The Faith and Fables of Thunderfoot

faith (feɪθ). Noun

  1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence

Collins English Dictionary

Back in March, I wrote a strongly-worded, some might even say scathing, critique of Philip Mason’s evidence-free opinions on the role of sexual dimorphism in aptitude/preference for physics. (Mason, in the guise of Thunderf00t, now has a considerable track record of posting hyperbolic anti-feminst rants, often on the subject of Anita Sarkeesian, which have won him a dedicated following in certain online communities and made him a pariah in others).

After uploading that post (“When atheists ape creationists…“), I contacted Mason to make him aware of what I’d written, to give him the opportunity to respond, and to ask whether he would like to debate the issues. The e-mail exchange with Mason, in its entirety, is below.

I will leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions as to Mason’s oft-stated commitment to reasoned, informed debate.

(The video to which I refer in the final e-mail of the thread below is here.)

Edit 09/08/2016 A comprehensive dissection of the claim that sexual dimorphism underpins aptitude/preference for physics (or other STEM subjects) is here.


To: Philip Mason
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 13:51:13 +0100
Subject: Sexism in science
From: philip.moriarty@nottingham.ac.uk

Dear Phil (if I may),

Apologies for the e-mail out of the blue. I’ve just been reading this month’s Physics World, which contains a number of articles related to diversity, microagressions, sexism, LGBT communities etc… in physics (but, more generally, right across science). See http://blog.physicsworld.com/2016/03/01/physics-for-all-the-march-2016-issue-of-physics-world-is-now-out/ The last time we discussed these types of problem (on the MSS last year), I think we’d possibly both agree that it wasn’t the most productive of exchanges. It’d be good if we could revisit this?

I find it intriguing that despite our similar stances with regard to atheism and the value of science and rational argument in general, we seem to be diametrically opposed when it comes to issues related to sexism, feminism etc.. Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of debates which were in what might be best described as “spat” format: 500 word e-mail exchanges back and forth. (Here’s an example with regard to public vs private funding of science (although the word limit was often breached!) — http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~ppzstm/pdfs/papers/2010/kealey_public.pdf )

Is this something you might consider doing? I think that a debate along these lines could be very useful and organisations such as the IOP, RSC, RS etc.. may well be interested. If you’re interested please e-mail me at philip.moriarty@nottingham.ac.uk and we can try to hammer out the details.

Best wishes,

Philip

Philip Moriarty, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham



From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 15 March 2016 14:23
To: philip.moriarty@nottingham.ac.uk
Subject: RE: Sexism in science

Yeah… i’d like to… but honestly Im massively overstretched as it is…. and the next 5 months are a nightmare (3 trips to us… 1 to france.. 1 to uk….1 to germany)

for me….. feminism grew out of noble and laudable goals… but once they were achieved… they are now more and more obsessed with trivial first world issues.  Most of which I dont give a shit about…. but when you get half a million dollars to study feminist glaciology…. it undermines the credibility of science. http://phg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/08/0309132515623368.abstract

I’ve got nothing against the idea of a discussion.  However for me the obvious place to have such a discussion is on my channel.  More eyes will see it.

Part of me kinda likes the idea… if only cos so few are willing to stand forward and openly defend feminism.

Best wishes,

Phil

[Note added to transcript: I address Mason’s comment re. that glaciology paper in the blog post to which I refer below (see e-mail sent 01/04/2016)]


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 15 March 2016 14:34
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Sexism in science

Hi, Phil.

Thanks for responding. While I’d be happy to discuss this on your channel, I much prefer to debate via the written word. We’re both academic researchers – it’s our natural “forum” (!). Although I work with Brady Haran quite a bit on the Sixty Symbols videos, I don’t actually watch too many science(-related) videos online – I prefer to read.

Perhaps there’s a way of combining both? What if I write a blog post that lays out my thoughts/concerns and you respond via your channel? I’d be then happy to either respond in writing via my blog or upload a YouTube video in response.

Would that work? There’s no urgency, of course, but, as you say, I think it’d be good to debate this. (I’ve got a trip to Ethiopia coming up at the end of the month so I’d aim to write the blog post before Easter).

Best wishes,

Philip


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 01 April 2016 16:54
To: Thunder Foot
Subject: Blog post

Dera [sic] Phil,

Here’s the blog post I mentioned in my previous message: https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/when-atheists-ape-creationists-the-fallacies-of-the-anti-feminist/

Best wishes,

Philip


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 24 May 2016 16:10
To: Thunder Foot
Subject: Debate?

Phil,

[Please excuse this e-mail out of the blue. I’m exam marking at the moment and any displacement activity I can find is seized upon…]

I don’t know whether you got a chance to read that blog post?

I’ve been astounded at the level of (wilful?) ignorance of the scientific method — and the naïve credulity in the idea that a peer-reviewed paper is always correct! – by those posting comments under a video Kristi Winters made about the post (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwTxXkh9_Hc ). It’s rather dispiriting that those who would claim that they debate rationally and scientifically have such a weak understanding of just how science works.

You mentioned previously that you’d be happy to debate the sexual dimorphism issue at your channel. If you’re still up for it, I’d be keen, particularly if we could broaden the discussion out to cover just how science works (and that cherry-picking a paper on the basis of a two-minute Google search for keywords and crying “Gotcha” is not credible scientifically).

The end of term is nearing and once I get examiners meetings (and external examiners meetings in Ireland) out of the way, I could find some time for a debate in late June/early July if that worked for you?

Best wishes,

Philip

Philip Moriarty

Professor of Physics and Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham


From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 24 May 2016 18:57
To: Philip Moriarty
Subject: RE: Debate?

meh… maybe you should consider the option you got your head stuck up your ass.

see… at least I extend you the courtesy of talking to your face as I would behind your back.

FYI, the reason I stick with my ‘childish pseudonym’ is cos I like to think that an idea stands on its merit.

Keep up the good fight though, its always good to see a white man infantalizing women in the name of feminism to the extent that he believes they cant do physics unless someone hold their hands and encourages them, and then having the lack of self awareness to think that ‘he just wants women treated as equals’

oh…. n btw… Im at a reactor doing an experiment…. and Ill be doing another at another reactor at the end of june.
enjoy your teachin or markin…. or whatever it is youre doin

🙂

Thunderf00t


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 02 June 2016 09:24
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

Good morning, Phil(ip).

My apologies for the very long delay in responding. It’s been exam- and report-marking season. EPSRC also decided to ‘helpfully’ have the deadline for their latest strategic equipment fund round of applications coincide with the exam period.

From the rather aggrieved – and, it must be said, somewhat less-than-erudite — flavour of your reply, should I take it that you’re not particularly keen to debate the issue of gender balance in physics with me? Should I take your response as a heartfelt “no”?

If so, that’s a great shame, particularly as, for example, there’s this IOP-organised meeting coming up soon: https://www.iopconferences.org/iop/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=488193&eventID=923&eventID=923&CSPCHD=0040032r0000shoPIa5nUEwhzHfdbrhpcMvxnnotaDY1OpOme$

A debate re. your evidence-free claim that the gender balance in physics is dominated by sexual dimorphism would have been especially timely in the context of that IOP event.

Nonetheless, I can understand entirely your reticence to debate. Remarkably, in the space of just a few short  (and exceptionally poorly punctuated*) lines, you manage to make a considerable number of entirely unfounded claims and provide no justification or evidence for your assertions. This is hardly the most encouraging response when it comes to the potential for a well-informed and productive debate.

Let’s deal with your responses, such as they are, one at a time, and in order of appearance.

“meh… maybe you should consider the option you got your head stuck up your ass.”

You’re in your forties, Philip, and a reasonably accomplished postdoctoral researcher with a PhD in chemistry. I can’t believe it’s entirely beyond your wit to address my points without sounding like a seven year old child in a playground? (Actually, that’s rather unfair of me. My son is seven and he’s capable of much wittier and pithier ripostes than “Hurr..hurr..head up your ass”.) Moreover, last time I checked you were British. Surely you mean “…head stuck up your arse”?

“see… at least I extend you the courtesy of talking to your face as I would behind your back.”

This is a remarkable assertion and shows a complete absence of any type of thought, critical or otherwise. In what sense am I speaking “behind your back”? I sent you a link to the blog post I wrote, which was critical of you, over two months ago, i.e. directly after I wrote it. You didn’t respond.

I then sent you a link to the discussion – on a public forum – under Kristi’s video. In other words, I brought my comments to your attention. In just what sense is this “speaking behind your back”? I was entirely open and honest with you – I sent you the links. Moreover — and I’ll have more to say on this below — I post everything online under my own name. I do not hide behind a pseudonym.

YouTube and the WordPress blog are public platforms. Everything I have said about you there has been said in the open. If you are keen on making all of our exchanges public, I would be very happy indeed to post this e-mail thread online. Let me know if you’d like me to do that.

It’s good, however, that, on this point at least, I agree entirely with you – openness and transparency online are extremely important. I have no time at all for the intellectual cowardice – or, too often, just basic rank cowardice — that so often underpins online ‘communication’. (See, for example, https://muircheart.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/we-are-anonymous-we-are-legion-we-are-mostly-harmful/ and https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/should-post-publication-peer-review-be-anonymous .)

So, as I say, let me know if you’d like me to post this exchange online just so everything remains above board and all of my comments to you are publicly viewable.

“FYI, the reason I stick with my ‘childish pseudonym’ is cos I like to think that an idea stands on its merit.” 

I’ve heard this type of argument before. Repeatedly. I find it utterly unconvincing for the reasons discussed in the blog post and THE article linked to above, and in this: https://muircheart.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/where-two-tribes-go-to-roar/

Context is key in debate. Anonymity sets up an asymmetry in communication – see the editorial by Mike Blatt that is cited in the THE article — that is too often merely a means for one of the proponents in the debate to “cover their arse” and not have to stand behind the points they’re making. It’s basic intellectual cowardice in so many cases. (There are exceptions, but you’re not one of them).

If you’re of the opinion that ideas should stand on their merit, why are you included as “Mason, PE” (or similar) in the list of authors on the scientific papers to which you’ve contributed? Why not submit the papers pseudonymously?

This lack of coherence and self-consistency in your arguments is disappointing. But, and to reiterate what I said above, it puts your reticence to debate in context.

Keep up the good fight though, its always good to see a white man infantalizing women in the name of feminism to the extent that he believes they cant do physics unless someone hold their hands and encourages them, and then having the lack of self awareness to think that ‘he just wants women treated as equals’

Citation needed here. (And we both know just how flawed the traditional peer review system can be at times — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLlA1w4OZWQ – so I’m not even asking for peer-reviewed citations. Blog posts will suffice. We should get beyond this idea that peer review represents some type of gold standard.).  Please show me where I have infantalized women – specific quotes would be helpful.

More importantly, your evidence-free mini-rant simply evades the issue. The blog post I wrote makes a very basic point. Please address that point without obfuscating about what you perceive as “infantalization”. Your claim is that the gender balance in physics is largely due to sexual dimorphism. Do you continue to stand behind that claim? If not, good – we can call an end to this exchange. If, however, you remain of the opinion that the 80:20 gender balance in physics is due to sexual dimorphism then please provide evidence for your claim. This is the core theme of that blog post.

As regards “infantalisation”, however, there’s an interesting point here. One of the key reasons I became a lecturer is that I thoroughly enjoy teaching. (I get just a little peeved when university teaching is seen by some as secondary to research. Even the language we use – “teaching load” – helps preserve this perception.) I’m interested not just in higher education but secondary and primary teaching and learning, and just how children’s perception of their abilities –coupled to positive and negative feedback – can affect their learning.

Go to a primary school and ask the infants/children there to draw a picture of a scientist. You know what they’ll draw, right? (Something like this: http://previews.123rf.com/images/sararoom/sararoom1303/sararoom130300042/18430036-Vector-illustration-of-Cartoon-Scientist-Stock-Vector-science.jpg ) I’ve done this ‘experiment’ quite a few times.

Are you really saying we shouldn’t challenge that stereotype?  (And there’s been very good progress in this regard by the RS, RSC, IOP, and RCUK of late).

If your (tediously clichéd) ‘counter-argument’ is going to be something along the lines of “Well, kids should just toughen up. They should learn to do whatever they like regardless of feedback and societal pressures”, consider just why you like to hide behind a pseudonym. Is it possibly because you’d take feedback rather more personally if you had the intellectual courage to put your given name to your arguments?

”oh…. n btw… Im at a reactor doing an experiment…. and Ill be doing another at another reactor at the end of june. enjoy your teachin or markin…. or whatever it is youre doin 🙂 Thunderf00t

I’ll re-re-reiterate, Phil. You’re in your forties. You’re a research scientist. You’re clearly reasonably bright. It’s disappointing to have to read this type of lazy, unpunctuated, barely literate response* to the detailed arguments I’ve made. If you’d like to reconsider the possibility of a debate, I’m fairly flexible during the summer, although I’d prefer to avoid August due to holidays and the A-level results period (as I’m UG admissions tutor).

Philip

P.S. Do let me know if you’d like me to post this online, just to keep all of our exchanges open and transparent.

*If you’re going to argue that grammar and punctuation are not important in (science) communication, please address the points I make here: https://muircheart.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/moriarty-physicists-punctuation-communication/

In addition to those points about the value of words in physics (and, more generally, in the physical sciences), a lack of connectivity and coherence in writing can often be indicative of poorly organised and incoherent thinking. You might like to bear this in mind, particularly when it comes to writing grant proposals and the like.


