brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

Peter Douglas Zohrab zohrab at
Mon Jul 8 10:42:04 EST 2002

See my comments below.

Peter Zohrab
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"Mark D. Morin" <mdmpsyd at> wrote in message
news:3D2822AC.3D00D8B6 at
> Peter Douglas Zohrab apparently has no grasp of statistical analyses and
> wrote:
> >
> > Mark Morin tried unsuccessfully to cover up his inability to refute my
> > points, in his message (repeated below, with my comments added):
> >
> > "Mark D. Morin" <mdmpsyd at> wrote in message
> > news:3D26D82C.CDCF294F at
> > > Peter Douglas Zohrab wrote:
> > >
> > > > What I am leading up to here is that the above webpage tries to
> > size
> > > > and concentrate on structure, for the simple reason that the two
> > are
> > > > both female,
> > >
> > > ah no. it's because you compare apples to apples not to oranges.
> >
> > I don't know what you consider to be an intelligent refutation, but
using a
> > primary school metaphor doesn't cut any ice with me.  Could you please
> > attempt -- however pathetically -- to explain the relevance of fruit to
> > discussion ?
> If you have an apriori reason to believe to samples are different and
> you have an anomolous subject in one sample, you test for differences
> from the sample the subject came from, not the other one.
Maybe so, but that is not relevant to the present discussion.  If you are
saying that Einstein's brain was the anomalous (please note the spelling of
this word) subject, that is inappropriate to this discussion, since his
brain was presumably not part of the sample on the basis of which the
generalisation was made that female brains are smaller than male brains.
> > >
> > > > and we all know that the average female brain is smaller than
> > > > the average male brain.  If the female brain is smaller than the
> > brain,
> > > > then this must be either because all of its parts are scaled-down
> > versions
> > > > of the equivalent parts of the male brain, or because there are
> > > > size-differences of various sorts between the various parts of the
> > types
> > > > of brains (including even the absence of one or more parts of the
> > in
> > > > the male or the female brain), such that these differences, in toto,
> > result
> > > > in a female brain that is smaller than its male equivalent.
> > >
> > > and the relevance to function is?
> > >
> > I am not using the vague term "function".  I am using the terms "IQ" (a
> > result), on the one hand, and "size/weight" on the other.  I believe in
> > clear thinking.
> "IQ" is no less vague than function as IQ is defined as one's
> functioning on IQ tests.
> same question.
That is not at all vague.  An IQ test is a precise numerical value.  What it
actually represents is, of course, another issue.
> >
> > > > If the fact that one part of Einstein's brain is 15 % larger than
> > mean
> > > > for a sample of brains that output a mean IQ of 116 is causally
> > connected to
> > > > his "genius" (or whatever word you want to use), then there is a
> > facie
> > > > case to investigate, as regards the size-difference between male and
> > female
> > > > brains.  In other words, if size mattered for Einstein versus the
> > of
> > > > us, we would not be wasting our time following up the idea that it
> > > > matter for male brains vs female brains.
> > >
> > > do you know of an easy way for a male's brain to become female? or
> > > versa?
> > >
> > That must be one of the most irrelevant questions I have ever come
across in
> > a discussion.  Please stick to the topic, if that doesn't embarrass you
> > much.
> Please hide your own embarrasment.  Unless there is some way to equate
> the samples, it is not scientificly justifiable to compare apples to
> oranges.  You acknowledge that male brains can't become female and vice
> versa so males should be compared to males and females should be
> compared to females.
I must be dreaming !  Are you trying to tell me that you can't compare the
weight of one hundred apples with the weight of one hundred oranges, unless
you know of some genetic way to convert the one into the other ?
> > >
> > > > I gather from the radio interview
> > > > I heard that big men don't have bigger brains than small men, and
> > women
> > > > don't have bigger brains than small women -- so it's not a question
> > > > body-size that's at issue here.
> > > >
> > > > Now, it may well be that women's mean IQ is found to be the same as
> > men's
> > > > mean IQ, but, in view of the above discussion, that result would
have to
> > be
> > > > a bit suspect. I have plenty of experience of academics preferring
> > state
> > > > what is politically correct than what is true.
> > >
> > > well, you can look into the empirical data--there is no significant
> > > difference.
> >
> > I have already said that I don't trust the academics who construct the
> > that produce the IQ data.
> Then if you are looking for differences in IQ, you are talking in
> circles.
> You can not trust all you want. In so doing, you reflect your own
> paranoia not the lack of integrity of the test.
Not at all.  I can accept that IQ tests are the best that we have for
certain purposes, and I can also say that I don't trust the biases of the
people who compose them for other purposes.  Because of the general
Left-Wing bias of universities, academics tend to take seriously claims that
IQ tests are culturally biased against Non-Whites, while dismissing as
"paranoia" claims that they might be biased in favour of females.
> > The various "abilities" that IQ tests test for,
> > and the test items that are used, have been challenged for alleged
> > bias,
> > and they can be challenged for (anti-male) sex bias, as well.
> How?  Point me to one peer reviewed article that makes this challenge.
> Are you even familiar enough with the tests to make this idiotic
> statement? What specific items are biased?
Well, obviously, if it is "peers" like you who control the gateways to
scholarly publication, no such article has a hope of being published.  I
don't have much respect for the peer-review process, since I have seen the
most incredible rubbish published, as long as it scratches the right backs.
While I have done no work in this area myself, I suspect that, if you send
me the relevant material, I will be able to find prima facie biases in such

