Via Ed, if you puked on VoxDay’s shoes after his column earlier this week in WorldNetDaily:

But this is not to say there is not a genuine threat to all three aspects of science today. Unsurprisingly, it comes from the same force that is the primary threat to the survival of Western civilization: female equalitarianism. Flush with their success in decimating the collegiate sports programs of America, the equalitarians have now set their sights on applying the infamous Title IX quotas to science education, despite the fact that women already earn 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 59 percent of master’s degrees and a majority of doctorates. If successful in this effort, and initial signs indicate that they probably will be, in 30 years, academic science in America will be no more intellectually respectable or relevant than womyn’s studies are today.

or today’s column about women and depression by Dennis Prager:

As a rule, women derive most of their happiness from relationships, not from work. Men need both to be happy far more than women do. Men’s very identity is predicated on their answer to the question, “What do you do?” Whether fair or not – to either sex – virtually no woman’s identity is dependent on what she does for a living. That is why, while both sexes suffer financially from the loss of a job, when men lose their jobs, they often also lose their self-worth as a man. The greater importance of work to men is also manifested in their willingness to work many more hours than women.

you should head to Current Biology and read this article by Nobelist Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard regarding her views and experience as a woman in science. Granted, it’s not an antidote to the stupidity oozing from WND and its columnists, but at least Nüsslein-Volhard has some experience with what she’s writing about–although some of the anecdotes she describes may still be hurl-inducing.

Comments

  1. #1 Oran Kelley
    March 13, 2008

    The first passage we’ll let speak for itself (oh, let’s not: cookoo!).

    The second represents the kind of argument one sees rather too often on these issues. “We shouldn’t try to change the things are because of the way things are.”

    Even if true, all of this about identity would be properly said to be part of the problem, not a constraining condition. I suppose it’s possible that men naturally have less of their identities wrapped up in family than women, the strong identification men currently have with their occupations is almost certainly historical. (You don’t see it much among, say, the 16th century French nobility, who were much more concerned with who you were than what you did.)

    And the bald contrafact of “virtually no woman’s identity is dependent on what she does for a living” is pretty stupefying.

    But then I suppose we’ll soon have some folks over here soon with a few nice EP papers telling us the same thing.

  2. #2 Dave S.
    March 13, 2008

    If you take Vox’s logic further he’d have to say the same about minorities and affirmative action. You can’t assume that simply because, over the course of history, that since most science was done by old white men, that only old white men should be doing science. The system was fixed that way, and it happened over a long time.

    What exactly is the threat here? What are we losing? At most, the bottom encrustation of old white male scientists that have to now compete with minorities and women? That’s not a loss, that’s a huge gain. And that’s assuming minorities and women can’t compete at the very highest levels, which they most certainly can.

    Whay college sports has to do with it is anyones guess.

    Apparently women are good only for bangin’, babies and baking.

  3. #3 Jenifer
    March 13, 2008

    I linked to the WND site and found more of the same ignorant ranting.

    The thing that bothers me is that you gave these empty headed people the time of day to begin with. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to see that their hit count increased slightly today.

    But, they’ve been wise enough not to allow comments on their sites. Surely that’s because they realize how easily some one with 5 minutes to spare would be able to rip apart their ridiculous posts.

    But we can’t do that… so what’s the point? The only people who will be reading their garbage are those who already think like them. Those people will certainly not be reading your blog… so why should we get upset about it?

    Twenty-five percent of Americans have an IQ below 90… what good is it going to do us to run around cleaning up after them every time they have a mental “accident” all over themselves?

  4. #4 Nat
    March 13, 2008

    Whilst I completely disagree with what’s been written in these highliaghted articles I’m a little disappointed with the resulting comment, especially on a science blog.

    How about refuting their ‘argument’ by resorting to some reasoned or evidence-based rebuttals instead of simply calling them names and refuting their arguement on the basis of ‘wrongness’?

  5. #5 Tara C. Smith
    March 13, 2008

    I don’t feel their “argument” is worth my time to refute, personally. I think the success of scientists like Nüsslein-Volhard and others–despite all the roadblocks thrown in their way–is refutation enough. However, if you’re looking for more, Mark has more at his blog.

  6. #6 gary
    March 13, 2008

    If Prager weren’t Jewish, which he is, it sounds to me like he would be quite happy to live in Saudi Arabia. Oh wait. Women are allowed to drive over there now. Never mind.

  7. #7 cooler
    March 14, 2008

    There is only one female scientist who we shall bow our heads too, and thats Lynn margulis, NAS member, winner of Clintons medal of science, and revealer of the 9/11 and HIV fraud. Check out this pic of Margulis when she was young, she was hot too!

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/124/334013962_9d1351071f_o.jpg

  8. #8 cooler
    March 14, 2008

    Check out Margulis’s pedigree, just collapsed in awe. What’s the matter, you people can’t handle her power! Oh imagine Duesberg, Shyh Ching Lo and Margulis just talking science……they’d be talking real science, while JP moore et al would be making gauche disgusting ad hominem comments……..