From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 02 June 2016 15:24
To: Philip Moriarty
Subject: RE: Debate?

meh… dunno how old you are…. but learn brevity.

tl:dr


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 02 June 2016 21:04
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

Dear Phil,

I’m enjoying this exchange a great deal. It’s remarkably informative, despite – actually, make that because of — the semi-literate brevity and amusingly weak evasiveness of your responses.

You’re a research scientist with a PhD who apparently can’t parse a few paragraphs of text? It’s  beyond your reading comprehension and debating capabilities to respond, in grammatically correct and coherently phrased English, to a detailed rebuttal of your evidence-free ‘arguments’? Really?

Instead we get a thoroughly weak, wholly unconvincing, and astoundingly lazy “TL;DR”.

Now, either your reading level is below that of the average 12 year old or you’re being willfully evasive for reasons that we both know.

All this from someone who is ostensibly a proponent of rational, informed debate and a pioneer (*cough*) of the PEARL methodology?

As I said, wholly unconvincing.

It’s also rather funny to be told of the virtues of brevity by someone who has chewed up a great deal of internet bandwidth on lengthy rants and diatribes.

Just in case you didn’t make it to this point – *Too many words. So many words. How can anyone ever process that many big words? And they’re polysyllabic too. That’s. Just. Not. Cricket.* — I’ll send you a separate e-mail, written in monosyllabic text so it won’t challenge your reading comprehension too much, with the key points.

Philip

Philip Moriarty, Professor of Physics and Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nottingham


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 02 June 2016 21:52
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

<TL;DR mode mail>

<Mono>

O.K. Phil, here we go…

  1. Is it OK to post our mail trail on the web?
  2. Where are the ‘facts’ that back up your claims? See  https://muircheart.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/when-atheists-ape-creationists-the-fallacies-of-the-anti-feminist/
  3. Do you want to de-bate* on the web? If so, when?

</Mono>

</ TL;DR mode mail>

There you go. Couldn’t put it more simply.

[*Yes, I cheated here. Sorry. Was going to go with “rap” as the closest monosyllabic word but just couldn’t bring myself to write that. Too painfully naff. I’ll just have to hope you can parse the polysyllabic word “debate” now that I’ve broken it down for you. If that doesn’t work, we could perhaps try phonetics?]

Note that I have been involved in quite a number of debates in the past. None of those with whom I’ve previously debated have been so lazy and disingenuous as to respond with, in essence, “You write too much. TL;DR”

Here are a few examples of what real debate (based on reasoned logic (RL)) looks like:

http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/?p=70

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~ppzstm/pdfs/papers/2010/kealey_public.pdf

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/~ppzstm/pdfs/papers/2008/doubleday_should.pdf

If you check – though, be warned, there are lots of words (literally thousands) and you may find it challenging – you’ll not find a single “TL;DR” in those debates.

As I said in my previous messages, given that you are very keen on openness and transparency in debate, I’m sure that you’ll be happy for our email exchange to be posted online? [Point 1 above].

I also look forward to hearing from you re. a definitive answer re. a debate. [Point 3 above]. Although I suspect that once again you’ll disingenuously evade the issue (for the third time running). It’d be good if I was wrong on this matter of evasion and you salvaged some semblance of credibility…

[And if it makes you feel more comfortable,  I promise to use your “Thunderfoot” handle during the debate. Can’t say fairer than that now, can I? I know how important your pseudonymous safe space is to you. It’s clearly challenging for you to be open and honest with your identity. It just takes a little bit of courage. If you take it slowly, in stages, I’m sure you’ll eventually be able to out-grow your reliance on silly monikers.]

All the very best,

Your fellow physical chemist/chemical physicist,

Philip


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 02 June 2016 21:58
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

Tsk. Dammit.

Of course “OK” isn’t monosyllabic. My sincerest apologies.

Let me modify that so that it’s easier for you to parse…

“1. Is it fine to post our mail trail on the web?”

Hope that helps.

Philip


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 02 June 2016 22:06
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

P.S. To save you some time, if I don’t receive a response from you before next week I’ll assume you’re happy for our e-mail exchange to be posted online.


From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 05 June 2016 22:42
To: Philip Moriarty
Subject: RE: Debate?

lol… replies to ‘learn brevity’ with FOUR emails.

however, you trolling effort is good.


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 06 June 2016 05:19
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

Dear Philip,

So yet again you avoid answering the very simple questions I asked. That’s a quite remarkable – and, once again, deeply amusing — level of disingenuity, evasion, hypocrisy and spinelessness.

As for “trolling”, you could perhaps consult a dictionary as to the definition of that term. Moreover, and correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t you spent quite a bit of your time online railing against “professional victims”? That you’d now weakly cry “troll” instead of addressing my points is beyond ironic.

I have asked you to back up your claims with evidence. Simple as that. Your inability to do so, and with such a lack of maturity in communication, speaks volumes.

I’ll write a blog post and make a short accompanying video about your inability to (i) address the points made in the blog post (and elsewhere), and (ii) to communicate like an adult. I won’t quote from your e-mails (because you lack the integrity to respond to my request about posting our exchange online) but it’s not as if I can’t find similar vacuous comments from you online. Indeed, I’m spoilt for choice.

My expectations were low, Philip, but I’ve been genuinely astounded by your behaviour in this exchange. You’re in your forties yet you respond with all the wit and sophistication of a 10 year old who hasn’t got a particularly good grasp of the rudiments of grammar and punctuation, let alone an understanding of how to debate.

Disappointing, but hardly unexpected.

Philip


From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 06 June 2016 08:39
To: Philip Moriarty
Subject: RE: Debate?

Oh noes! the nottingham prof. is gonna to publish the his last half dozen emales where he trys to troll me with childisy insults! Thatll shows he a grown up!

Does this mean we not friends anymore? Yknow phil if I thought u werent my friend, I just dont think I could bear it.


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 06 June 2016 12:34
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

Good morning once again, Philip.

No “TL;DR” this time? Interesting. It seems that you indeed have quite some difficulty parsing arguments written in anything but the simplest of words. I’m afraid, however, that I’m not going to continue to reduce my writing to <mono> mode simply to make up for the deficiencies in your reading comprehension. You’re just going to have to put the effort in (or resort yet again to the lazy “TL;DR”).

Nonetheless, and as I’ve said before, I’m really enjoying this exchange. You continue to make me laugh a great deal. I particularly like being chastised for “childisy insults” by someone who opens up their message with “Oh noes!” and closes with “Yknow phil if I thought u werent my friend, I just dont think I could bear it.”

Fantastic.

Given your clear and demonstrable lack of ability/unwillingness to parse even the most basic of arguments  — “TL;DR”, remember? – let me clarify the difference between groundless/childish insults and pointing out simple home truths, Philip.

  1. I said that you were evasive. This is demonstrably the case. You’ve yet to address the points in the blog post, despite numerous requests. I asked for some evidence of your claims re. sexual dimorphism underpinning aptitude/preference for physics. You’ve provided nothing but a series of replies, for want of a better word, which have been vacuous in the extreme.
  1. I said that you were disingenuous/dishonest. I stand by this until you provide evidence to the contrary. You have banged on at length about the importance of evidence in a lengthy series of videos. You have even self-importantly proclaimed yourself to be a “PEARL”-ist. (Did I mention that you make me laugh a great deal? For a grumpy old Irish bastard like me that’s a real talent  you have.) Yet when challenged to provide evidence for a major claim you made about gender balance in physics, you repeatedly refuse to respond. Instead you resort to “TL;DR”. This is hardly “reasoned logic” now, is it? Thus, there is an inherent disingenuity and dishonesty in your responses.
  1. I said that you were childish in your responses. You need only read over your e-mail messages to see this. (Admittedly, having to switch to <TL;DR> and <Mono> mode to respond to you is hardly how adults should communicate but given that you lacked the courtesy and integrity to address the points I made in a reasoned and reasonable way, I was left with no choice. In any case, it seems that <Mono> mode is indeed useful as a means of extracting a response from you). I also said that your ability to communicate was, respectively, below that of a 12 year old, a 10 year old, and a 7 year old. I realise it’s a long time since you’ve been at primary/secondary school — and I don’t believe you have kids? (Excuse me if I got that wrong) — so you might have lost track of typical writing abilities in Year 2, Year 5, and Year 7.
  1. I said that your reading comprehension and debating skills were extremely poor. You have singularly failed to address any of my points. You have responded on more than one occasion with “TL;DR”. That not only highlights an exceptional level of immaturity but clearly shows that your claims to value reasoned debate are empty.

I’m assuming from the sledgehammer sarcasm of your most recent response that you’re more than happy for me to post our exchange online?

I look forward to your next response. My hopes aren’t high that it’ll be of any higher quality than your previous replies, but I’m hoping that at some point you’ll muster the integrity and wit to make this ‘debate’ a little more challenging for me. In the meantime, however, I’m very happy to continue chuckling.

Philip

P.S. Note that I include my affiliation below because while one aspect of this exchange is indeed not connected with my role at Nottingham, as an admissions tutor I dislike seeing unjustified, uninformed, and evidence-free claims about aptitude/preference for physics being made.


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 06 June 2016 13:22
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

P.S. Apologies. I forgot to say that, given your inability to communicate in any type of mature manner,  you may not be aware of the appropriate protocols.

When I say “Is it OK to publish our exchange online at my blog?”, there are two possible responses:

  1. Yes, that’s fine.
  2. No, I’d prefer you didn’t.

It’s a shame that we have to reduce it to this, but I’d appreciate either a response of “1” or “2”. Evading the question yet again will simply underpin your lack of honesty and intellectual integrity.

Thank you.

Philip


From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 06 June 2016 14:01
To: Philip Moriarty
Subject: RE: Debate?

youre lack of self-awereness amuzes me,


From: Moriarty Philip
Sent: 06 June 2016 14:24
To: ‘Thunder Foot’
Subject: RE: Debate?

Dear Philip,

So, yet another evasion. What’s that, seven and counting at this stage?

What a remarkable lack of integrity. As you’re never slow to point out, you’re a scientist. You’re meant to base your arguments on an honest analysis of data and evidence. I’ve not experienced anywhere near this level of dishonesty, evasion, and non-existent argumentation in any debate in which I’ve been involved previously. That includes a number of lengthy debates about religion (stemming, for example, from this: https://muircheart.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/sure-youre-not-meant-to-take-it-seriously/ )

So, well done on setting that particular precedent — those of faith have soundly thrashed you when it comes to the ability to debate. That’s just what those of us who are atheists really need: a nu-atheist (and, lest we forget, self-proclaimed PEARL-ist) with a demonstrated inability to address rational arguments in anything approaching a mature, considered and logical fashion.

Why is it that I also get the strong impression that you’re patting yourself on the back for your “ironic” use of deliberate misspelling? That really would take the childishness to another level. It simultaneously ups the comedy factor by quite a large amount, however, so, please, keep it coming. You’re brightening up my afternoon immensely.

Philip


From: Thunder Foot
Sent: 06 June 2016 15:08
To: Philip Moriarty
Subject: RE: Debate?

meh…. okay… you’re just to dumb to realize when youre being trolled.

However honestly, while trolling you is kinda fun…. oh who am i kidding… ive not laughed so hard for ages.. (OH PLEASE, for the love of god publish the emails)…… the reality im just way too busy for this sort of petty crap.

thanks for playing….oh n next time trying being honest, and you might find it reciprocated.

-end-of-line-


From: Philip Moriarty
Sent: 06 June 2016 15:25
To: Thunder Foot
Subject: RE: Debate?

Thank you, Philip. On the seventh/eighth/nth attempt, you finally respond to a request to publish the e-mail trail. I appreciate this.

Note, however, that you still have evaded responding to the points made in the original post. It’s lazy, immature and disingenuous in the extreme to now state “Oh, I’m just trolling you”.

You made a particular, and specific claim: sexual dimorphism underpins aptitude/preference for physics. And now, despite all your assertions about your PEARL credentials, you behave just like those you’ve criticised in the past. You fail to provide evidence and resort to a petty, lazy, and entirely unconvincing, “Oh, I’m just too busy for this”.

What you mean is that when faced with a comprehensive rebuttal of your evidence-free claims, you fold.

To say that “You’re just too busy for this” is entirely transparent nonsense. You spend a great deal of your life online slagging off all and sundry. Shooting down creationist arguments is simple; it’s like taking out fish in a barrel. Any scientist with even a modicum of debating aptitude can do this. When, instead, you’re asked to justify your evidence-free claims in the context of a slightly more challenging argument, I’ll say it again — you fold. Entirely. And resort to breathtakingly immature retorts.

But, once again, thanks for finally having the decency to stop evading my question about publishing the email trail. If you’d had the courtesy to do this right from the start I’d not have had to be so irritatingly persistent. Sometimes, however, and particularly with those who are being disingenuous from the off, that level of persistence is necessary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwlsd8RAoqI

I’ll send you a link to the post and video when they go online.

Philip


 

Author: Philip Moriarty

Physicist. Rush fan. Father of three. (Not Rush fans. Yet.) Rants not restricted to the key of E minor...

125 thoughts on “The Faith and Fables of Thunderfoot”

  1. Could you clarify what your disagreement with Thunderf00t is exactly? That sexual dimorphism exist? Or Thunderf00t’s claim that sexual dimorphism is the cause/reason for the low number of women in physics? (with your view being that it’s caused by sexism? In the form of what? Societal barriers? Discrimination? Discouragement? Is it institutional?)

