Bruce/‘Caitlyn’ Jenner and the collapse of the Western mind

Know thyself.

Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker." (Image via bigthink.com)
Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (Image via bigthink.com)

There is no way to write comprehensively about a subject this big in one post, and I won’t try here.  I want to just highlight a few points that have struck me forcefully this week, as the spectacle of media fawning over Jenner – whom I will call XY Jenner – unfolds before us.

The first and most basic point is that we have a body of empirical knowledge that tells us XY Jenner is a human male, and that he cannot be made female.  If one day we will have the ability to manipulate DNA in such a way that that is possible, we don’t have it today.

The concepts of “gender,” and nature-vs.-nurture, are meaningful ones.  But the evidence of our eyes, and the sum total of our shared knowledge, tell us that male (XY) and female (XX) correlate powerfully with “man” and “woman,” to such a pervasive extent that there is no value for our lives in tossing that assumption aside. Continue reading “Bruce/‘Caitlyn’ Jenner and the collapse of the Western mind”

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Logic, Chopped

Logic, facts, and narrative.

There are times when errors in logic seem minor and picayune – and there are times when they undermine the whole point being made.  In this piece by Joe Keohane at the Boston Globe’s website, we find a case of the latter.

Keohane’s thesis is that people’s beliefs about public issues are impervious to facts, and that this is partly because people hate to admit being wrong.  That’s not actually news, of course; people on both the left and the right would say that about each other within the first 45 seconds after being awakened out of a dead sleep.   Keohane backs it up with information from a study, however, and that’s where the poleax is applied to the logic.

Here’s the relevant paragraph: Continue reading “Logic, Chopped”