    “Margulis was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and served as Chairman of the Academy’s Space Science Board Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution.
    She was inducted into the World Academy of Art and Science, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences between 1995 and 1998.
    In 1998 the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, announced that it would permanently archive Dr. Margulis’ papers.
    In 1999 she received the Proctor Prize for scientific achievement.
    In 1999, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President William J. Clinton.
    She is also a proponent and co-developer of the modern version of Gaia hypothesis, based on an idea developed by the English atmospheric scientist James Lovelock.
    She is profiled in a book published in 2006 by Resurgence Magazine in the UK, called Visionaries: The 20th Century’s 100 Most Important Inspirational Leaders.
    In 2006 with her son Dorion, she founded Sciencewriters Books, an imprint of Chelsea Green Publishing for science books.”

  9. #9 cooler
    March 14, 2008

    If you don’t have the intelligence of a Margulis, than you don’t get involved in science, the last thing we need is affirmitave action for women in science, if anything we need higher standards, too many mindless shills already. This article makes perfect sense, I agree that quotas for women in science is absurd.

  10. #10 ElkMountainMan
    March 14, 2008

    Prager’s drivel, for what little it’s worth, at least gives us some testable hypotheses.

    If women are relatively more concerned about relationships than their careers, then women in the workplace should be far less likely than men to step on colleagues or friends to get ahead. I haven’t seen this in my workplace….has anyone else? Men and women seem equally likely to put their own career interests first.

    As for men working “many more hours than women,” if true, men should be better hires. Where’s the evidence? I haven’t seen it. And why is the stereotype of the American male a tubby guy who sits on the couch drinking beer?

    Finally, if men are so ultra-concerned with their careers, they should be less willing than women to jeopardize those careers in favor of a relationship with, let’s say, an intern, a sex worker, or a student. Enough said.

  11. #11 SLC
    March 14, 2008

    Re cooler

    Our friend cooler, who has yet to respond to my challenge to take on coal burning electric power plants for their contribution to mercury pollution, brings up whackjob Lynn Margulis, including all the awards whe has won. Since I can name many scientists with even greater accomplishments who are nutjobs (Nobel Laureates Shockley, Pauling, and Josephson for instance), these awards are meaningless. The fact is that Prof. Margulis’ views on HIV/AIDS are totally irrelevant as she has no expertise in that area (by her own admission by the way).

  12. #12 Mountain Man
    March 14, 2008

    I attribute most of the unfortunate prevalence of depression in the fairer sex to men. If men learned how to properly romance these babes, dress properly, be stand-up guys, earn good livings, throw a few nice compliments every once in a while, life would be better.

  13. #13 Adele
    March 14, 2008

    Wow what a sexist thing to say Mountain MAn. You idealize women you don’t know much about them and do you hate straight guys to?

    Altho, Michael G. and Steve cooler B. and Kevin Y. and Claus J. could be nicer to women here. But it doesn’t make any one depressed they’re jerks its just fun to know there’s still dinosaurs like them around.

  14. #14 Joe
    March 14, 2008

    I appreciated the article by Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, especially the professor who told her “there are no female Einsteins.” As I recall, Albert received one Nobel prize- whereas Marie Curie earned two.

    There is no question that women can hold their own at the top.

  15. #15 Mountain Man
    March 15, 2008

    Adele, girlfriend, best to stay away from the keyboard, until sober:)

  16. #16 cooler
    March 15, 2008

    re SLC
    The only one that is a whackjob is you, just an internet troll who likes to suck on long pole.

  17. #17 SLC
    March 15, 2008

    Re cooler

    Mr. cooler has a bone up his posterior entrance.

  18. #18 Tara C. Smith
    March 15, 2008

    I’d appreciate it if y’all stopped acting like children. Don’t make me turn this car around…

  19. #19 Roy Hinkley
    March 15, 2008

    Well…

    Cooler started it!

  20. #20 SLC
    March 15, 2008

    Re Tara C. Smith

    Unfortunately, when dealing with Mr. cooler, one is dealing with a 2 year old.

  21. #21 cooler
    March 15, 2008

    Actually I never did, SLC has been calling me a “whackjob” “denialist” etc saying me and Darin, Mountain Man etc are degenerates, what does he expect, a cookie?

  22. #22 SLC
    March 15, 2008

    Re cooler

    1. Mr. cooler is prevaricating in claiming that I labeled him or his pals a degenerate. I have no way of knowing about their proclivities and could care less. However, the label whackjob denier is perfectly applicable to someone like Mr. cooler who is an HIV/AIDS denier, a global warming denier, and a vaccine efficacy denier. By the way, when is Mr. cooler, the mercury militia wiz kid going to respond to my invitation to go after coal burning power plants, a far greater source of mercury compounds then the non-thimerisol containing vaccines.