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    1. My disagreement is very straight-forward to state. Mason has claimed that the gender balance in physics is dominated by sexual dimorphism. My argument is that he has no evidence for this. He does not know the balance of nature vs nurture in this system. Neither do I. And I’ve not seen a credible study which normalises out environmental biases. In fact, I struggle to see how a credible study which accurately accounts for the “nurture” component could ever be designed.

      Thus, in the absence of evidence which supports the dominance of sexual dimporphism, it’s entirely unscientific to claim that genetic/biological effects are responsible for the gender balance.

      Therefore, we should aim to minimise societal biases.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Therefore, we should aim to minimise societal biases.”

        So we should nullify the massive amounts of women only grants and scholarships in colleges?

        After all, these are sociatally biased.

        Should we also shut down feminist STEM campaigns? Again, sociatal bias.

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      2. “Would you then claim that there’s sufficient evidence for societal biases as the cause?”
        If you read the previous blog post linked at the top of this one, there’s evidence of women’s average test scores getting better over time recently. Since human biology doesn’t change that quickly, something non-biological is presumably responsible.

        Since we know sexism exists (again see the previous blog post for physical evidence) it would seem like a fairly-likely culprit.

        “So we should nullify the massive amounts of women only grants and scholarships in colleges?

        After all, these are sociatally biased.

        Should we also shut down feminist STEM campaigns? Again, sociatal bias.”
        No, for obvious reasons. If an imbalance exists and you do nothing to fix it, that’s not being impartial. I think you know this.

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      3. What would you say in response to the argument that equality in such fields tends to rise as the country becomes poorer (and often, more sexist)?

        My sister was smart enough to be an engineer. So am I. I considered it, she never did. Because she was rich enough to go to postdoc and have my dad put her up.

        People follow their hearts. As much as i might wish for everyone’s desires to be equal, I now recognize that they’re not. Most high-level stem fields, physics fields, etc, require large amounts of high-stress schooling just to get into them, and the benefit is mostly either job satisfaction if you love the field and money if you don’t. Women tend to care less about money and I think they tend to care less about physics too.

        Theoretically there’s nothing wrong with fixing the societal bias. But honestly, no one ever told my sister she couldn’t be a scientist. Sure, a scientist looks like a guy in a white lab coat. But that’s probably going to be true no matter how far we go, because that gender split is based on reality.

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      4. You might think you only ask Mason for evidence to back up his claims, but you are not. You have a very (or two rather) strong bias, which is in play here. And you seem oblivious to that, which is funny considering you making such a big deal about being a scientist, talking about logic and coherence and all.

        You “believe” in (yes, I said it, believe, since you have no facts to back it up with) the opposite of sexual dimorphism (whatever your version of that is) in the matter of physics.

        Another thing; you seem to not understand that you don’t run the show, you are in no control, you are not important. What I mean by this is that you don’t decide how things should be said or written, you don’t decide if people can or cannot use anonymity. It doesn’t matter what some philosopher said about something back in the day.just because you use a quote as a reference.

        And also, you resort to name calling and straw man arguments, both which are evidence of either lack of intelligence/knowledge of the topic, or they are evidence of emotional reactions. As the intelligent scientist you identify with, you might wanna think that over.

        Seasons Greetings to everybody!

        -RS

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  2. I’m just leaving a comment to show to future civilisations (just in case this is the only document that survives) that not all men were called Phil(l)ip.

    Though I have to say that whilst not being a huge fan of Mason (to put it mildly) even I was surprised by the level of his response. I always thought he only talks this way to women.

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    1. “I’m just leaving a comment to show to future civilisations (just in case this is the only document that survives) that not all men were called Phil(l)ip.”

      I have a brother named David. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Same here, the dude is a piece of shit. Just goes to show that being a scientist doesn’t guarantee integrity.

      btw looking forward to GH2 (whenever that’s coming out)

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  3. Although from the e-mails it seems that Thunder is a twelve year old kid, you really kind of came off as a complete douche Phil. You’re extensive use of pretty language doesn’t help you focus at all. I love you in Brady’s video’s and wish you would extend that simplicity into your writing.

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    1. I make no apologies for writing “pretty language”. As I said to Mason, I like to read. I also like to write. Apparently, there are many “out there” who have a strong aversion to both.

      I’ll quote Bill Hicks again:

      You know I’ve noticed a certain anti-intellectualism going around this country ever since around 1980, coincidentally enough.

      I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I’m sitting there and I’m eating and reading a book. I don’t know anybody, I’m alone, I’m eating and I’m reading a book. This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) ‘what you readin’ for?’…

      Wow, I’ve never been asked that; not ‘What am I reading’, ‘What am I reading for?’ Well, goddamnit, you stumped me…I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don’t end up being a fuckin’ waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list.

      Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says [mocks Southern drawl] ‘Well, looks like we got ourselves a readah’…aahh, what the fuck’s goin’ on?

      It’s like I walked into a Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here? I read, there I said it. I feel better.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you know i’ve noticed that when you write pretty in a certain way it can be taken as douchey

        i can write prettier than you can almost no doubt and probably in more dialects and languages than you can too but a lot of internet writing is in the style because verbal cues are absent and thus as a simple result sentences like this are harder to write than say because I cannot modulate my voice like i totally would if i was speaking

        whew, ran out of breath there.

        the point is that it started off just fine but it does get to a point where you’re being sort of aggressively in that writing stance and that can be done and thus interpreted as passive aggressive attacking. I know it can be done because I’ve done it.

        someone who claims to be intellectual about his writing should really know more about stylistic connotations. and i’m sure you are intellectual about your writing so i’m always glad to help

        see, like that had a high chance of being taken dickishly. but i’m serious, you probably are and i’m just here to say so

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  4. Wow…this is the EXACT same thing as the Winters-Mason debate on Twitter: confrontation with evidence, evasion and insults, and a final squeal of “I was trolling” by one party to finish it off. I’m almost feeling bad for NPDf00t at this point. He must be in deep pain inside to act in this manner.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s fascinating how Tf00t devolves into an absolute trollish mess you’d expect to see on 4chan when asked to back up his claims by academic peers.

      Dude clearly has not a single grain of respect for those who hold ideological disagremeent on his pet issues.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly. Reading his crap–if I didn’t know who he was–I would be SHOCKED to find out it’s a 44 year-old scientist. He sounds like me at age 13 (not a compliment I’m giving myself here….). And to be honest, I think dude has a personality disorder. His actions are consistent, year after year, same thing….he is…an outlier…not normal in the head. Best we can do is call him out if he crosses a big line and ignore him when he crosses small ones (daily…), I think. He’s basically entitled to the treatment of the one animal he most identifies with: TROLL.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You don’t think he has found a winning recipe to generate YouTube subscribers, and through that a loyal “fan base”? Like a proper greedy politician, he is in the business of selling simple images that pander to feelings in the receivers, and in the long run money in his pocket.

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  5. Dear Professor, I have a great deal of adoration and sympathy for you. I love seeing you explain physics on the 60 symbols channel (you should do that more often) with your charming accent. Your passion on the subject is infectiously inspirational.
    I will not presume to be smarter than you(and give you advice), non the less I’ll give you my opinion on this whole situation.

    1) Don’t get into a e-drama, shit-flinging fest with tfoot!!! (I’m really serious about that)
    He likes it, it motivates him, he thrives in it. He has more experiance than you. You’ll probably end up on the recieving end, based on his track record of e-drama and trolling expertise. It’s like getting into a mud wrestling match with a pig.

    2) The facts are on his side.
    If you are really interested in the truth, not just confirming your baseless “progressive” belief in equality, you could very easily find the facts and scienific evidence about gender IQ disparity in the high end spectrum.(which I assume is required for a career in physics) Not to mention competitiveness and other gender-specific temperaments, which(for now) show a strong case for being genetic and hormonal.

    3) If you follow the truth – you’ll probably get fired or severly ostricised
    We are in a highly polliticaly-charged society, and the scientific truth is quite often supressed, not for religios reasons, but for political ones, which can be as dogmatic as the inquisition. There are sadly too many examples of what will happen to a rigouros scientist, if he comes to the “wrong” conclusions, even if the data and facts are on his side. Not even a nobel prize laureates are safe. Not even comet-landing space heroes are safe from the tyrrany of the perpetually offended.

    Please professor Moriarty, for the love of god, leave politics behind. There’s no way you can win this – either you’ll be proven wrong and discredited, or you’ll side with the facts and be decimated by the press. There’s no middle ground. I would love to see a debate (or conversation) between you and tfoot about columb explosions, rather than this. I would like to see a video of you explaining why some materials are reflective and how reflectivity works (in terms of QM), than dabble in politics. Please don’t get involved – there’s no winning when you don’t have free speech and the freedom to tell the truth.

    Much love and stay cool headed.

    (Please excuse my grammar or linguistic erros, I’m not a native english speaker, still learning it)

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    1. First, there is absolutely no need to apologise for your English. You write clearly and you write well.

      I’ll take your points one by one.

      1. “Don’t get into a e-drama, shit-flinging fest with tfoot!!! (I’m really serious about that)”

      This is a fair point and I appreciate your advice.

      2. The facts are on his side.
      If you are really interested in the truth, not just confirming your baseless “progressive” belief in equality, you could very easily find the facts and scienific evidence about gender IQ disparity in the high end spectrum.(which I assume is required for a career in physics)

      This is a rather less well-argued point…

      I asked Mason a very simple question. I’ll also ask it of you. Please provide evidence that the 80:20 gender balance in physics is dominated by genetic/biological effects, which credibly normalises out environmental influences.

      Your (citation-free) claim here goes no way to addressing this.

      Please provide citations and point me towards the consensus in the scientific literature that backs up your claim re. “gender IQ disparity”.

      Thank you.

      3. …. Please don’t get involved – there’s no winning when you don’t have free speech and the freedom to tell the truth.

      Let’s not go down the tinfoil helmet, conspiracy theorist route. Let’s instead stick to the subject of this blog post and associated video.

      Mason made claims about the gender balance in physics being dominated by genetic.biological effects. You have made similar claims. Where is the evidence to support your claim that the 80:20 gender balance in physics is dominated by sexual dimorphism?

      Please provide citations to studies which credibly normalise out the effects of environmental (i.e. societal) influences. If you don’t do this, then, like Mason, you’re arguing from a position of faith.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. You are absolutely right that tfoot, didn’t provide any evidence for his claims. But there are a lot studies (which are really easy to find) that support his position. I’m not sure if they can put the 80-20 divide entirely on genetics, but there is a really strong case for it. On the other hand, there’s almost no solid evidence or studies for the environmental factors (especially societal), most of it is anecdotal.

        I get the impression that he’s intentionally baiting you into a trap.

        About the scientific consensus – we both know it doesn’t mean much, only the hard data and good models matter. I can come up with a lot of examples where the scientific consensus was dead wrong.

        As for my points 2 and 3 I’m not sure you really want to go that way. Of course I can provide a lot of papers and data backing 2 and a lot of examples of what happens with scientists, that go the politically incorrect path (despite being factually correct). But I would really advise you to stay out of this topic, at least publicly. It’s too toxic and politically charged. There’s nothing to be gained.

        Best wishes, professor, and keep being awesome.

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      2. Moriarty baited Mason into the trap of yielding when asked for evidence, and resorting to childish tactics to try and cover his lies and ignorance.

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      3. i don’t really get why you don’t answer with evidence. Also i’m very ignorant on the subject, i’m interested to see debate and get info and you only tease like you know you have the upper hand on the debate but giving no proof!

        Based on that i tend to believe on the professor, at least he is openly asking for proof and answering your post

        Do it for the people who doesn’t know as much as you! thanks in advance

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  6. This was so funny reading!
    But I disagree on the topic of “nick/usernames” and “avatars/profile pictures”….
    We live in a era of Social Media, where it is fully acceptable to create a sort of “brand” as your identity – and age has nothing to do with it!
    I’m pretty sure well known Science communicators/debunkers on YouTube such as Potholer54, TheLivingDinosaur, and C0nc0rdance etc are all adults – it’s like artists and stage names!
    The music of Prince didn’t become less influential just because he changed his name to a unpronounceable symbol – so why shouldn’t it be just as acceptable to use a “stage name” online on social media platforms?
    (And as I’m an excessive punctuater myself and doesn’t care that much about grammar and spelling correctly – I see it as rather unnecessary for the “debate” if we can call it that – perhaps exchange of words is more correct – to use energy on that issue).
    All that aside, I really enjoyed reading this blogpost!
    It’s not that I don’t like Thunderf00t, I enjoy many of his debunk videos, but lately on several occasions he’s been acting more like a religious nutbolt, which is a great shame!
    Sure he has addressed a few issues within the community of “modern feminism” that are just mind boggling stupid – but instead of just sticking to these he has, perhaps due to the popularity, (and with that comes views and Patrons), it gives him among certain segments of the typical YouTube viewer, turned it into a a long row of irrational strawman arguments and generalizations that simply doesn’t fit the majority of the real world!
    It saddens me a lot that a person that is supposed to represent rationality volunterly walks the plank and dive into the poisonous sea of classic Social Media caused agnotology….
    But you did a great job calling him out here – he had the opportunity to respond in a civilized manner, but resorted to a level of childish behaviour where “I know you are, but what am I” becomes a highly sophisticated rethorical comeback!
    Thank you!!!

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    1. Hi there.

      Thanks for the comments and for the kind words.

