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Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  DaveDodo007 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:22 pm

Early Cuyler wrote:Rebecca Watson is out for herself and herself only. The sooner people realize that and just ignore her, the better.

This should of been done a long time ago, American atheism and scepticism have been thrown into disrepute by one attention whore and you have only yourselves to blame. American atheism and scepticism are now a laughing stock around the world, what the fuck were you thinking when you give this clueless nobody a platform. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but name one insightful or intelligent video or talk she has given. Yet you still invite her to give her inane rants to lots of your conventions, sheesh. In the only Western country that needed a strong secular voice and you undermined it by sheer lunacy. Luckily her presence is only online so a lot of damage control should be limited to the blogosphere. Though how you let this fuckwit hold you to ransom for a year and a half is anyone's guess:-(

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Thought Criminal on Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:31 am

DaveDodo007 wrote:
Early Cuyler wrote:Rebecca Watson is out for herself and herself only. The sooner people realize that and just ignore her, the better.

This should of been done a long time ago, American atheism and scepticism have been thrown into disrepute by one attention whore and you have only yourselves to blame. American atheism and scepticism are now a laughing stock around the world, what the fuck were you thinking when you give this clueless nobody a platform. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but name one insightful or intelligent video or talk she has given. Yet you still invite her to give her inane rants to lots of your conventions, sheesh. In the only Western country that needed a strong secular voice and you undermined it by sheer lunacy. Luckily her presence is only online so a lot of damage control should be limited to the blogosphere. Though how you let this fuckwit hold you to ransom for a year and a half is anyone's guess:-(

Keep in mind that, outside of a very small group, Watson just isn't important.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Skep tickle on Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:11 am

lpetrich wrote:...

Skepticon V Impressions | Daylight Atheism | Big Think by Adam Lee:
... Rebecca Watson's humorous talk on the sexist pseudoscience rampant in evolutionary psychology was immensely entertaining and got boisterous applause.

...

Thought Criminal wrote:Keep in mind that, outside of a very small group, Watson just isn't important.

I didn't see that anyone had already mentioned here this detailed and thorough critique by Ed Clint of RW's talk at Skepticon V; if so, apologies. It's definitely worth reading, and should contribute to that "very small group" becoming more skeptical and thus smaller:
http://skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/12/01/science-denialism-at-a-skeptic-conference/




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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Early Cuyler on Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:14 am

Skep tickle wrote:

I didn't see that anyone had already mentioned here this detailed and thorough critique by Ed Clint of RW's talk at Skepticon V; if so, apologies. It's definitely worth reading, and should contribute to that "very small group" becoming more skeptical and thus smaller:
http://skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/12/01/science-denialism-at-a-skeptic-conference/




It's one of the red flags of a cultist mindset, that they attack psychology. They first must smear their most dangerous critics, before they can spew their bullshit unopposed.
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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:32 am

Yeah - Thanks for the link Tickle. It was a good article and I for one wasn't aware of it.

Not an expert on EP myself, so couldn't track the science down to the source, but I wouldn't be suprised if Ed is 100% right.

One thing that did particularly ring true was the mismatch between the claims Rebecca made (which were shocking in their nature, conspiriacies which were doing real harm to society by promoting false information for the purposes of oppression) and the tone of the talk which was all about snarky entertainment. It will be instructive to see how she continues with this. If she's sincere she will continue her campaign until people like Ed Clint are regarded like Kent Hovind. I suspect, though, that this is the last we'll hear about it. She has 'done' Evolutionary Psychology and now will want to move on to fresh material.

This behaviour of shocking us with extreme material, then carrying on as if nothing has been said is something of a pattern with Rebecca. I wonder if her ancestors were doing the same thing during the pleistocene ?

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  uncrystal on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:32 pm

Ed Clint's critique of Watson's lecture is exceptional. Seeing as he put such time and effort hopefully it will garner some sort of rebuttal from her, but I doubt it.

Admittedly my knowledge about evolutionary psychology is lacking, so my reactions to her assertions were more of the "that couldn't possibly be true!?" variety rather than actual arguments.