    2. Is Mr. cooler willing to admit that Linus Pauling, Brian Josephson, and William Shockley are whackjobs? Or does Mr. cooler think that vitamin C can cure cancer, that PK, ESP, and cold fusion are scientifically valid hypotheses, and that black Americans are genetically inferior to Caucasian Americans?:

  23. #23 cooler
    March 15, 2008

    I have no intention debating a whackjob like yourself. My suggestion to you is to open up the classifieds, stop being a psuedoscientific troll, and get a job. And you should also read Dr. Darin Browns post that shows why there is no reason debating a nut like yourself.

    SLC,

    Your comments, even from someone “with a PhD in elementary particle physics”, remind me of the central sociological fact surrounding the reaction you embody:

    This has nothing to do with the HIV hypothesis. Nothing to do with the pros vs. cons of vaccine administration. Nothing to do with whether global warming is human-caused. Nothing to do with the cause of the 9-11 attacks. Nothing to do with the issues.

    It’s all about “joining the anti-crankery club”. It’s all about getting patted on the back for “being skeptical”. It’s all about wearing “Skeptical Inquirer” t-shirts and throwing around terms like “whackjob” (implying that anyone who doubts a consensus viewpoint is akin to ejaculate fluid) and “denier” (implying that anyone who doubts a consensus viewpoint is akin to Holocaust deniers). It’s all about having your ego stroked for helping in the fight against “scientific illiteracy” and “the cult of irrationality”. It’s all about the “taboo reaction” so eloquently and prophetically expressed by Feyerabend in Against Method years ago:

    “Science [relating another person's characterization] … is characterised by an essential scepticism; ‘when failures start to come thick and fast, defence of the theory switches inexorably to attack on it’.’ This is possible because of the ‘openness’ of the scientific enterprise, because of the pluralism of ideas it contains and also because whatever defies or fails to fit into the established category system is not something horrifying, to be isolated or expelled. On the contrary, it is an intriguing ‘phenomenon’ – a starting-point and a challenge for the invention of new classifications and new theories. We can see that Horton has read his Popper well. A field study of science itself shows a very different picture… Such a study reveals that, while some scientists may proceed as described, the great majority follow a different path. Scepticism is at a minimum; it is directed against the view of the opposition and against minor ramifications of one’s own basic ideas, never against the basic ideas themselves. Attacking the basic ideas evokes taboo reactions which are no weaker than are the taboo reactions in so-called “primitive societies.” Basic beliefs are protected by this reaction as well as by secondary elaborations, as we have seen, and whatever fails to fit into the established category system or is said to be incompatible with this system is either viewed as something quite horrifying or, more frequently, it is simply declared to be non-existent.”

    Read over the responses generated at this blog in reaction to HIV, vaccines, global warming, 9-11, etc. REGARDLESS OF THE MERITS OF THE DOUBTERS ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES, can anyone doubt that the “taboo reaction” expressed by the defenders of the faith here is any weaker than that in so-called “primitive societies”??

    darin

    Posted by: Darin Brown | January 13, 2008 6:57 PM

  24. #24 SLC
    March 15, 2008

    Re cooler

    1. Dr. Darin Brown, a noted HIV/AIDS denier, is a mathematician and has no expertise whatever to provide any substantive comment on that subject. I consider criticism by him to be a great honor.

    2. I am curious as to what Mr. cooler does for a living, since he likes to take shots at other peoples’ employment. I hope he’s good at his job as a Walmart greeter.

    3. As expected, Mr. cooler, the great mercury militia putz, refuses to comment on the mercury emitted by coal burning power plants, which far exceeds the mercury found in non-thimerisol containing vaccines. Mr. cooler is not alone in this regard. His compatriots in the mercury militia are equally shy about the subject. This should not be unexpected as the mercury ingested in a couple of tuna fish sandwiches exceeds the mercury in even thimerisol containing vaccines.

  25. #25 J
    March 15, 2008

    Tara, don’t turn this car around- stop it.

  26. #26 SLC
    March 15, 2008

    Re J

    I would second Mr. Js’ comment as obviously this thread has gotten way off topic.

  27. #27 cooler
    March 15, 2008

    j,
    Maybe you can win the nobel prize for suggesting this thread be closed! Sanctimonious idiot.

  28. #28 William the Coroner
    March 16, 2008

    And speaking of mercury–why did SLC just reference tuna fishsandwiches? Does he also eat fried chicken bird? Roasted cow mammal? I assume he goes to the ATM machine, well, don’t we all, but that’s all redundant.

  29. #29 Mountain Man
    March 16, 2008

    I’d appreciate it if y’all stopped acting like children. Don’t make me turn this car around…

    Yes, but depressed women are bad drivers:)

  30. #30 Tara C. Smith
    March 16, 2008

    J and SLC,

    I agree. Closed.

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