      With regard to pseudonyms, it’s not so much the “stage name” aspect that concerns me (after all, my Twitter handle, when I was on Twitter, was @Moriarty2112), it’s the anonymity that I find galling.

      If someone is anonymous and is making reasoned, logical, polite arguments, that’s fine. It’s when those who are anonymous hide behind their anonymity to slag off others (while at the same time railing about “safe spaces”). That’s gutless, spineless, hypocritical behaviour.

      Mason was anonymous at the start of his YouTube career and did not reveal his identity until effectively pushed into it. As I’ve discussed at length in a couple of blog posts and an article for the Times Higher Education, anonymity too often debases communication on the web.

      https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/we-are-anonymous-we-are-legion-we-are-mostly-harmful/

      https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/where-two-tribes-go-to-roar/

      https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/should-post-publication-peer-review-be-anonymous

      Thanks again for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Philip,

    I’ve always wondered why there is such a right-wing reactionary undercurrent in the atheist community. For a community that has it roots in challenging the dogma and status quo of the world, we’ve reached a point where I start to associate atheists more with “People on YouTube who complain about feminism and progressives.” than with “Scientific Scholar.”.

    Do you know what has happened here?

    PS: You voiced that you dislike anonymity, but I do this because everyone on the internet who voices progressive opinions online opens themselves to harassment and abuse and I don’t that to happen to me or my friends and family.

    Greetings,
    Shotagonist

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there.

      “…we’ve reached a point where I start to associate atheists more with “People on YouTube who complain about feminism and progressives.” than with “Scientific Scholar.”.”

      It’s depressing, isn’t it? And Mason has had a huge amount to do with this. I’m an atheist and, as I say in the exchange with Mason, it’s frustrating that his tirades are damaging the perception of the rationality of atheists.

      As regards the anonymity aspect, there’s a world of difference between someone who writes considered, thoughtful comments in a polite and helpful tone, and a self-styled “SJW slayer” who slags off all and sundry from behind cover of a pseudonym. (And I’m not just referring to Mason here — there are large numbers of those online who do this). It’s particularly hypocritical for those “SJW slayers” to do this while railing against “safe spaces”. Their pseudonym is their safe space.

      (On a tangential point, I also find it amusing that Mason is so incensed by “SJW”s. Mason is an SJW. It’s just that the social justice he would like to see is rather more selfish and uncaring than the version many of us would prefer to adopt. And anyone who spends as much time online as Mason posting video after video is clearly a keyboard warrior…)

      Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. ” Mason is an SJW. It’s just that the social justice he would like to see is rather more selfish and uncaring than the version many of us would prefer to adopt.”

        Great point. I thought I was the only one who thought that. We all have an idea of justice that we fight for–some are just more compassionate than others.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey Shotagaonist,

      Do you really want to know what happened with the reactionary right wing undercurrent, not only in atheist community, but also in gaming and other communities?
      It’s really interesting topic for me. Sadly it requires a lot of explanation, which I can’t possibly write down in a single comment, but I can try to give a tl;dr version of it and point to further reading.

      This whole thing is nothing new, it’s the same battle over and over again. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Sokal affair, but this conflict actually predates it. Sokal just made it public. Speaking philosophically it boils down to postmodernism and social constructivism vs empiricism and logical positivism. The former being represented by the “left” while the latter being the “right”. (i’ll call them that for the sake of brevity). Now what has philosophy to do with anything? Actually a lot! You see the “left” epistemology is that everything is in the mind and everything is subjective, therefore any “inequalities” are purely socially constructed and product of our culture and societal structure. The “right” epistemology on the other hand, argues that the world is what it is, and if we can’t measure something – it is pointless to talk about it, and statements which are not purely synthetic or purely analytical are nothing but sophistry. Therefore we should measure those societal and social constructs and if we can’t – they are not a valid theory. (I’m grossly misrepresenting and butchering both sides, but I really can’t explain it in a shorter way)
      What those 2 lines of thought boil down to politically, is basically this: the “left” says all people are equal and if we see different outcomes they are evidence of oppression and should fix it. They basically argue for equality of outcome. The “right” says: not all people are equal and we shouldn’t expect the same outcomes for everyone, so representation is not evidence for oppression, but rather expected. They want equality of opportunity and let the best person win, no matter their social or identarian background.

      Here’s a more in-depth and nuanced explanation of what I’m talking about (Don’t be mislead by the title): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kJXoesUf8g

      But if you really want to get a good grasp on the topic I would highly recommend this: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/philosophy-of-science.html

      Hope that helps.
      Cheers!

      Like

  8. Any opinions on the “Norwegian paradox”? I remember seeing on youtube a documentary called “the gender equality paradox” and if my memory serves me well evolutionary psychologists had evidence of men and women having different choices from birth and adding that to the norwegian paradox could be at least part of TF arguments

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    1. I am well aware of this study. It does not address the central point I make (repeatedly) in the blog post above (and in “When atheists ape creationists…”).

      Please provide me with evidence, credibly normalised to minimise/remove the effects of environmental/societal bias, which shows that the 80:20 gender balance in physics is due to sexual dimorphism.

      Here’s a lengthy, but well-balanced, critique of that Norwegian documentary (and the associated research): http://www.rationalskepticism.org/psychology/the-gender-equality-paradox-t32654.html

      Note the point made repeatedly about not making claims beyond the data. It is next to impossible to deconvolve out societal/environmental effects in these systems.

      I would also point you to this discussion on nature vs nurture, which makes similar points: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/jump-gun-and-you-will-be-shot-down

      Liked by 2 people

      1. on the first link (the “well balanced one”) there is a person saying the Baron Cohen experiment was debunked because when the investigator didn’t know the sex of the subject the results were different. But i cannot see any evidence of his/her claim. Anyone here have a source?

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    2. i personally believe there are a mix of biological and environmental factors involved on the developing of people. Biological tendencies between the sexes and also enviromental/social influence shapes the outcome of a child’s development. I know women tend to choose less the engineering and more other areas but how much its related to biology and how much to social influence is unknown at least in my knowledge. So i wouldn’t argue in favor of any position who would explain it by biology or by environment because is a very specific subject and i don’t see data related to that specific subject.

      Thanks for the info, also sorry for the bad english. Greetings from Chile!

      Like

  9. Gold. I’ve heard many times that the way to get through to the new misogynists is rational debate but in my experience it’s futile. If you actually stop and try to get into a particular issue you can’t get a straight answer out of them – although kudos for persisting Mr Moriarty!

    Is anyone else kinda morbidly fascinated with the way these guys insult any male person who is legitimately rational? The only reasons to stand up for logic in these situations are because you’re not a real man and because you want sex? It’s just so bizarre.

    Thank youso much for posting these emails. It confirms everything I believe about this ugly new wave of online misogyny. And please forgive my nom de plume – I have no interest in being targeted by a bunch of douchebags who think they actually have a point or an argument that rationalises their hatred of the fact that I’m female.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi there.

      Thanks for your comment. On the issue of anonymity, there’s a world of difference between anonymous comments written in a polite, constructive style (e.g. your response) and the type of abusive, childish nonsense that so often spews from the likes of “@SJWSlayer-1992” and their ilk. (That’s a random, made-up example. I haven’t checked whether @SJWSlayer-1992 exists!)

      It’s those who hide behind anonymity while slagging off others (and hypocritically railing against “safe spaces”) with whom I take issue.

      Philip

      Like

  10. It is rather astounding to see thunderf00t, a man ostensibly of high intelligence and extensive scientific training, struggle with basic argumentation. I mean, you have to write a dissertation to get a PhD! How did he manage that with such abysmal writing and arguing skills?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. To be fair, Thunderf00t believes (me included) that your position on this matter is so ridiculous that it’s beyond serious debate. In our view people like you are the real sexists, you believe women aren’t capable of doing STEM unless they are helped or persuaded by men. You infantilizes them and belittles their own agency.

    We live in societies where everyone has equal opportunity in education, it’s simply the case that they don’t decide what /you/ want them to decide. There are no more societal biases against women in physics as there are for men in nursing, primary school teaching or veterinary medicine.

    A very interesting correlation you will find around the world is the higher the gender equality in a country the /less/ women you will find in STEM fields (with the exception of Biology and Life Sciences). The proportion of women in computer science, mathematics, engineering and physics in the Scandinavian countries is shockingly low. (Despite a 30 year long political campaign for women in STEM and quota schemes for women where they can get into studies with lower grade averages than men)

    And you are the one suggesting some “societal bias”, which nobody can see or hear? For you it’s just a magical invisible force that discourages women. For the last 20 years I’ve heard nothing but encouragement for women in STEM, by /everyone/, by people and in politics.

    Men and women have evolved for different tasks and purposes, our brains are different just as our physical bodies are different. To claim anything else is putting your head in the sand. The science on this is large, it wouldn’t take much to look it up. Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_differences_in_psychology#Psychological_traits

    A few examples:

    “Men and things, women and people: A meta-analysis of sex differences in interests.”
    10.1037/a0017364
    – The present study suggests that interests may play a critical role in gendered occupational choices and gender disparity in the STEM fields.

    “Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: Robust and surprising findings.”
    10.1037/0022-3514.81.2.322
    – Contrary to predictions from evolutionary theory, the magnitude of gender differences varied across cultures. Contrary to predictions from the social role model, gender differences were most pronounced in European and American cultures in which traditional sex roles are minimized.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Men and women have evolved for different tasks and purposes, our brains are different just as our physical bodies are different. To claim anything else is putting your head in the sand. The science on this is large, it wouldn’t take much to look it up.”

      So, let’s take just one of the 300-odd papers that cited your first reference and see what it says in the abstract:

      New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis
      Lindberg, Sara M et al.
      Psychological Bulletin, Vol 136(6), Nov 2010, 1123-1135.

      “In this article, we use meta-analysis to analyze gender differences in recent studies of mathematics performance.

      First, we meta-analyzed data from 242 studies published between 1990 and 2007, representing the testing of 1,286,350 people. Overall, d = 0.05, indicating no gender difference, and variance ratio = 1.08, indicating nearly equal male and female variances.

      Second, we analyzed data from large data sets based on probability sampling of U.S. adolescents over the past 20 years: the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Effect sizes for the gender difference ranged between –0.15 and +0.22. Variance ratios ranged from 0.88 to 1.34. Taken together, these findings support the view that males and females perform similarly in mathematics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)”

      (Emphasis mine above).

      It took a minimal amount of research to locate this.

      The key point is this: there are many studies which claim that nature outweighs nurture and you can cherry-pick those as you like. (And you have!). I will find an equal number of papers which claim that there is no gender difference, or will argue on the basis of environmental/societal effects.

      What you will not find is a consensus one way or the other. Simply doing a keyword search on Google and picking out papers you “like” is not how research is done. Take a look at the abstracts of scientific papers and you will find that credible work cites a great deal of previous research in the field and weighs up the pros and cons of the different sides in a controversial area of research.

      The reasons for this lack of consensus are very simple, and are described at length in the “When atheists ape creationists…” blog post: nature and nurture are strongly coupled/convolved, One has to credibly deconvolve these effects from each other before any type of definitive statement re. sexual dimorphism can be made.

      Note that your quote from the first paper states “The present study suggests that interests may play a critical role in gendered occupational choices and gender disparity in the STEM fields.”

      How do you know those interests are genetically/biologically hard-wired and not influenced by societal/environmental factors. Where is the evidence that credibly deconvolves these factors? I don’t know the balance of nature vs nurture in this system. But then neither do you or Mason. You are claiming that genetics/biology dominates physics preference/aptitude on the basis of nothing more than “Well, men and women are clearly different. It’s obvious.”.

      As I say in the video, that’s a position that’s as astoundingly weak as “Well, look at the complexity of the eye.How could that ever have evolved? There must be an intelligent designer behind it”.

      I also note that the Things-People Dimension methodology in the first paper you cite is simplistic in the extreme — you really could have chosen a paper with a more compelling research strategy — and, tellingly, the authors do not provide any idea of the statistical uncertainities in their “measurements” in the abstract to the paper. There are no error bars included for each category. If I can quote Pauli out of context, to include values with no error bars is not even wrong.

      If we then take just a moment to check one of the many (~1700) papers that cite your second reference, including very many papers which are critical of its methodology, we find this:

      Cross-national patterns of gender differences in mathematics: A meta-analysis.
      Else-Quest, Nicole M.; Hyde, Janet Shibley; Linn, Marcia C.
      Psychological Bulletin, Vol 136(1), Jan 2010, 103-127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0018053

      “…In contrast to those of previous tests of the gender stratification hypothesis, our results point to specific domains of gender equity responsible for gender gaps in math. Gender equity in school enrollment, women’s share of research jobs, and women’s parliamentary representation were the most powerful predictors of cross-national variability in gender gaps in math. Results are situated within the context of existing research demonstrating apparently paradoxical effects of societal gender equity and highlight the significance of increasing girls’ and women’s agency cross-nationally.”

      Now, before you misinterpret yet again what I’m saying, let me reiterate that I do not know the balance of nature vs nurture when it comes to preference/aptitude for physics. But neither do you. And neither does Mason.

      To summarise, the gender balance in physics is an exceptionally complex, multi-parameter, non-linear system where there is strong cross-coupling and convolution of the relevant parameters. It is simplistic and simple-minded in the extreme to reduce this to “Men and women are clearly different. Therefore we have a gender balance of 80:20 M:F in physics”.

      The examples I’ve cited above show you that there is no consensus on the nature vs nurture components. And the reason why is very clear — “the gender balance in physics is an exceptionally complex etc..etc..”

