It turns out that one “long covid” effect is the use of the term “settled science” when dismissing the reasonable counter-arguments of those who disagree with politicized pseudoscience.
This week, in my defense of real science, I took up the story of anthropologists who were slated to give a talk about the importance of biological sex at an anthropology conference. They were canceled when conference organizers asserted their presentation could allegedly cause harm to the Trans and LGB community.
The move flies in the face of decades of science, which uses forensic techniques on skeletal remains of an individual to identify whether it is male or female. The analysis is based on a number of genetically determined characteristics.
The presentation was going to focus on sex, which is strictly binary and genetic:
Two of the chromosomes (the X and the Y chromosome) determine your sex as male or female when you are born. They are called sex chromosomes:
Females have 2 X chromosomes.
Males have 1 X and 1 Y chromosome.
The mother gives an X chromosome to the child. The father may contribute an X or a Y. The chromosome from the father determines if the baby is born as male or female.
In the wake of the controversy, which has blasted much deserved heat on the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), the groups doubled-down on the decision to silence professional scientists whose work didn’t align with the narrative du jour.
…The session was rejected because it relied on assumptions that run contrary to the settled science in our discipline, framed in ways that do harm to vulnerable members of our community.
It commits one of the cardinal sins of scholarship—it assumes the truth of the proposition that it sets out to prove, namely, that sex and gender are simplistically binary, and that this is a fact with meaningful implications for the discipline. [emphasis mine]
Apparently, one of the “long covid” effects is the use of the term “settled science” when dismissing the reasonable counter-arguments of those who disagree with politicized pseudoscience.
The panelists already affirmed the focus of their work on the immutable sex characteristics driven by genetics. The organizations are conflating sex with gender roles as a way to deflect from their disgraceful position.
… Around the world and throughout human history, there have always been people whose gender roles do not align neatly with their reproductive anatomy.
There is no single biological standard by which all humans can be reliably sorted into a binary male/female sex classification. On the contrary, anthropologists and others have long shown sex and gender to be historically and geographically contextual, deeply entangled, and dynamically mutable categories.
The social media response to the American Anthropological Association has been brutal.
If an organization such as yours cannot make a basic distinction on biology, a framework by which the organization itself was founded, then this is just a pseudo scientific field.
— Gemel Walters (@shinakira00) September 29, 2023
— Adam Kissel (@kissel_adam) September 29, 2023
Pseudo-scientific nonsense. May as well call yourself the Flat Earth Society.
— Lee Duncan (@OnTheMysteries) September 29, 2023
CASCA was also slammed hard.
You people have lost the plot and can't be trusted with facts.
— DWatters 🟣⚪️🟢. 🦖 (@dwatters60) September 28, 2023
Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright has refuted the entire fiction of non-binary sex in his outstanding Substack column, Debunking Pseudoscience: ‘Multimodal Models of Animal Sex.’ He offered the following analysis of the anthropology organizations’ explanation.
The statement accuses the panel of “transphobia,” and asserts that it “relied on assumptions that run contrary to the settled science in our discipline” and would harm “vulnerable members of our community.”
They further accuse the panel of committing “one of the cardinal sins of scholarship,” such as assuming that “sex and gender are simplistically binary, and that this is a fact with meaningful implications for the discipline.” The panel, however, was only about sex, not gender.
The statement goes on to make irrelevant claims about “people whose gender roles do not align neatly with their reproductive anatomy,” and then falsely asserts that “There is no single biological standard by which all humans can be reliably sorted into a binary male/female sex classification” (yes there is, and it’s based on the gamete a person can or would produce). They also make the absurd claim that sex a “dynamically mutable” category in humans.
As if these moves weren’t contemptible enough, in July, the AAA membership voted to endorse a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
An all-member referendum took place by electronic ballot between June 15 and July 14. Thirty-seven percent of AAA’s eligible members voted, with 2,016 members (71% of the votes) supporting the resolution, and 835 members (29% of the votes) voting to oppose it.
“This was indeed a contentious issue, and our differences may have sparked fierce debate, but we have made a collective decision and it is now our duty to forge ahead, united in our commitment to advancing scholarly knowledge, finding solutions to human and social problems, and serving as a guardian of human rights,” said AAA President Ramona Pérez. “AAA’s referendum policies and procedures have been followed closely and without exception, and the outcome will carry the full weight of authorization by AAA’s membership.”
If there are groups more anti-science and intolerant than AAA or CASCA, I would be hard pressed to name them.DONATE
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