vendredi 16 février 2018

French Chauvinism

French chauvinism is widespread and widely known. Chauvinism is a tendency to give value to ideas  according to place of origin, with a special bias toward self. Thus it was extraordinary that at least  three generations of French biologists chose to scorn Darwin because he was English, while they had their own Lamarck, whose theory was earlier than Darwin’s but dead wrong. Why in Jesus name would you waste your life seeking scientific progress with that principle (French superiority) imposed between you and the truth?

Well what about self-deception? I have published a book on the subject in 2011, translated now into eleven languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, German, Russian, and Finnish—but not French. Why? Did we not invent the subject—Sartre, Camus and Foucault—why would we wish to hear from others even if they have solved the problem that our own “thinkers” came nowhere near?

Now comes a controversy involving a woman with the sense to go against this bias. Sastre uses science and modern biology in a creative way to challenge standard orthodoxy. Oh we in France do not pay much attention to Evolutionary Psychology. Well God bless you and may you remain ignorant as long as you wish. And we have a French sociologist/philosopher to teach us that the 2 nd :4 th digit ratio used by Sastre is “is not a reliable index of prenatal androgenization“, when in fact quite the opposite is true. We now have experimental evidence from rats that higher testosterone in utero leads to a lower ratio and higher estrogen to a higher ratio. And significant correlations are found not only in other mammals but also in some birds! This on top of a ton of indirect evidence in humans. The 2 nd to 4 th digit ratio is significantly associated with sex and ethnicity, reproductive success, mate preference by others, Offspring sex ratio, Gender inequality across nations, relative masculinity/femininity within one country, Klinefelter’s syndrome and, yes, homosexuality and transexuality. Any French scientists contributing? Not dead sure, can’t think of one.

And finally there is the matter of Feminism and Biological Determinism. Now here we get into truly absurd territory. There is no biological ‘determinism’ in modern evolutionary biology—only LOGIC—children come first, women (the main investors) second; last, least and hardest to justify are men. We have known for some 40 years that there are real genetic differences between the two sexes in behavior but we have learned much more since then—women use their brains more symmetrically than do men and most genetic sex differences affect the brain, the most genetically active tissue in the human body. So if you want to remain permanently ignorant, you always have that option, but why choose to? In order to continue anti-Darwinian chauvinism? As noted above, a feeble reason indeed.

Robert Trivers

1 commentaire:

Anonyme a dit…

J'ai beau lire et relire, je ne comprends pas : "There is no biological ‘determinism’ in modern evolutionary biology—only LOGIC—children come first, women (the main investors) second; last, least and hardest to justify are men". "Come first" où ? Quel rapport avec "there is no biological 'determinism'" ?