      The more I communicate with those who support Mason’s evidence-free assertions, the more I realise just how apt that “When atheists ape creationists…” title is proving to be.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The first half of your reply attempts to “debunk” the studies by showing that men and women perform equally well in mathematics, but how is this at all relevant? What we are debating here is why fewer women decide to pursue STEM careers. Or specifically physics if you wish (although the introductory physics courses are required for most STEM degrees).

        I’m not sure what to make of the study you cite, it seems to say that an educated female population is the best predictor of math achievement. Duh? Sounds like a catch-22 to me.

        But again, we’re not debating math achievement (grades), I will happily admit that men and women who are already studying math are equally good at it. And that the 20% of physics students who are female are equally good at physics as the 80% who are male.

        “The first is that, despite strenuous efforts by many parties, the fraction of female students taking A-level physics has flatlined at 20 per cent for more than a decade. This is the reason why the proportion of female physics students at university is the same: 20 per cent.” https://www.timeshighereducation.com/how-get-more-women-study-physics

        My view (and Phil’s view) is simply that less women decide/chose to study physics, for perfectly good reasons (and we could discuss those reasons).

        You might want to ask yourself, what proportion of women would you expect in a perfectly fair world with no bias? Only a believer in the blank slate (tabula rasa) hypothesis would expect 50/50, no serious person today does.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “,,, perfectly fair world with no bias…”

        Fair from what perspective? Don’t you need bias, to bring in terms such as “fair” into the mix? We know that genetics+environment is an interaction, not something static. Obviously both play a role. The question is, if females and males have the same aptitude, how much of the difference in actualy work allocation is due to environment, and how much is due to the characteristics imbued at the moment of conception, is it not? Moriarty is arguing that we currently have no good answer, it might very well be that any deviation from 50/50 distribution is environmental/cultural, no? If not, why?

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      3. I’m afraid you’re going the wrong way about it, Professor. The situation at hand is that, while both genders are equal (give our take) in terms of academic aptitude, females don’t choose to pursue the career in STEM as often as males do. A scientific thing to do would be to ask people having shown average-or-above aptitude as to what made them choose or avoid choosing a career in STEM, what informed their decisions. Their responses should provide a qualitative insight into the core of this phenomenon.

        Simply assuming the existence of a societal bias, on the other hand, isn’t scientific; it decreases intelligent people’s agency by default, which isn’t ethical, and it suggests a more complex explanation of an empiric phenomenon than is necessary (and as such goes against Occam’s razor which is the prime guiding principle in absence of a scientifically proven correlation/causal relationship). As Ammonia has said elsewhere in the comments, the lack of artificial bias should indeed be the null hypothesis because you can only prove existence of something but cannot prove the lack thereof. In this respect you, too, are arguing from the position of faith rather than impartial rational thought.

        As a purely anecdotal thing from my experience: girls in Soviet Russia were known to get higher average scores in mid/high school, including subjects like math. Yet this didn’t stop boys ending up more numerous in STEM careers. This is despite the fact that Soviet Union achieved levels and aspects of actual gender equality back in 1920s that most developed countries struggled with until the end of the 20th century. You just have to accept the fact that not all career choices are equally enticing for everyone, and that there’s nothing wrong with that. By lowering the entry requirements or otherwise providing benefits to a particular gender you may make a particular career choice more enticing, which may eventually lead to a statistical equilibrium, but the means to achieve it would be no less artificial and will be more likely to result in perpetuating gender-related biases and grudges, as well as potentially lowering the average output of the fields in question by admitting less qualified people to the same job positions. Is that really the desired result? Why not just provide equal opportunity for everyone instead and let the natural flow do its thing? Like… does that not make sense? Am I missing something?

        And just as a disclaimer: I’m not satisfied with the performance of either side of this debate. The way both you and the other Phil argue their points are lacking, albeit in different aspects.

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    2. “you believe women aren’t capable of doing STEM unless they are helped or persuaded by men.”

      Uh, this is THUNDERF00T’S view, & since you say you have the same views, I can only assume it is yours as well.

      I am well aware that Thunderf00t suddenly decides to pretend he’s all about “valuing women’s choices” when he wants to deride his opposition as “the real sexists.” Unless those women choose to be social scientists, whom he’s gone on record to say are idiotic, dishonest pseudoscientists. Or feminists, whom he appears to think are an evil conspiracy. Also he thinks “men’s fields” deserve to be paid more because they’re more important & requiring of skill.

      But aside from that, he doesn’t just say they “choose” not to, he says they’re not “competitive” or “ambitious” enough. I’ve never heard him outright say that women aren’t smart enough or can’t handle criticism–though I wouldn’t be surprised, & as I pointed out, it’s a necessary corollary of what he DOES say about disproportionately female fields–but the point remains, he DOES say that most women aren’t cut out for STEM “because biology.”

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  12. Copy+pasting our conversation from YouTube (sorry for starting out so aggressive):

    Phi6er: “As far as I understand Mason is not dismissing environmental factors, he is saying that there is no reason to expect a 50/50 divide because of dimorphism. The feminist narrative is that the lack of gender parity means women are oppressed, and that is the only thing he is out to disprove… which he has done, multiple times. He does not need proof because the feminist fallacy of an argument is based on “I don’t know therefore oppression”, a type of twisted form of reasoning by exclusion. If Mason can provide an alternative that has not been excluded, it breaks that reasoning. In the blog you are going full SJW, never go full SJW. You don’t seem to know what you are talking about, I’m disappointed. All I’m seeing is the same crazy, typical narrative building I have seen before. And the email exchange is basically you bothering Phil, giving him passive aggressive bullshit, and then act surprised when he says mean things to you. Un-fucking-believable. This is exactly the kind of thing Phil and the rest of anti-feminists are having to deal with daily: passive aggression followed by playing to be the “bigger man”.”

    Philip Moriarty: “Did you read the blog posts? I address your comments in great detail in those posts. As regards your use of “SJW”, you might like to read the “trigger warning” at the start of the “When atheists ape creationists…” video. I also find it deeply amusing when SJW is used as a pejorative. Mason is an SJW. It’s just that he’s arguing for a rather more selfish, uncaring form of social justice! And if someone who spends as much of their time online railing about SJWs isn’t an internet warrior, then I don’t know what is. “And the email exchange is basically you bothering Phil, giving him passive aggressive bullshit, and then act surprised when he says mean things to you” The e-mail exchange involves me asking Mason to provide evidence for his claims. Note that Mason has adopted exactly this approach throughout his internet career. He has hectored and heckled many people for what he sees as their inability to back their claims up with evidence. I wasn’t surprised that he said “mean things” to me. I was surprised that he lacked any semblance of ability to argue his points coherently.”

    Phi6er: “”Did you read the blog posts? I address your comments in great detail in those posts.” I read the one. How about you address me directly right here? “As regards your use of “SJW”, you might like to read the “trigger warning” at the start of the “When atheists ape creationists…” video.” No… please don’t tell me you are seriously trying to do this to me too. How edgy of you. Being passive aggressive does not make you any more mature than being directly aggressive. “I also find it deeply amusing when SJW is used as a pejorative. Mason is an SJW.” Semantics. I have no interest in semantics. Call him what ever you want, I don’t care. “SJW” has taken on a whole new meaning recently, it is a useful word to describe the world. Disallowing me from using it is just making the conversation more awkward for me. “It’s just that he’s arguing for a rather more selfish, uncaring form of social justice!” Baseless assertion. “And if someone who spends as much of their time online railing about SJWs isn’t an internet warrior, then I don’t know what is.” You don’t know what is. It’s as simple as that. The term has taken on a new meaning recently (relatively), and it is being used to describe “intersectional” (=marxist) feminists and basically serves as a term to refer to a person advocating crazy things in the name of feminism of “anti-racism”. “The e-mail exchange involves me asking Mason to provide evidence for his claims. Note that Mason has adopted exactly this approach throughout his internet career. He has hectored and heckled many people for what he sees as their inability to back their claims up with evidence.” This completely ignores what I said in my comment. Completely. “I was surprised that he lacked any semblance of ability to argue his points coherently.” This is assuming he tried, which he very obviously didn’t. You pretty much completely ignored everything I said. Care to try again, or is it that you lack “any semblance of ability to argue” your points?””

    The copy+paste screwed up paragraphing (or what ever the term is in English), so… have fun, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why? We know that societal biases have existed and continue to exist toward many groups in many societies. They’re pretty common, and the thing about biases is that they’re rarely conscious – if you have one, you tend to just think “that’s the way the world is”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Because the null hypothesis is “things are the way they are without some type of theory interfering” and you must prove that no some type of theory is interfering

        we know that societal biases have informed various things like ingroup outgroup bias. so I agree that you could get boys to hate certain things by terming females as the outgroup. I just also think that any society who really, really did that, would tear itself apart for a million different reasons. Same goes for females terming males as the outgroup. Hell, feminism has done that already to an extent and look how bad it’s gotten!

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  13. Three interesting things I find worth noting:

    The issue of gender imbalance in science is, as Prof. Phillip Moriarty suggests, almost certainly complex enough that a brief analysis is pointless.

    Phil Mason is certainly guilty of being deliberately confusing and opaque, in at least some of his interactions on this issue both here and elsewhere. Scientifically this is useless and so he leaves people little choice but to ignore him.

    Most importantly, Phil Mason is at best so misleading in his communications that he is creating an image of so-called “scientists” which is unappealing to virtually any social human being, and at worst he is malicious enough that he is willing to do this intentionally. This is reprehensible, regardless of the issue at hand or whose argument is “correct”.

    Science is not simply a computer program that spits out theories, it is, whether we like it or not, intertwined with human community and it must operate harmoniously with this community if it is to be useful to anyone at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Concentrating on the dearth of women in physics is perhaps missing the point. Let’s ask another question: Is there any field where there is 50-50 gender equality (assuming for now only the two traditional genders; as a happily married straight white cis male I have learned from the internet that I incapable of imagining anything beyond this), even allowing for some Poisson scatter?

    Take rock music, for example: much more male-dominated than physics. Is there even one reasonably well known female rock musician who is not a singer, not romantically involved with one (or more) of the men in the band and not part of something marketed as a girl group? (There is nothing wrong with any of these, but most male rock musicians are not singers, are not romantically involved with anyone else in the band, and not part of something marketed as a boy group.) If not, why not? Even if there is, the huge difference needs to be explained.

    Remember that Pink Floyd were one of the biggest bands in the world, though pictures of them on their albums stopped appearing in the early 1970s. As late as the Dark Side of the Moon tour, Roger Waters could walk around in the audience before a concert, wearing a Pink Floyd T-Shirt, and not be noticed. Since even then not all men wore beards, some long-haired musician standing in the shadows would not have been identifiable as male or female anyway. But there were practically no women?

    Same goes for famous chefs, chess players (must be really macho dudes to keep out all of those women!), dustmen, criminals, mentally retarded. Similarly, there are more women journalists, physicians, high-paid porn stars, and teachers.

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    1. I’m not sure what your point is, Philip.

      Just because gender balances are much wider spread than any single field of human endeavour that doesn’t tell us anything in particular.

      We already know that whatever causes gender imbalances is widespread – so we’d expect it to crop up across multiple fields. Societal bias is by definition almost as all-pervading as genetics (actual literal hermits and total social oddities are pretty rare).

      You’re also ignoring the fact that fields tend to develop cultures.

      (As a passing note, if you think that people need to be traditionally “macho” to keep women out of a field, you should go and Google “Gamergate” (and then weep for the lost soul of humanity). See also people’s accounts of “coding while female”.)

      Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s possible for a field (let’s stick with Physics for the moment) to develop an informal culture that’s pretty unwelcoming to women. If that’s the case, we’d expect to see far fewer women in that field, and importantly we’d expect to see that issue persist, because even if wider societal values change it takes a while for that to filter into these somewhat more insular groups. It also takes a while for a new influx of female students (if you get one) to progress in the field and achieve seniority.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “Let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s possible for a field (let’s stick with Physics for the moment) to develop an informal culture that’s pretty unwelcoming to women. If that’s the case, we’d expect to see far fewer women in that field, and importantly we’d expect to see that issue persist, because even if wider societal values change it takes a while for that to filter into these somewhat more insular groups. It also takes a while for a new influx of female students (if you get one) to progress in the field and achieve seniority.”

        This is true, but the converse is not: gender disparity does not in itself proved that it is caused by societal bias. I’m not saying it isn’t, I’m just saying that this is not up to the standard of scientific proof.

        One can, and should, address any problems concerning lack of equal opportunity and so on. But an imbalance does not automatically imply that it is due to some sort of discrimination.

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      2. “This is true, but the converse is not: gender disparity does not in itself proved that it is caused by societal bias. I’m not saying it isn’t, I’m just saying that this is not up to the standard of scientific proof.”
        I’m not sure that anyone’s claimed “proof” that sexism is 100% to blame for the lack of women in STEM generally however, I think the case is a bit better than you make out.

        1) We know for a fact that “Western” society at large used to be highly sexist. Part of that sexism was a strong belief in gendered occupations and science was not seen as a place for women. (There are outliers of course, but that doesn’t disprove the point that women were generally unwelcome in science for a long time) Some of this sexism was also encoded in law for a long time – men and women literally had different rights.

