brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Bob LeChevalier lojbab at
Sat Aug 24 00:22:15 EST 2002

Tom Breton <tehom at> wrote:
>Bob LeChevalier <lojbab at> writes:
>> Tom Breton <tehom at> wrote:
>> >Bob LeChevalier <lojbab at> writes:
>> >> Tom Breton <tehom at> wrote:
>> >First, let me get this out of the way:
>> >> >Thus when a prize is shared between man and woman, there's a
>> >> >legitimate suspicion that the man provided disproportionately more of
>> >> >the gravitas and credibility, since the woman also provided the
>> >> >rewarded quality of being female.
>> >> 
>> >> Only for bigots like you who thing that one must be a man to have
>> >> gravitas and credibility.
>> >
>> >Bob, please.  I have only respect for you.  Can you at least try to
>> >respond to my points without personally attacking me?
>> Sorry, but that is what I get from the line.  
>There is no valid way to get it from that line.  One can't logically
>disagree with a conclusion without disputing either a premiss or the
>logic used.
>Let me help you digest it into logical form:
>  Premiss A:  When a prize is given to a joint ticket of A and B, 
>                AND we know that running mate A has quality QA,
>                AND we know that running mate B lacks quality QA,
>                AND we don't know the distribution of quality QB,
>                AND we know that both quality QA and QB are rewarded,

1. Applying this to your argument above, QA is femaleness, QB is
gravitas and credibility.
If so, you are forgetting that the Nobel prize is given for scientific
achievement QC which is something independent of QA and QB, and it may
not matter how QA and QB are distributed.  In short, we do NOT know
that both QA and QB are rewarded.

2. gravitas and credibility could be a property of the TEAM, such that
the two of them together have more than either of them separately.

3. You assume that gravitas and credibility are a single property,
which is not necessarily the case.  Richard Nixon as president had
plenty of gravitas by nature of the office, but little credibility.

>                THEN we should suspect that candidate B provided
>                disproportionately more of quality QB
>        (Common sense)

Common sense is not logic.

>  Premiss B: The Nobel committee rewards the quality of being female
>        (Established by argument here)

That is not in the least established.  You might ASSUME this, but only
you and the nincompoop and similar bigots would do so.

>  (plus some trivial premisses instantiating the other variables for
>  the Nobel situation)

Handwaving over the fact that you have no case.

>  Conclusion: IF a Nobel prize is shared between man and woman, THEN
>        we should suspect that the man provided disproportionately
>        more of the gravitas and credibility.
>Just to remind you of the way logic operates, one disagrees with one
>or more premissess, or with the logic, or does not disagree.

I disagree with all of the above, including the necessity that the
Nobel committee acted logically.  We don't know, and that is a
critical assumption of yours.

>Just so it's clear, the logic used consists of unifying the variables
>in premiss A with the particulars of the Nobel situation, so I don't
>believe there's a real possibility of logical flaws.

You have to assume that you summarized the Nobel situation accurately,
and as I said, it takes a bigot to make that assumption.

>> You would no doubt scoff
>> at "Thus when a prize is shared between man and woman, there's a
>> legitimate suspicion that the woman provided disproportionately more
>> of the gravitas and credibility, since the man also provided the
>> rewarded quality of being male." as being sexist AND wrong.  
>Because the facts demonstrate the opposite.

You have no facts.  Merely bigotry.

>I'd also scoff because
>Feminists have cried wolf with exactly that claim unbelievably loud,
>long, and often.

And I'd scoff saying that male bigots have scoffed at women's
achievements for far longer, and incessantly.

>> Your
>> statement presumes that women were being rewarded with Nobel prizes
>> merely for being female.  
>It doesn't "presume" that.

That is your premise B.

>First, you've twisted my words again.

I'm afraid not, given your reduction of your argument to logical form,
which presumed that the only relevant properties were QA (femalehood)
and QB (gravitas and credibility).

>precisely denied that being female was the *only* criterion, and
>repeatedly.  In my very first paragraph to you, I said:
>        And certainly no-one is plucked off the street to be given a
>        Nobel solely because of their birth group.
>I also concluded that post with this paragraph:
>        Of course, favoritism to women is not the only factor, it's
>        probably not even the dominant factor, but one shouldn't
>        overlook it.

Then your argument is hopelessly flawed, because you don't account for
any number of other factors QC to QZZZ.

>You owe it to yourself to have a long think about why you feel so
>strongly that you should attribute this position to me, when it's
>clearly incompatible with what I said.

Whereas I merely have to look at your "logical argument" to find that
this is EXACTLY what you said.  Because if I were to believe your last
paragraph: that you accept that favoritism to women was not the
dominant factor, then you could not have made the argument that you
did about QA and QB, because that is an admission of other factors not
accounted for in your logic that are more important than QA and QB.
>Secondly, I did not presume but *showed* that Marie Curie benefitted
>from favoritism for her sex.

You have shown no such thing, because there almost certainly was no
favoritism for her sex.  One person has a reputation as an advocate
for women, but society of that time has a reputation of bias against
women, which has the established evidence in this case that
1) Marie was not included in the nomination even though there is no
question that she was significantly involved given the attention other
scientists paid - the people who wrote the nomination did not consider
it important to mention her, perhaps because she was female (at least
as likely as your whole gravitas argument above).
2) The French government offered her a pension after her husband died,
presuming that she would prefer that to working on her research, a
quite chauvinistic assumption.

(This all gives another possible interpretation to the whole
"artistic" thing that Pierre said - that the people did not mention
her because they presumed that an award to Pierre was an award to her
and she did not need to be mentioned because she would inherently as a
wife share her husband's glory - in which case Pierre's comment is an
admission that this French cultural assumption was not appropriately
elegant for a prize like the Nobel).

>> That is not only an insult to the women
>> getting the prize, but to the Nobel committee.
>They'll just have to feel insulted, then.  Their feelings don't make
>things true or false, and they don't make anti-male bias OK.

Here is another flaw.  You presume a war between the sexes and a
zero-sum game, such that someone pro-female is necessarily anti-male.
I contend that I can be pro-female recognition when they've earned it
without being in the least opposed to male recognition when they've
earned it.  the only way you can call that "anti-male" is to say that
one is anti-male for opposing male recognition for something a female

>It would particularly please me if the Nobel committee felt insulted.
>I'd also like the chance to tell them off about awarding the peace
>prize to Arafat.

At which point, we've descended into never ending political
discussions that are irrelevant to whatever the original point was.
So I might as well call you a Nazi for agreeing with the nincompoop
who is a Nazi, and thereby end the thread.

>We could continue this, but since you stand by calling me a "bigot"
>(your word), I doubt rational discussion would ensue.  Besides, it
>distresses me to see you committing Feminism.

Feel distressed then.   Especially humorous because in college I
called myself an MCP and POI (proud of it).  I seem to have outgrown
that label somewhat.

>I'm sure that in a few years you will look back on this exchange and feel bad,

Don't hold your breath.


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