Along with Ms. Watson's lecture I've watched all those on the Hambone channel from Skepticon 5. What strikes me about her lecture compared to the others (besides her glaring inaccuracies) is the shallowness of it. Hell, SHE can't even make it through a sentence or two without laughing how is anyone supposed to take her seriously? When I attend lectures I want the person lecturing to be more knowledgeable than I am about a topic (or more knowledgeable than I could be if I'd read the topic wiki) and I've never gotten that impression from Rebecca Watson.

The formula of her lectures (that I've seen anyway) always seems to be the same. 1. Find a deeply flawed and/or overly simplistic premise from an article or book (such as "girls evolved to shop" or "women's intuition"). 2. Make snarky remarks about it relentlessly. 3. Fold "science" in, somehow..

I don't want to fall back on ad hominems, but she really is just awful.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Early Cuyler on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:00 am

uncrystal wrote: When I attend lectures I want the person lecturing to be more knowledgeable than I am about a topic (or more knowledgeable than I could be if I'd read the topic wiki) and I've never gotten that impression from Rebecca Watson.

Thisn't just true of RW, Gretta Christina and several others can be thrown into this category too.

The formula of her lectures (that I've seen anyway) always seems to be the same. 1. Find a deeply flawed and/or overly simplistic premise from an article or book (such as "girls evolved to shop" or "women's intuition"). 2. Make snarky remarks about it relentlessly. 3. Fold "science" in, somehow..

In other words, she's engaging in "infotainment", at best.

I don't want to fall back on ad hominems, but she really is just awful.

Falling back on ad-hominems can't be avoided, because the problems that you're addressing are personailty driven. I thinks its one of the few cases in which an ad-hominem ISN'T a logical fallacy.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:43 am

Oh gob, evo psych again? | Pharyngula
You may have already heard that Ed Clint, a guy who has been dedicated to bashing Skepchick and Freethoughtblogs for over a year, has cloaked his biases in a pretense of objectivity and written a long critique of one of Rebecca Watson’s talks, accusing her of being a science denialist and anti-science because she so thoroughly ridiculed pop evo psych. The excesses and devious misrepresentations in that post were painful to read, as was the revelation that Clint is throwing away his career by jumping on the evo psych bandwagon in graduate school (I frequently advise students on good disciplines to pursue in grad school; bioinformatics and genomics have a great future ahead of them, as does molecular genetics and development, but evolutionary psychology is one I would steer them well clear of, as a field that has not and will not ever contribute much of substance. The good papers in evo psych are the ones that use the tools of population genetics well and avoid the paleolithic mumbo-jumbo altogether).
He noted Science Denialism? The Role of Criticism | Almost Diamonds by Stephanie Zvan
You understand, presumably, that this talk was about the industry of pop psychology, which sells us reassurance that our world, in which gender roles are continually enforced, is just a consequence of natural differences between the sexes. Rebecca targeted both a credulous, sensationalist press and the methodologically weak science that produces the results used by that press.

To Ed Clint, however, that talk is denying the legitimacy of the entire field of evolutionary psychology. The title of his post? “Science denialism at a skeptic conference”.
It seemed to some critics that RW was sometimes slamming *all* of EP, not just the sort of EP that often gets reported.

Rebecca Watson herself made the first comment:
Thanks Stephanie. I saw Clint’s post but as I’m traveling, I have no time to write anything up, so I’m very glad that you’ve done a great job of it. I’m actually giving this talk again tomorrow and I’m quite thankful to people who have given me notes and corrections. I even got a few good ones from Clint! He’s absolutely right that I misspoke in regards to Kruger’s affiliation (it’s U of Michigan, not Chicago, that should be embarrassed) and in regards to the favorite color study being given to Chinese people in the UK, not in China. Also, the “Why People Have Sex” study was not all white middle class women – it was only about ~60% white (and ~20% Asian.) I think I’ll note instead that the study involved 96% 18-22 year olds, all of whom were psychology students at University of Texas Austin, and among the women 27% of whom had never had sexual intercourse. More accurate and also more ridiculous.