        2) We know that when a bias stops being legally supported, it doesn’t disappear – instead it fades over time. A good example of this is the history of racism in America, because the initial state (slavery) is so inarguably prejudicial, and because you can see the ways that those prejudices have continued subtly over time to the point where black people have observably worse treatment in lab-test fake job interviews. (https://mindhacks.com/2016/06/17/the-mechanics-of-subtle-discrimination-measuring-microaggresson/)

        It’s not a stretch to argue that the same applies to gender discrimination in modern society, especially given the evidence in the blogpost Moriarty links to at the top of this one.

        3) Given 1 and 2, it’s not in any way illogical to suspect that residual sexism in the field is a reason (possibly even a primary reason) for the lack of women in STEM.

        I’d argue that’s somewhat stronger than the case for sexual dimorphism.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “I’d argue that’s somewhat stronger than the case for sexual dimorphism.”

        I don’t disagree, I just maintain that it is wrong to automatically assume that any difference must be due to discrimination.

        I also find it strange that people focus on fields where men are dominant. There are many fields where women are dominant. People also focus on groups they find positive, but there are also male-dominated groups which are negative.

        If there were absolutely no sexual dimorphism at all, then societal bias could never have evolved. I want to avoid “men and women are completely equal in every respect, except that men institute a patriarchy”.

        “Sexual dimorphism” implies to most “one is better than the other”. However, I don’t think the idea has been ruled out that even if the mean is the same, the one distribution can be wider than the other. Of course, this implies more men at the low end as well, and indeed most mentally handicapped people are men, most criminals are men, and so on. Now one could argue that crime is influenced mainly by society and so on, but mental retardation is not.

        Why does no-one argue that it is societal bias which favours men in disadvantaged groups?

        Of course, even if the means were drastically different, that would still be no excuse for any sort of denial of opportunity.
        (Most men are taller than most women, but there are many women much taller than most men.)

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        1. “I don’t disagree, I just maintain that it is wrong to automatically assume that any difference must be due to discrimination.”
          I think in the purest sense that’s true, but my observation is that Tf00t and other actively misogynist types will use that gap to try and push the idea that discrimination doesn’t exist at all and anyone who thinks it does is just oversensitive – so my instinct is always to push the other side.

          “I also find it strange that people focus on fields where men are dominant. There are many fields where women are dominant. People also focus on groups they find positive, but there are also male-dominated groups which are negative.”
          I think this is because in general, the fields where women are dominant are lower-paid and less valued than fields where men are.

          I also think the focus on areas where men have positive dominance is kind of just a product of activism – it makes more sense for people from a feminist background to protest that there aren’t enough women in STEM than that more women need lives of crime or intellectual disability. More on this anon.

          “If there were absolutely no sexual dimorphism at all, then societal bias could never have evolved. I want to avoid “men and women are completely equal in every respect, except that men institute a patriarchy”.”
          TBH I don’t know that this is actually true. We can point to countries where there’s a strong element of sexual segregation which isn’t along biological lines at all – there’s no physical reason for Saudi women not to drive, for example. I mean, I guess it’s true in the sense that men and women generally look different so we can mostly tell them apart quickly by sight and sort them into categories?

          “…except that men institute a patriarchy” is kind of a misunderstanding of the theory of the Patriarchy. The name is kind of misleading but the idea isn’t that men have conspired to put a system in place in order to disenfranchise women. The idea is that a system has grown up organically which values a certain kind of maleness over other gender expressions, and that some men promote this either consciously or unconsciously because it benefits them. The important difference here is that because this system only values a particular kind of maleness, men who can’t fit into this mould (are “effeminate”, can’t provide financially, prefer intellectual pursuits to physical prowess, etc. (those commas should be read as “and/ors” not “ands” btw) are also discriminated against.

          ” Now one could argue that crime is influenced mainly by society and so on, but mental retardation is not.”
          No. One of the few 100% provable bits of sexual dimorphism in the human species is that men (or to be more strictly accurate people with only one X chromosome) are more vulnerable to pretty much all conditions with a genetic basis, which includes the majority of conditions that lead to intellectual disability (also colour-blindness, and male pattern baldness IIRC). This is usually because a Y chromosome is an incomplete X, so women can carry these genetic disorders while having a healthy gene to fall back on and men can’t.

          “Why does no-one argue that it is societal bias which favours men in disadvantaged groups?”
          By “which favours men in disadvantaged groups” I’m assuming you mean “accounts for men’s over-representation in some disadvantaged groups” rather than “gives men from disadvantaged groups an easier time than other people from disadvantaged groups” – because you could read that either way.

          The short answer is “people do, all the time, often those people are feminists”.

          That more nuanced version of the Patriarchy concept I talked about before is where feminists argue that the over-representation of men in some disadvantaged groups comes from.

          There’s a long-ish (just under 1/2 hour) unpacking of this stuff here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUM9Me6y8ME but the tl;dr version is that it’s those concepts of masculinity that put men in danger more often, and make them disinclined to seek the early help that can prevent the worst consequences of financial hardship and/or mental illness. It’s also the insistence that maleness is inherently aggressive that leads to men resorting to violence more often than women (one of the oft-quoted stats beloved of MRAs is that men are more likely to be the victim of an assault than women, but they neglect to mention that that assault will almost certainly be committed by another man).

          Liked by 1 person

      4. “I think in the purest sense that’s true, but my observation is that Tf00t and other actively misogynist types will use that gap to try and push the idea that discrimination doesn’t exist at all and anyone who thinks it does is just oversensitive – so my instinct is always to push the other side.”

        I’m glad you admit it. The problem is that if one wants to combat a distorted, wrong point of view, it is not a good strategy to adopt a distorted, wrong, but opposite, point of view.

        “I think this is because in general, the fields where women are dominant are lower-paid and less valued than fields where men are.”

        Well why is that? If it is true that the patriarchy sets the payscales, then the solution (to the problem of “equal pay”) is to pay better in jobs where there are more women, not try to move women to better-paid fields.

        Let’s take another example: porn actresses earn far more than their male, errm, counterparts. This doesn’t make up for lower-paid women elsewhere, of course, but one can ask the question why. In such a discussion, a male feminist once replied to me that this isn’t a good example because it is blatantly obvious why porn actresses have to earn more than porn actors, not even realizing that this completely undercut his entire “but men and women are completely equal in all areas” philosophy.

        Let me play devil’s advocate slightly. Many male chief surgeons marry female nurses, but not vice versa. (By the way, medicine is a respected and relatively well paid profession which, at least in many countries, is female dominated.) There is even a term for the rich-female-poor-male constellation: dating down. As long as blokes have to earn well to be attractive in the mating game, they will make sure they earn more, by working harder, by taking a better-paid job when they would prefer another one, by long commutes, whatever—in particular, they will demand more pay and won’t be bluffing. Women with a well paid male partner can afford to do the work they prefer, if they work at all, even though it might not be well paid. So, the solution is for high-earning women to hook up with poor blokes! (By the way, many of my girlfriends have been substantially older and/or substantially richer than I, but I am not a typical bloke.)

        In Italy, not a country known for progressive feminism, a large fraction of astronomers are women. I asked someone working in Italy why this was the case, and he said it is because the jobs are badly paid—one can’t feed a family on such a salary. So, many of these jobs are taken up by women who have husbands who earn more. Of course, this works only if there is the expectation that husbands feed the families. So, in a reverse of “not all lack of women is due to discrimination”, one finds here that not all apparent success of women in STEM subjects is due to enlightened feminism.

        The Saudi example is not puzzling at all. It’s an aspect of “women are property and controlled by men”, which is based, historically, on the fact that men are physically stronger and on the desire to make sure that women aren’t impregnated by men other than their husbands (which—together with competition with other males—is probably why they are physically stronger in the first place). Evolutionarily speaking, like the party where young girls are looking for husbands and husbands are looking for young girls, things are not as symmetric as they seem. Women can bear a child a year; a man can sire several per day. The best male strategy is to sire as many children as possible, which means by as many women as possible. One can’t take care of them, sure, but this is more than compensated for by the shear numbers. A woman’s best strategy is to mate with the best man she can until she is pregnant. If she can convince the father to help raise the child, so much the better. A man, though, if he contributes, wants to be sure that it is his child. (Mama’s baby; papa’s, maybe.) Thus, both men and women have an interest in female fidelity, while men have an interest in female fidelity but not in their own.

        I don’t advocate this as a model for society—quite the opposite—but if one wants to change society, behaviour, etc, one has to understand where things come from.

        I recommend the books of Steven Pinker here: he is a left-wing non-STEM (well, he’s a psychologist who works in linguistics) guy who works in a field dominated by females, and is good at debunking politically correct but scientifically wrong bullshit.

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        1. “I’m glad you admit it. The problem is that if one wants to combat a distorted, wrong point of view, it is not a good strategy to adopt a distorted, wrong, but opposite, point of view.”
          This is just on the polite edge of calling me an eejit, dude. That’s not helpful.

          “Well why is that? If it is true that the patriarchy sets the payscales, then the solution (to the problem of “equal pay”) is to pay better in jobs where there are more women, not try to move women to better-paid fields.”
          Well, as a raving lefty I think that everyone ought to get paid more in exchange for their bosses getting paid less, or ought to get paid relative to the extent that society would fall to bits without them (care jobs are actually vital and terrifyingly undervalued).

          But, I think you’re wrong here. We can do both those things. We can pay stereotypically “women’s” jobs better, *and* we can try to remove barriers to women’s participation in fields where they’re under-represented. “Removing barriers” is important language by the way, because I don’t think that trying to push women in any particular direction is useful – I think there are more barriers to women’s participation in a lot of fields than you’re currently aware of.

          “Let’s take another example: porn actresses earn far more than their male, errm, counterparts. This doesn’t make up for lower-paid women elsewhere, of course, but one can ask the question why. In such a discussion, a male feminist once replied to me that this isn’t a good example because it is blatantly obvious why porn actresses have to earn more than porn actors, not even realizing that this completely undercut his entire “but men and women are completely equal in all areas” philosophy.”
          OK so what happened here is that either your male feminist did a bad job explaining what he meant, or you misunderstood him. Women are paid more for porn because of the old (highly patriarchal) assumption that men would work in porn for free if you let them, but that women need to be heavily bribed into sex. That doesn’t undermine a feminist point of view – it reinforces it.

          Also, I want to take issue with your assertion here that any innate difference between men and women undermines feminism. It’s not necessary at all for us to start from a position of absolute parity across the board in order to end up at the conclusion “men and women should be treated more equitably, and women currently have the worse end of the deal”.

          “Let me play devil’s advocate slightly. Many male chief surgeons marry female nurses, but not vice versa.”
          My mum is a doctor who married a nurse, what of it?

          (By the way, medicine is a respected and relatively well paid profession which, at least in many countries, is female dominated.)
          Ok, but here’s the tricky bit. Medicine wasn’t always female-dominated, even in the countries where it now is (or is at least approaching equal). That change has happened over the course of the last hundred years or so (probably less in many places). This is far too quick to be evolution – so it *must* be social.

          My mum (the aforementioned doctor) was one of the first women to pursue a career in her field (psychiatry) and her accounts of going through first medical school and then the extra training needed to become a psychiatrist in the 70s and 80s in New Zealand and the UK are pretty chock-full of dealings with a very sexist establishment.

          I realise this is an anecdote, but I suspect it’s not an uncommon one for women of my mum’s generation.

          “As long as blokes have to earn well to be attractive in the mating game, they will make sure they earn more, by working harder, by taking a better-paid job when they would prefer another one, by long commutes, whatever—in particular, they will demand more pay and won’t be bluffing.”
          So currently here in New Zealand this is impossible. We’ve had enough years of a Tory government that people keep the job they have by hanging on like grim death, and the amount you make is utterly unrelated to how hard you work.

          Also, you are treating a very patriarchal view human romantic relationships as if it is purely human nature.

          “Women with a well paid male partner can afford to do the work they prefer, if they work at all, even though it might not be well paid. So, the solution is for high-earning women to hook up with poor blokes! (By the way, many of my girlfriends have been substantially older and/or substantially richer than I, but I am not a typical bloke.)”
          You remember my mum the doctor and my dad the nurse? Well, my dad quit nursing (since it’s a female-dominated job it’s very poorly-paid) so that my mum could pursue her career and my dad could look after me and my brother. He also took the opportunity to do some writing (he got a radio play made in the late 80s, and wrote for an iconic kids’ radio series for a while) and get an MA in Art History amongst other things. I have never ever got the sense from him that he resented this in any way, and they are still happily married in their mid-60s.

          This situation is becoming more and more common (in cases where one income is enough to support a family, which is an increasingly rare situation here in NZ because Tories). The relationship model you describe exists, but the idea that the man is automatically going to be the provider is social, and is changing.

          “So, in a reverse of “not all lack of women is due to discrimination”, one finds here that not all apparent success of women in STEM subjects is due to enlightened feminism.”
          I wouldn’t call being over-represented in fields which are societally under-valued “apparent success”. I’d call that “being given the scut-work”.

          “[The need to control women’s sexuality for reproductive reasons] is probably why [men] are physically stronger in the first place….”
          That “probably” is begging a heck of a lot of questions. Evolutionarily speaking there are a heck of a lot of reasons why it might be a good idea to get half your population to trade a slightly decreased lifespan and a higher risk of genetic disorders for increased physical capability, and “controlling the other half” is not actually all that great of one.

          For one thing, humans are social troupe-type animals (our natural unit of self-organisation seems to be the small-to-middling tribal group, which we then hack to get cities using technology to overcome disease and the other problems of overcrowding). That means a maltreated woman has a lot of social recourse to get out of that situation (you’ll find, if you go looking, that the first thing an abusive partner does is to cut off all social supports and isolate the person they’re abusing).

