Re: genius sex-linked? who cares?

Dan Fabulich (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 01:40:11 -0800

Anton Sherwood wrote:

> I smell a hint of a fallacy here - Dan won't admit there's a phenomenon
> until its mechanism is plausibly explained. Hello? Were Darwin and Mendel
> wrong because they didn't know about DNA? Were Galileo and Newton wrong
> because they couldn't say what causes gravity?

No. Why? Because Darwin/Mendel were explaining how species develop
traits, based on observations in the field. Galileo and Newton were
discussing how gravity works, based on provable experiments. This
gender "debate" is about why there aren't many outstanding females in
such important fields as math and science, which has not, as yet, been
supported by evidence.

The debate here is whether or not women are naturally disinclined to
becoming mathematical geniuses. There's no question that math is a
field of study mostly reserved to men, and that male genius has gone
further to better our knowledge of math than female genius. The point
under question is WHY this is true. Many argue that environment is the
root of this issue; that being raised under conditions which discourage
intelligence, particularly in math, has resulted in a void of female
mathematicians, and hence an absence of female math genius. Others,
such as Lyle and Mike, have suggested that females in general have less
math ability. They deny environment as the explanation for the known

Neither side offers proof. Can they? Remember, brutal truth requires
brutal PROOF.

> On another hand, why should I care whether or not mathematical genius
> is sex-linked?

Because the answer to this question is critical for those who would
prefer not to be prejudiced by their gender (Have you heard this one?
"I can't believe I got a lower math score than a GIRL!"). It's also a
point of interest for education and the future. Were women to be
found biologically stunted in their ability to deal with math and
science, some would consider it pointless to try to teach them these
skills which they could never REALLY understand fully. I don't believe
that will ever be the case, but then, I have no proof.

Anyway you look at it, the whole issue rests on the absence or presence
of genetic data. But where's the argument going instead? Moral
polemic? Condescension? Who is or is not a psychology professor?

Time to give it a rest, or show us some proof.

-He who laughs last thinks slowest-