There are other bits and pieces Clint got wrong but at a glance I think you’ve covered the bulk of the problems here.


SZ mentioned this interesting paper about a serious difficulty with a lot of psychology:
The Weirdest People in the World? by Joseph Henrich, Steven Heine, Ara Norenzayan :: SSRN
Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers - often implicitly - assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species - frequent outliers. The domains reviewed include visual perception, fairness, cooperation, spatial reasoning, categorization and inferential induction, moral reasoning, reasoning styles, self-concepts and related motivations, and the heritability of IQ. The findings suggest that members of WEIRD societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans. Many of these findings involve domains that are associated with fundamental aspects of psychology, motivation, and behavior - hence, there are no obvious a priori grounds for claiming that a particular behavioral phenomenon is universal based on sampling from a single subpopulation. Overall, these empirical patterns suggests that we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity. We close by proposing ways to structurally re‐organize the behavioral sciences to best tackle these challenges.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:39 am

Hi Ipetrich -

Is Myers' reply really the best he can do under the circumstances ? I'm a little bit suprised you couldn't find something to cut and paste which makes the case a little more strongly.

As a biologist he expresses a preference for some fields within his science and disdains others. This is normal. I can remember my own Physical Chemistry supervisor's horrified reaction to me when I expressed an interest in studying Theoretical Chemistry. He had thought up until then that i was "one of the good guys". What Myers does and doesn't call "Mumbo Jumbo" on his popular blog is neither here nor there. His colleagues all have a good laugh whatever he says I'm sure.

The legitimacy of EP as a science, and of some fields within EP as valid fields of study (about which I have absolutely no opinion by the way) won't be decided by on what Myers says on his blog to his fans, or indeed, what a communications studies graduate can get a laugh out of in front of an audience keen to agree with her. It will be decided by an informed consensus among the scientists themselves applying the scientific method of methodological naturalism. PZ Myers is in a position where he could certainly contribute to this process, but it would have to be by submitting work to the scrutiny of his peers, not by the sort of blog entry that sounds as if it was composed by "the garrulous bloke in the pub". Until he does this we can safely disregard him.

Myers' mischaracterisation of Ed Clint as being "dedicated" to bashing PZ and his friends is simply risible. PZ is just not that important. Correcting mistakes, and putting the pro-science case on a skeptical blog is not "bashing". Comments like this from Myers are the reason skeptics are seriously doubting whether they can continue to take him seriously.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  DaveDodo007 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:55 am

piginthecity wrote:Hi Ipetrich -

Is Myers' reply really the best he can do under the circumstances ? I'm a little bit suprised you couldn't find something to cut and paste which makes the case a little more strongly.

As a biologist he expresses a preference for some fields within his science and disdains others. This is normal. I can remember my own Physical Chemistry supervisor's horrified reaction to me when I expressed an interest in studying Theoretical Chemistry. He had thought up until then that i was "one of the good guys". What Myers does and doesn't call "Mumbo Jumbo" on his popular blog is neither here nor there. His colleagues all have a good laugh whatever he says I'm sure.

The legitimacy of EP as a science, and of some fields within EP as valid fields of study (about which I have absolutely no opinion by the way) won't be decided by on what Myers says on his blog to his fans, or indeed, what a communications studies graduate can get a laugh out of in front of an audience keen to agree with her. It will be decided by an informed consensus among the scientists themselves applying the scientific method of methodological naturalism. PZ Myers is in a position where he could certainly contribute to this process, but it would have to be by submitting work to the scrutiny of his peers, not by the sort of blog entry that sounds as if it was composed by "the garrulous bloke in the pub". Until he does this we can safely disregard him.

Myers' mischaracterisation of Ed Clint as being "dedicated" to bashing PZ and his friends is simply risible. PZ is just not that important. Correcting mistakes, and putting the pro-science case on a skeptical blog is not "bashing". Comments like this from Myers are the reason skeptics are seriously doubting whether they can continue to take him seriously.