          If you want to go the route of comparing us to other primates (this is a bad idea, we’re unlike them in a lot of important ways, but we’re talking evo-psych, so I guess we’re going there) you also see the phenomenon of “sneaky fucker syndrome” – lower-status males who build social alliances with females and then mate with them while higher-status males are off doing performative high-status male things. This appears to also be a viable evolutionary strategy, no?

          “[Snipped evo-psych guff]….A man, though, if he contributes, wants to be sure that it is his child. (Mama’s baby; papa’s, maybe.) Thus, both men and women have an interest in female fidelity, while men have an interest in female fidelity but not in their own.”
          Except we’re humans. That means we have a whole lot of social considerations which vary from place to place. The conventions about how patrimony is determined and what that means in terms of relationships are cultural and have a huge variance across space and time. “Western” ideas around patrimony arguably have more to do with feudalism (worries about inheritance and title) filtered through Victorian middle-class prudishness and concern with not having more children than you can afford (poorhouses suck, and the lower middle class was tenuous as anything) than they do with evolution.

          Genders and gender roles, similarly, are way more variable from culture to culture than you would expect if they derived purely from evolution.

          “…but if one wants to change society, behaviour, etc, one has to understand where things come from.”
          Why? I mean, it’s *interesting* to have theories about where stuff comes from, but we can’t change past evolution. That means even if we decide (which I think is more controversial than you realise) that evolution is the source of all our gender roles, we still need to focus on fixing the social aspects of the way that expresses itself, because that’s the thing we can actually change. And in fact, as you can see from the improvement in women’s achievements in various fields over time, social change is working (if slower than we might like) to bring about parity across the board.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Just a quick little thought, but I’ve noticed that Tf00t seems to intentionally avoid ever pinning himself down to particular research and has a fairly generalized “sexual dimorphism” catch-all reply to this sort of stuff.

    I believe in one of your videos you mentioned similarities to the creationist “look at the trees, isn’t it obvious god made them?”-type of rhetoric.

    Personally I find his vagueness beyond buzzwords on the subject to be vaguely reminiscent of how creationists/ID proponents deliberately use terms such as “kinds” when discussing evolution, as to never pin themselves down to terms used within the actual field of evolutionary science.

    (The similarity being that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Tf00t interact with social sciences in any way other than to mock it. There’s a very “I disagree with you but won’t fight you on your own terf”-feeling to his general attitude towards social science topics.)

    Anyway just an observation based on what I’ve seen or heard, I’ve long ago lost the patience to sit through his videos so perhaps he’s more social science savy than I give him credit for.

    Kind regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The reason for Mason’s evasiveness and smugness is simple, he’s monetized it. His fanbase doesn’t want to hear him admit defeat and that fanbase pays him to say what they want to hear. Ironically he has confined himself to the same intellectual straight jacket that privately skeptical Pastors and Padres have. They know they’re talking crap but it keeps the collection plates full. It’s a living!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. As all if us here I have a huge respect for you, prof Moriarty. I’m also a woman who ‘does’ physics and a feminist. I am totally on your side but I can’t stop wondering how did a grown up man get himself involved in this e-drama? You write an essey, he responds with one sentence, so you write four more essays. He has the power here, he is winding you up and has great fun in doing so, you are practically talking to a wall. The man is vile, and whatever intelligence he posseses it is outperformed by his petty and repugnant character. You are not going to get trough. You are clearly a passionate man, keep yourself sane, don’t play on his turf.

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    1. Hi.

      Thanks for commenting and for the kind words.

      I’d like to respond to a couple of points. First, I enjoyed the exchange with Mason immensely — I’m an argumentative sod and like nothing more than whiling away some time pointing out the gaping holes in an argument.

      If it was Mason’s intention to wind me up, he really didn’t do a very good job. I’m Irish — when I get wound up I lapse into the vernacular, which is ~ 50% expletives. The exchange with Mason is 100% expletive-free. I had a lot of fun.

      Second, do you suggest that we should simply ignore Mason and his ilk? That we shouldn’t challenge them on the utter nonsense they spout? I’m afraid that’s just something I can’t do — evidence free tirades should be challenged, debated, and shown up for the nonsense they are. (It’s why I’m no fan at all of safe spaces” — we should debate (vociferously) rather than give credence to vacuous points of view by gifting them a notoriety they don’t deserve).

      I really appreciate your kind words and support, and I agree with your appraisal of Mason, but if even only one person comes away from reading the post above with a revised opinion of Mason, I’ll consider it “job done”.

      Thanks again for leaving a comment — I appreciate that.

      Philip

      Like

  18. First of all I like to say: I’ve never heard of you or the 60 something videos. I just saw your ranting video with Sargon in the title popping up on my YT front page and clicked on it because I had too much spare time. That says enough about me, so I don’t have to talk for 5 minutes about how great I’m, and how successful the guys I’m working with are – like you did. But I want to mention that my native language – like many of the TF,Sargon,… followers – isn’t english. So, you ranting about how bad the language in YT comments of their supporters are, makes me think: this dude is a stupid elitist asshole. To the point why I’m writing anyway:
    It looks like you are new to the whole anti-feminist YT, else I can’t understand why you are texting like mad to thunderfoot. He’s known to be “guy of less words” (don’t know the exact translation for that) and uses his time for more important things. So it doesn’t make any sense to write him a whole book full of text via email. Also you want evidence from him for things that are already proven. You can just google it or go to other YT channels that go into details. Thunderfoot put you a small hint there in his email (Might be just a coincident), the guy that is going into all the details is called teal dear (tl;dr).
    Another thing I want to address: Why are you attacking the major YT channels? Are you that desperate? You are now just another one of hundreds in the past that attacked TF, Sargon and amazing atheist with absolutely lousy arguments that have been explained over and over again. Don’t expect an answer to that, they’ve heard your arguments a hundred times… and there are already videos addressing your points. It just shows you are very superficial and don’t want to dig any deeper because you don’t want to see your echo chamber collapse.
    “I discuss this at more length in a comment over at Steve Shives’ YT channel”, that’s funny. I thought you are pro free speech? You know the hashtag blockedbysteve? There is a reason for it, do some research! But that just proves you are in an echo chamber (steve blocks any counter arguments on his YT Channel too).
    Here are some other channels you can attack with your already debunked arguments:
    teal dear, Kraut and Tea, DoctorRandomercam, Karen Straughan, HoneyBadgerRadio (I suggest you to contact them for a debate, you’ll probably get rect… would be funny to watch), ShoeOnHead, Skeptorr, Vee Monro, 6oodfella. And make sure to subscribe to all of their twitter feeds… then you’ll become a member of the blockedbysteve community automatically 😉
    And finally: You might have got a higher education, but believe me the situation that you’re creating, will make you look like a complete idiot. You should rethink… it might not be worth it.

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  19. I’m a layman so try to forgive my poor writing. I’m a thunderfoot fan, and I must say that I found him very lacking in pretty much every way during your exchange. Now while I disagree with your conclusions, I do respect, that I feel, you came to them the right way. I personally think that how someone thinks is far more important than what they think. You were professional, though condescending, throughout and gave me honest pause in my current beliefs. I’m sure all this means very little to you given your teaching level is way above what I’ll ever reach (I’d love to be an audio engineer, but my health, both mental and physical, have been failing me), but I try to be forthcoming in when I feel humbled by someone or something, intellectually. I’d appreciate if it would wouldn’t be to much trouble links to some work that supports, in your opinion, things such as feminism and the social justice position in general, and frankly a response at all would be nice. I enjoy discovering I’m wrong and I’m sure you feel that you can make that happen to no end, so a conversation would be excellent as well.

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    1. Matthew said: “I’d appreciate if it would wouldn’t be to much trouble links to some work that supports, in your opinion, things such as feminism and the social justice position in general”.

      Matthew, I don’t think Professor Moriarty would want to get into a “discussion” focussing on such topics. He is a physicist probing reality at small scales. I from my medical (among others) point of view, have a hard time seeing as how it would be worth the time getting into it, anyway. “Social Justice” and “Feminism” have taken on a life of its own, in many “Anti-SJW” and “Anti-Feminism” groupings. It is the old game of False Dichotomies, driving the old Ingroup vs. Outgroup mechanisms.

      There are three good talks at the same event, by three experts, touching on such things, which I would recommend. Professor Robert Sapolsky is very entertaining and insightful, and the two who follow him, Dr. Fiske and Dr. Green, are also presenting some great information.

      The Biology and Psychology of Ethical Behavior
      http://library.fora.tv/2013/09/28/the_biology_and_psychology_of_ethical_behavior#RWAcLZtwahaoS3EA.99

      Regards,
      Daniel

      Like

  20. I like how you posted this in an attempted to ridicule Thunderfoot, yet it only shows how he trolled you into emailing him loads of tripe which no one read!

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    1. Ah, I love this type of response. Always makes me smile.

      Where are your evidence-based arguments? All you lot want to do is shout into an echo chamber. Where’s your evidence? Why won’t you debate us? All you want to do is avoid our arguments. We’ve got evidence and reason on our side. That’s what the The ‘Foot and the Lord Sargon are all about: reason and evidence

      Oh, OK. Here’s a comprehensive dissection of Dr. Mason’s evidence-free claims: https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/the-natural-order-of-things/

      What? You don’t expect us to read that, do you? So many words. So many letters. So many syllables. So many citations. How could we ever be expected to read that? It hurts our synapses. So very much. It’s tripe. I haven’t read it but I know it’s tripe.

      Another great example of just how spot-on these cartoons are: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2012/12/gabbys-cartoon_12.html

      Oh, and some people read it at least. A few here and there. https://www.reddit.com/r/GamerGhazi/comments/4o0ngw/the_faith_and_fables_of_thunderfoot/

      You could also take a look at the comments under the video. Some people actually still take the time to read. Fortunately.

      Like

      1. That’s great, you actually do not understand what being trolled is then do you? The whole point of making the evidence-free claims is to incite a response. Which you have given, in droves. It’s not about being right or wrong 🙂

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  21. @SlightNihilist

    I understand fully what’s meant by being trolled. Indeed, I prefer the earlier definition, when trolling was associated with some degree of wit and intelligence. That, as Dr. Mason so ably demonstrates, is no longer the case.

    It’s not about being right or wrong

    Hmmm. From the RationalWiki entry for Dr. Mason:

    “PEARL is Mason’s personal re-branding of atheism. Not impressed with how “atheist” concentrates on the negative aspects, “PEARL” stands for Physical Evidence And Reasoned Logic, which are positive aspects of his personal belief”

    So, when asked for .evidence to support an entirely evidence-free claim he put forward, Dr. Mason instead chooses to “troll” in about the most witless manner imaginable. And you find that to be a compelling counter-argument (particularly given his, ahem, “PEARL” credentials?

    That’s absolutely your prerogative but I’m lucky enough to teach undergraduate students, and to work with PhD students, postdocs, and colleagues, whose intelligence means that that they don’t find playground trolling from a 45 year old man to be a particularly compelling counter-argument.

    Those, however, with all the wit and sophistication of a none-too-clever and very immature teenager are, of course, free to differ.

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    1. Trolling has never been associated with wit and intelligence. The only correct definition of trolling is that people do it to incite a response. I don’t find much of what Mr Mason says to be compelling. He can be entertaining at times though. His email exchange published here, was one of those times.

      Like

      1. No, sorry, but it has. The very best trolls — in the original sense of the word — could be witty and clever.

        See, for example, this definition:

        Trolling: The art of deliberately, cleverly, and secretly pissing people off, usually via the internet, using dialogue. Trolling does not mean just making rude remarks: Shouting swear words at someone doesn’t count as trolling; it’s just flaming, and isn’t funny. Spam isn’t trolling either; it pisses people off, but it’s lame.

        The most essential part of trolling is convincing your victim that either a) truly believe in what you are saying, no matter how outrageous, or b) give your victim malicious instructions, under the guise of help.

        Trolling requires decieving; any trolling that doesn’t involve decieving someone isn’t trolling at all; it’s just stupid. As such, your victim must not know that you are trolling; if he does, you are an unsuccesful troll.

        Mason at no point pissed me off. This is the point! If I was pissed off, believe me, he’d know about it. I’m Irish. 50% of my vocabulary is expletives! I’d be swearing. A lot.

        The exchange with Mason I thoroughly enjoyed because it highlighted the paucity of his argument. And I pushed, and pushed, quite deliberately, until he eventually — and in clear exasperation – gave me permission to publish the email trail.

        In that sense, and that sense only, one might ask who was trolling whom?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That definition is not correct. Trolling even in the early days of the internet was always about getting a rise out of someone. This thread is quite a rise.

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        1. That definition is not correct…

          …because it doesn’t agree with my understanding and usage of the term trolling. Therefore, it must be incorrect.”

          Of course.

          Well, I clearly can’t argue with advanced logic like that, can I?

          Liked by 1 person

      3. “The only correct definition of trolling is…”

        “And that is exactly what Thunderf00t did you with you, jackass.”

        If these two are trying to troll, they might be even worse at it than Thunderf00t. Second quote sound a bit excited, in a bad way.