This is the kind of thing I almost routinely do in Linguistics (and I did a
lot of study in Psycholinguistics, by the way) and Men's Rights.  For
example,  the New Zealand Health Ministry recently announced a Primary
Healthcare strategy, aimed at (amongst other things) reducing hospital costs
by getting more people to get more of their problems seen to at a
pre-hospitalisation stage.  I suggested, by email, to various politicians
and Health Ministry bureaucrats, that men (on whom, as a group, they
appeared to have never done any research) might be a target group for such
intervention.  After much phoning, I was eventually able to get through the
barrier represented by Personal Assistants, but I was told that the official
in question -- a woman -- would not repond by email, but only on the phone
(so that she could deny having said whatever she said, I suppose).  On the
phone, she pointed me to the relevant documents on the Web, and said that,
because all data was broken down by sex, if there had been a case for men
being a target group, this would have been noticed.

Of course, I knew this was false, and so it proved to be, though I haven't
yet had time to write the issue up.  The NZ Health Ministry, as in the case
of western academics, has a fixation with women's problems and simple-minded
> > These
> > "abilities" and test items are not grounded in observable psychological
> > neurological reality in any direct way.
> I beg to differ.  Neurosurgeons ask me to assist in identifying lesion
> location and IQ tests are one of the tools that I use in that process.
There are two issues here:
1.  I said "grounded in", not "applied to".
2.  Human beings -- especially social scientists -- are notorious for using
the best tools that they have available (and who can criticise them for that
?), without requiring that these tools be foolproof before they agree to use
> > The issues surrounding IQ tests
> > have been politicised -- I can recall a lot of students protesting when
> > Eysenck came to speak at my university, for example.  I suspect
> > interference, since men are an underclass in Western universities at
> > present.
> > >
> > > > In fact, many academics
> > > > consider it to be the height of naivety to state something that is
> > merely
> > > > true, when the opposite is widely known to be politically correct !
> > >
> > > and it's pretty stupid to ignore empirical evidence so that you can
> > > focus on your own biases.
> > >
> > It's extremely stupid to ignore logical argument and reiterate your own
> > biases.
> Show me the data that support your logical argument.  Any argument that
> stands in contrast to the data is not logical. Or, did you fail stats in
> undergrad?
A logical argument is an argument that has a certain form.  Stats and data
are peripheral to logic. I don't want to stoop to your level of spite, but I
suggest you take a catch-up course in philosophical reasoning.
> --
> ====================================================
> "How do you do Nothing?" asked Pooh. "Well, it's when people call out
> at you just as you're going off to do it, `What are you going to do,
> Christopher Robin?' and you say, `Oh, nothing' and then you go and do
> it. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't
> hear, and not bothering."
> remove peterhood69 for mail

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