Totally agree with this piginthecity, if you want to discredit a whole field of study then at least write a scientific paper on it to be peer reviewed or at least submit a Sokal postmodernism 'like' article in their publications. PZ's lunacy no longer surprises me but even Jerry Coyne is guilty of this in his blog at WEIT. Of course they are at least clever enough to add qualifiers such as 'mostly', 'not all' etc. They have to do this because otherwise they are saying behaviour is a social construct which leads into homosexuality IS a choice and even means they are flirting with cartesian dualism. Any EP worth their salt would tear them a new one if they went there.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:32 am

αEP: Shut up and sing! | Pharyngula
Why the alpha?
Recently, Bob Costas, a sports announcer, spoke out about gun control. In reply, the right wing has been in a frenzy of denunciations — he should just shut up, he’s not qualified to speak, he can’t possibly have reasonable opinions about anything other than football (of course, these same angry commentators don’t express similar opinions about Ted Nugent). It’s called Shut Up and Sing Syndrome.
What the right-wingers wanted the Dixie Chicks to do after they criticized GWB.
It’s a problem in more than just entertainment and politics — it’s also a problem in skepticism. What it really is is an authoritarian defense of orthodoxy that dismisses criticism unless it comes from the right kind of person — preferably one comfortably embedded deeply in the orthodox position. It’s a version of the Courtier’s Reply, only in this case it’s used to defend science, or a political position, rather than theology. Shut Up and Sing Syndrome imposes unjustifiable barriers to criticism: you don’t get to criticize the subject at hand unless, for instance, you have a Ph.D. in the relevant subject, or some other lofty credential, even if the criticism is based on obvious and trivial flaws that a layperson can see.
After conceding that some sorts of criticisms may be based on an inadequate understanding of some subject, he notes that the best way to respond is to address those criticisms directly, rather than invoke credentials.
That’s happening to Rebecca Watson right now. She dared to point out that a lot of pop and evolutionary psychology is bad science, and as a reward, the witch hunt is in raging progress. We’ve actually got people declaring that she only has a bachelor’s degree in communications, therefore she wasn’t qualified to talk about a field of evolutionary biology. Some people are slyly arguing that she shouldn’t be allowed to talk about science at all at conferences, and comparing her to Jenny McCarthy and Bill Maher.
On the credentials front, PZ is certainly ahead. He may also have an easier time with the professional literature than Rebecca Watson, and he may be able to avoid RW's seeming confusion of publicized EP with what's in the professional literature.

PZ will post more on EP, and I'd like to see him take on its purported substance, because he hasn't really addressed it so far.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Early Cuyler on Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:38 am

lpetrich wrote:PZ will post more on EP, and I'd like to see him take on its purported substance, because he hasn't really addressed it so far.

I'm not going to hold my breath. As I said before, it's one of the red flags of a cultist mindset to attack psychology. Since many of the counter-arguments to feminism are based in EP, it's only natural that they have to attack it. Failure to do so will make their bufoonery obvious to all but the most blind followers.
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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:45 am

I actually feel sorry for Myers now.

He's in a hole and all he can do is flail about trying to distract attention towards sports commentators,Ted Nugent, and claims of witch hunts. Worst of all is the claim that it's now Rebecca Watson's free speech which is the issue. And this from the man who was expelled from the film "Expelled" which is one long argument on exactly the same lines - dishonest conflation of the concepts of free speech with entitlement to platform.

If Myers were amenable to reason I'd point out, as a neutral layperson with no axe to grind at all on this, the glaring fact is that are if there are these "obvious and trivial flaws that a layperson could see", then the harsh marketplace of scientific ideas would have made mincemeat out of EP by now.

I daresay it is just about conceivable that EP will indeed prove to be a dead end, and all its ideas will either be falsified or rejected as unsound. For all I know, PZ Myers might turn out to be right on this issue. But here's the thing which he absolutely shouldn't need to be told: If he thinks that he has some scientifically sound argument now, which refutes EP as a whole, or any sub-field in within EP which is currently in good standing, then the onus is on him to present it with a view to ultimately winning the scientific debate. That's the way science works. If he did that then I'd congratulate him and thank him for keeping our understanding in accordance with reality.

