.

    Truthfreedom, 15: The problem is that 90% of those claims are garbage. What bothers me to no end is how they tarnish and twist science. It seems that today any trash can be published.

    I think people should be allowed to throw out all kinds of ideas and then let the scientific community have a say. Was it Dr Feynman who said that great physicists have 10 ideas everyday and 9-and-a-half of them are wrong? There’s nothing wrong with considering weird and different things. I don’t automatically buy into anything new I hear until I’ve had a chance to really think about it, check out the evidence for and against and, most importantly of all, I try really hard NOT to be swayed by who said it. There is no one who has a free ride in my book.

    Btw, thank you for your comments. ????

    You’re very welcome. I think we have a lot more in common than we have in conflict. That’s going to be my assumption anyway.

  17. 17
    Truthfreedom says:

    @16 JVL

    I think people should be allowed to throw out all kinds of ideas and then let the scientific community have a say.
    Was it Dr Feynman who said that great physicists have 10 ideas everyday and 9-and-a-half of them are wrong? There’s nothing wrong with considering weird and different things.

    I have no problem with people having ideas. What I despise is the act of trying to sell them as real science or sound philosophy (being neither one nor the other). Especially ideas that can be psychologically harmful (and they abound).

    I don’t automatically buy into anything new I hear until I’ve had a chance to really think about it, check out the evidence for and against and, most importantly of all, I try really hard NOT to be swayed by who said it. There is no one who has a free ride in my book.

    Nullius in verba. Very wise!

    You’re very welcome. I think we have a lot more in common than we have in conflict. That’s going to be my assumption anyway.

    Maybe ‘evolution’ is playing games with your perception? 🙂

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    So a professional neurosurgeon like Egnor cannot understand the difference between sex and gender. Fortunately, there are other neurosurgeons, like Steven Novella , who do:

    Sex

    Biological sex in humans is determined by several factors. Developmentally there are two main factors, genetics and hormonal environment. The system is binary in that there appears to be a female developmental pathway and a male developmental pathway, and most individuals do end up unambiguously toward one end or the other of this axis.

    However, this developmental scheme can be altered in every conceivable way. The XX (female) and XY (male) chromosomal makeups are not the only possibilities. There are individuals with XXX, X, XXY and other permutations.

    Even with typical XX and XY chromosomes, sexual development is highly dependent on the relative concentrations of masculinizing (such as testosterone) and feminizing (estrogen) hormones in the womb and in the body as development occurs. There are not only genetic, but epigenetic, and maternal factors that can affect this. There are also specific conditions, such as adrenal hyperplasia, that can result in an increase in masculinizing hormones, resulting in ambiguous genitalia.

    Biologically there are three aspects of sex – primary sexual characteristics (genitalia and reproductive organs) secondary sexual characteristics (distribution of hair and body fat), and sexual orientation. While these properties tend to segregate together, they also occur in every possible permutation.

    Sexual orientation is a bit socially controversial, but there is not much scientific debate about the fact that biological factors on the brain have a strong influence on sexual orientation. People, in other words, do not just choose to be heterosexual, homosexual, or somewhere in between, they appear to be born with their orientation. This is not to say that culture and society do not affect behavior, but the evidence suggests that basic sexual desires are hardwired into our brains, and can even be considered a secondary sexual characteristic.

    Gender

    As complicated as the biology of sex can be, gender is even more complex, in my opinion, because we are dealing with more abstract constructs rather than measurable biological properties. Gender refers to the purely social construct of feminine and masculine. How to dress, behave, adorn oneself, and one’s role in the family and in society are all socially determined, with tremendous variations across different societies and over historical time.

    Essentially most people self-identify as either a man or a woman, and tend to follow the social norms for that gender. As with sex, however, this is a false dichotomy in that there are transgender individuals who do not adhere to this simple scheme.

    One thing I find interesting is that different societies tend to tolerate different degrees of bending gender roles. In Western society, at least in the last generation or so, we tend to be more progressive in our attitudes toward gender and gender roles. Men can be “metrosexual” and women can wear business suits and take on traditional male roles in society.

    Does Egnor know nothing of this?

  19. 19
    Eugene says:

    > In Western society, at least in the last generation or so, we tend to be more progressive in our attitudes toward gender and gender roles.

    It is not “we tend”. It is “our betters are pushing hard and spending a lot of money on the social engineering effort to push Western society in this direction.” One can only speculate as to the real underlying reasons they are doing it. I doubt it is because they just cannot sleep at night worried that someone somewhere is using incorrect pronounces.

  20. 20
    JVL says:

    Truthfreedom, 17: Maybe ‘evolution’ is playing games with your perception? ????

    🙂 I would not be surprised at all!

  21. 21
    ET says:

    seversky:

    So a professional neurosurgeon like Egnor cannot understand the difference between sex and gender.

    Only to people who don’t know how to read for comprehension.

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