In the meantime, though, he shouldn't be encouraging a bevy of humanities students, however personally charming they may be, to feel that people have the obligation to sit down and listen to them cheering on those scientists whose conclusions make them feel personally comfortable and boo-hissing those whose conclusions they find personally troubling or politically inconvenient, as if these opinions should be regarded as being a legitimate part of the scientific debate.

P.S. I don't know who Jenny McCarthy is, so I'll compare Rebecca to Casey Luskin instead !

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:53 am

Early Cuyler wrote:... As I said before, it's one of the red flags of a cultist mindset to attack psychology. Since many of the counter-arguments to feminism are based in EP, it's only natural that they have to attack it. Failure to do so will make their bufoonery obvious to all but the most blind followers.
Early Cuyler, what do you consider feminism and why?

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:37 pm

Radio New Zealand : National : Programmes : Saturday Morning : Rebecca Watson: girls and shopping
At about 11 minutes into the interview, she stated that her main interest is in how the general public and the news media view the science.

Later in the interview, she stated that she didn't become a feminist until recently. But being a feminist does not preclude being a skeptic - she's also criticized some feminists for what she considered erroneous claims. At about 18 mins, she called skepticism and feminism "two great tastes that taste great together".

She also described how one of her friends tracked down one of her haters. He lives a miserable life making awful music that nobody wants to listen to, and making insults and threats online.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:10 pm

αEP: The fundamental failure of the evolutionary psychology premise » Pharyngula
I have a real problem with evolutionary psychology, and it goes right to the root of the discipline: it’s built on a flawed foundation. It relies on a naïve and simplistic understanding of how evolution works (a basic misconception that reminds me of another now-dead discipline, which I’ll write about later) — it appeals to many people, though, because that misconception aligns nicely with the cartoon version of evolution in most people’s heads, and it also means that every time you criticize evolutionary psychology, you get a swarm of ignorant defenders who assume you’re attacking evolution itself.

That misconception is adaptationism.
The theory that everything is an adaptation to something, something that Stephen Jay Gould had slammed in places like The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme

PZ pointed out that if a mutation's relative selective advantage is less than the reciprocal of the effective population size, then it's unlikely to get fixed by selection. Likewise, a mutation that is not deleterious enough, may not get eliminated by selection.

He also notes that natural selection has not succeeded in eliminating color blindness. So he tends to be skeptical of claims of the adaptive value of color preference.

But he does not think that EP is absolutely worthless.
I’ve read a few that were decent (and lately people have sent me some others), but I’ve noticed something interesting: the farther the paper gets away from the “psychology” part, the more it looks at wider variation in populations, the better it is at narrowing the discussion to traits that actually exhibit demonstrable patterns of inheritance, and the farther it moves away from this Pleistocene nonsense, the stronger it is. The best of the work is more about quantitative genetics and comparative ethology; the more it fits under this banner of the Pleistocene hypothesis, and worse, the EEA and this kind of awful human centered crap, the farther I want to throw the paper across the room. Don’t even get me started on papers that assign deep evolutionary significance to the results of surveys in Psych 101 classes; those need to be pissed on at length.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Fred on Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:20 am

uncrystal wrote:I don't want to fall back on ad hominems, but she really is just awful.

I have to agree here.

I have seen RW speak and I still think it would be more entertaining if someone put a weighted inflatable leprechaun with a slow leak in centre stage. Then there could be a contest where audience members give their best ventrilloquist immitations of the Wicked Witch of the West's "I'm melting" while some math-wizard audience member caluculates just how long it will take for the leprechaun's head to reach the ground. cyclops

Seriously though, if I am ever again at an event when RW is scheduled to speak, I plan to do something more constructive with the time, like teach yodelling lessons in the lobby. Promise? Promise.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:37 am

Rebecca Watson is lovely and I wish her all the best. But, no, she doesn't speak for skepticism and certainly not for me.

And here's the reason, it's this "skepticism is a great taste !" thing.

No. Tastes are something you choose. You select them. 'Taste' actually means 'subjective preference' in a commonly used context. 'Taste' is something which is to your liking, and you spit out if you don't like it. 'Taste' is to do with 'lifestyle choice'. 'Taste' is to do with style.

Skepticism is not a 'great taste'. It's not a taste at all, but if it were it would have the taste of a vegetable that's good for you. Not 'great'. Not 'exciting'. But the sort of thing, that, once chewed and swallowed, if you don't spit it out, if you perservere with it, then it's rewarding in a way that a chocolate bar can't be.

We're not skeptics because it suits out taste. We haven't chosen it as some cool lifestyle amongst other options. We're skeptics because the truth matters to us, whatever it may be, whether it's to our taste or not. Some of us have spent years getting here. It's not been to our taste but we've come on the journey anyway. We've put the effort in because we want to believe things which are true and not things which are false. Not just to believe or accept according to mere taste. So we've learnt the best methodology we can to distinguish fact from falsehood.

And we don't want it dumbed down to some 'great taste' nonsense.

Have some perspective.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Early Cuyler on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:42 am

lpetrich wrote:
Early Cuyler wrote:... As I said before, it's one of the red flags of a cultist mindset to attack psychology. Since many of the counter-arguments to feminism are based in EP, it's only natural that they have to attack it. Failure to do so will make their bufoonery obvious to all but the most blind followers.
Early Cuyler, what do you consider feminism and why?

Sorry for the poor choice of words there. I'm the one who is usually reminding people that there's always different factions within movements, and my comments were only directed at certain factions of feminism. I mean specifically those feminists who use patriarchy theory as a conspiracy theory, i.e. that patriarchy exists for the sole purpose of oppressing women. Much of patriarchal society is created for the benefit of women, in order to facilitate reproductive success.
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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  scott1328 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:13 pm

Much of patriarchal society is created for the benefit of women, in order to facilitate reproductive success

I am sure you meant to say that patriarchal society arose historically in order to control primarily the reproduction of women and secondarily the reproduction of lower status men.

It persists because the beneficiaries of such a system act to preserve the advantages they see as their entitlement. These beneficiaries often seek the cooperation of those of lower status who are seeking advantage for themselves.


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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Early Cuyler on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:52 am

scott1328 wrote:
Much of patriarchal society is created for the benefit of women, in order to facilitate reproductive success

I am sure you meant to say that patriarchal society arose historically in order to control primarily the reproduction of women and secondarily the reproduction of lower status men.

It persists because the beneficiaries of such a system act to preserve the advantages they see as their entitlement. These beneficiaries often seek the cooperation of those of lower status who are seeking advantage for themselves.


What you said, and what I said, aren't mutually exclusive. Social hierarchies are complex and dynamic things. As far as I'm concerned, we're both right.
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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  scott1328 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:37 am

Early Cuyler wrote:
scott1328 wrote:
Much of patriarchal society is created for the benefit of women, in order to facilitate reproductive success

I am sure you meant to say that patriarchal society arose historically in order to control primarily the reproduction of women and secondarily the reproduction of lower status men.

It persists because the beneficiaries of such a system act to preserve the advantages they see as their entitlement. These beneficiaries often seek the cooperation of those of lower status who are seeking advantage for themselves.


What you said, and what I said, aren't mutually exclusive. Social hierarchies are complex and dynamic things. As far as I'm concerned, we're both right.

Did you actually mean to say that women in general, benefit from their subjugation as brood mares? Seriously?

Historically, women in general have not had to worry about their own reproductive success; it has not been a problem for a women to find a mating partner, quite the contrary. Women are fought over and guarded. The "patriarchy" exists because men want to guarantee their own reproductive success.

But why would you even consider that reproductive success benefits a woman? What benefits a woman is what she values, what improves her life, what gives her what she wants. The "patriarchy" is not about giving a woman what she wants. It does however have a vested interest in instilling its values into its subjects; to make them willing accomplices to their own subjugation.


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