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      4. Great isn’t it. I know it’s hard to accept you were being trolled by Mr Mason, but you were. It really is that simple. YHBT

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  22. As the correspondence progressed, I found myself cringing in anticipation for Phil’s responses. I just couldn’t believe that someone who goes on and on about how he’s a scientist and how superior he is to others could respond in such a way that made me question having reprimanded my children for their horrific spelling when they were younger.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Sexual Dimorphism is an interesting and important topic for our times, but this exchange is not. Sure, this Thunderfoot fellow (who btw, clearly has it bad for some chick named Anita) made the assertion, but he has no place in a serious debate about nature vs nurture and feminist tendencies.

    Decades ago when programming was still in it’s infancy, women were at the forefront of the computing world. Since the mid 1980’s the relative number of women in computer science has only decreased (down from 35% in 1990 to 26% in 2013) Did sexual dimorphism in humans just now, over the course of the last century, evolve to cause women to be less interested in tech?

    Or perhaps rather menial tasks such as ‘coding’ took on greater value and become socially more masculine?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

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  24. Perhaps there’s some context that’s been omitted, but this reads like someone being blown off and not taking the hint. Very cringy.

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  25. {{This was originally intended to be a comment on your video “Signing out from Sargon et al” on Youtube, but it was apparently too long to post! I really would like for you to read it, and I’ve chosen to post it on this blog because it is the most recent of those you linked.}}
    <>

    Phillip, I have enjoyed your work on Periodic Videos, Numberphile, and Sixty Symbols for years, and I, a budding physicist myself, genuinely admired you for each and every one of your detailed analyses, (though my personal favorite had to be using Tau instead of 2pi to represent a circle) and I am so taken aback that I never even knew you had taken an interest in these social issues; matters I consider to be among the most important political arguments of a generation. Hell, I wish I’d just known how much of a Black Sabbath and Rush fan you are; It would have made me like you all the more.

    As a matter of fact, I’m quite glad I was able to enjoy your other work for so long, without realizing that you are as unscientific, as ideologically driven, and as childish as the absolute worst of offenders when it comes to these debates.

    Before I go further: You asked that we read your blogs, and comment there. Rest assured, I will. I will address each of the blogs that you’ve linked here, and I will respond to the claims made within them. I completely understand that you’ve laid out more serious and comprehensive arguments there, and wish to be stimulated, challenged, at your strongest point; I will do so. However, here, on this video, I am going to address the claims you made here, in this video.

    *Unscientific Ideologically Driven and Childish*

    As a professional physicist, I’m sure you enjoy a buffer of good will. People tend to regard your opinions with a measure of respect, and when they don’t, I know what you do because I do it myself: You roll your eyes and think “Some people don’t even know enough to know what they don’t know.” I feel the same way when arguing with a flat-earth or young earth creationist. I understand how infuriating it is.
    Unfortunately, it smacks of hypocrisy to repeatedly claim that Dr. Mason has not provided _any_ evidence for his claims regarding sexual dimorphism being the reason we see a sex-based divide in enrollments in physics and chemistry, _while_ absolutely failing to provide even a single example of the behaviors you’re criticizing. Mind you, I’m not defending him, though I might in your blog post’s comments. Remember: This is a criticism of the message presented in the video, not your blog. I will get to those soon. And you may be correct about what you’ve claimed; I haven’t perused your blogs yet, though a cursory glance reveals responses of yours that are absolutely shocking coming from a man whose mental faculties I so admired, in years past.
    What should be made explicitly clear here is that for you to claim someone refuses to present evidence for their own claims, _while presenting none yourself,_ is indefensible. It shows you know the mistake you’re making, but were either too lazy, or too arrogant, to bother to correct it. As someone who had no idea about your blog post until now, I should have been your target audience, and you should have presented strong evidence for the claim you made in order to convince me of the truth of your position. Alas, you did not. To which I can only respond: Science is not about making claims, it is about _proving_ them.

    *That being said, Let’s prove some things*

    It is utterly unscientific to claim things without providing evidence. On this point, I’m sure we can agree. So why is it, that your claims about Dr. Mason are not evidenced? The entirety of the first four minutes of this video are you showing off your credentials to the viewers. Nothing substantive there. We get it: You’re a hotshot, now get to the point, please. Unfortunately, you never do. No examples are ever given, only bald assertions. Something that does not exist cannot be cited, but fallacious reasoning can be, and at 6:47 you claim that “…his supporters said, ‘He’s just trolling you'” and then state that that is not a defense. I agree with you; That is _not_ a defense that Dr. Mason provided for you. It was a claim made about his intentions by people who were not him. Yes, his intentions: Trolling is saying something you don’t believe just to get a rise out of someone; It is about intention. I’m sure you don’t need to be told that nobody but Dr. Mason can tell you about Dr. Mason’s intentions. if you were going to demonstrate that he was saying something he did not believe, you should have provided citations of him saying contradictory things. You did not. By standards you have laid out, you have failed to deliver.
    At 5:15 you claimed that TJ Kirk boasted to you “in no uncertain terms how proud he was to be getting to one million subscribers, how his message resonated with so many…” but you provide no evidence that this even took place. I would be willing to believe it, I absolutely would, but you continued with “…and therefore it must be somehow more valid…” as a commentary of your own. You were assuming his intentions about why he said what he, allegedly, said. Knowing what I do about TJ Kirk, I would be surprised (but not much) if he actually used such a transparent _argumentum Ad Populum_ to make a point. Unfortunately, you again fail to provide any evidence of this. Was that a direct quote? A summary? Did it occur on social media where it can be easily found? Was there any context to his saying it? We’ll never know, because you just claimed it to be true, and we’re supposed to just believe it happened exactly how you claim it did. A single screenshot of the tweet, or comment, etc, would have illustrated your point beautifully, but you failed to provide even that. However, if I were to simply assume that he said it… what then? Is it not a worthy accomplishment? Weren’t you just gloating about all the people you had reached with your work on Sixty Symbols a few minutes earlier? Envy makes us quite ugly, Phillip.
    At 13:12 you claim that Dr. Mason claimed that “[the gender balance issue] is entirely dominated by sexual dimorphism.” Entirely? _Did_ he say “entirely”? For all that you bang on about grammatical skills and reading comprehension later on this video, I would think you could appreciate using precise language when leveling these claims at people. I am aware of Dr. Mason’s use of the concept, and if I wished to prove a point using his work, I am aware of the dozens of different times he’s mentioned sexual dimorphism, and I would cite one (or more) of those videos, with a time stamp. Hell, if I were making a video essay, I would simply include a clip, or at least a link. You have not done this. This strikes me as dishonesty, not merely laziness, because of all the times I recall him using that concept, I cannot think of even a single time where he said the sex-based divide in enrollments was _entirely_ based upon sexual dimorphism. As a matter of fact, of all the times he’s mentioned it, I think he was always talking about other topics _entirely._ Please, please don’t tell me you don’t “have time.” You had time to make this video, you had time to write those blogs, *I* have time to write this response… You either successfully substantiate your point, or you don’t. And you did not. This is nothing, if not unscientific.

    (((Can we just step back for a moment and address this: *I* really don’t have time for this. I’m arguing with a man I admire, a _physicist_ I admire, on youtube, about things other youtubers said… and you remember being in grad school, right? Did you _ever_ have extraneous _time_ for things? Have a little sympathy for me, because I have made time, even though I unequivocally do NOT have any. Ok, stop having sympathy; I’m going to go back to vehemently disparaging you now.)))

    *Regarding Ideological Biases*

    At 15:56 you claim that other people are “Ideologically wed to a particular point of view,” as a defense of no longer bothering with them. However, at 6:47 you made the argument that, since so many people were listening to those perspectives, they needed to be addressed. Why the disconnect? In the 9 minutes previous, did a great number of people _stop_ listening to those perspectives? They either need to be addressed, or they don’t. You cannot give a reason for why you “bother” with them, only to forget that reason _entirely_ when you no longer feel like it. At some point, this moves beyond the realm of merely not providing evidence for the things you think are true, and into the domain of bias. You demonstrate, repeatedly, that you look at things with a set of tinted-glasses when they occur in “zone 1” and a different set of glasses when they occur in “zone 2.” Let’s look at how you do this.
    At about the middle point of the video, you begin to discuss Sargon of Akkad, aka Carl Benjamin. Without getting into whether or not his tweet was as bad as you believe(a commentary that will be written on your “Dear Supporter…” blog, likely tomorrow), let’s just look at how you present this man: At 13:57 you state what his tweet was, and then delve into value judgments, emotive language, and ideologically charged denigration. This could have been, and probably should have been, its own video essay. The discussion of that event requires a level of exacting thought that it was not treated to here. You may have done it a better service in your “Dear Supporter…” blog, but I will find out about that soon, and I have stated already that I’m critiquing the message presented in this video, and in this video, you merely present the tweet and then emotionally react to it. No arguments are offered for why this is the appropriate reaction. You simply deride anyone who attempts to defend his action with condescension, appeals to incredulity, and no small amount of hiding behind your status as a professor. Well, Phillip, _I_ am not intimidated by professors. I will have a degree just like yours soon enough, and I argue with my professors all the time. I respond to their derision with scorn, and I respond to their smugness with pointed venom. When I am a professor, my students will have a much more difficult time challenging _me,_ because I will take the time to set up an inescapable argument, not merely hide behind my PhD or pretend offense of my personal beliefs.
    At 10:31 you mention Sargon’s petition to suspend social justice courses from Universities. You cannot even get through mention of this without having an utterly juvenile reaction. No bias there, right? How dare anyone think differently, eh professor? The nerve of some people, disagreeing with established orthodoxy. We should never have stopped teaching children about impetus. I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you what that is, yet we no longer teach it. Someone challenged it, and found it to be lacking. The same thing occurred with phlogiston. And the geocentric model. The same thing is currently happening with the caloric model of heat. Centuries of scientific orthodoxy are being challenged, and yet, just like with impetus, and the four humours of the human body, the challengers are winning. It is their ideas that are proving to be the defensible ones. How can you say, being a physicist and not a sociologist(that I’m aware of), that the current tenets of sociology are absolute? You cannot. If they are, however, as methodologically strong, as people claim they are, and their results are as reproducible, then they should stand up quite well to any scrutiny. So, nothing to worry about, eh professor? No bias there, _right?_ So why the childish posing? It doesn’t suit you.
    At 9:36 you impugned Sargon’s performance during his “debate” with Kristi. I could, once again, simply state that no evidence was provided for your interpretation, but that would not only be redundant, it would be inadequate. No, in order to understand your description here, we need to remember that you have a bias in favor of one perspective. Why else would you even bother to bring up that you’ve “judged” children’s debates before? Don’t stand on this point, Phillip, I know undergrads quite well, and I’m quite familiar with their flavor of “debate” clubs; They’re nothing worth lauding. However, let’s assume for a moment, that they were: What then? Wouldn’t an expert, experienced judge of debate have more to say than “I’m a judge of big, important debates, and I think this person won”? Of course they would. They would give detailed analyses of the stylistic points, the tone, the tactics, and the forms used. You did none of these things, and I no longer think it sufficient to merely criticize you for lacking evidence: You are demonstrating your bias.
    You demonstrate it further when you rhetorically asked what Sargon meant by “Social Justice Courses” which is a valid question… that has been thoroughly, and repeatedly, been answered. Without defending his point of view, (and notice, I didn’t do that regarding his debate, either) I can tell you that he _has_ provided two detailed explanations of his petition. One was comprehensive, the other was thematic. You should know this if you’re going to criticize what he’s proposing. If you had anything other than ideological bias to fall back on, you’d at least have _read_ the petition, where a succinct answer is given. You could have then criticized the answer. You could have demonstrated that his reasoning was facetious in any number of ways. You could have provided _any_ citations to the actual petition for the viewers of this video. You did none of these things. You responded to it the same way you respond to everything else in this vein: With emotional, irrational, _bias._
    Near the end, at 18:59 you stated something to your fans. Now, to be perfectly clear, at this point in your diatribe, I no longer think anything you say has any truth to it. So I do not, for _one moment_ believe that you remember seeing comments on Sixty Symbols and remember their names when they comment on these issues. No, I am nearly certain that you were crafting an emotive appeal to those fans of yours from your other work to, essentially, transfer their admiration into credibility on an unrelated subject. In other words, you begged: Please, please, you like my other stuff, so you should agree with me about this, too. What you stated to your fans at 18:59 was “I refuse to believe your reading comprehension is at that level” which is incredibly patronizing. Believe it. Other people, intelligent people who share similar interests to your own, _honestly_ looked at the same situation you did, and arrived at a different conclusion. It’s not that they were stupid, it’s not that they were evil, it’s merely that they disagree. Failing to see any way for someone else to have a dissenting opinion is a telltale symptom of _bias,_ Phillip. You could have ended that sentence after the fourth word, “I refuse to believe.” This, I would have nodded to. This, I would have found utterly predictable, given the climate and quality of opinion you have surrounded yourself with. Which is what I’ll finish this beast of a comment/novella off with.

    *A Final note about Childishness*

    Would you consider it “censorship” if you witnessed a geologist colleague being told he couldn’t teach creationist ideas in his GEO101 class? Would you ask inane questions about “What kind of ideas are creationist? Do they have creationist in the name?”? I sincerely doubt it. Yet, you level a similar accusation of silencing, or censoring, at someone who calls for the reform of social sciences. You ask where this would end, invoking the slippery slope fallacy damage the credibility of the man, rather than address his ideas.
    Throughout this video, you go on and on and ON about your own credibility, your own credentials. Phillip, long before I even knew your name, I admired you. I didn’t need to know anything about you. Your ideas just stood on their own merit. I’m sure your work in physics and maths (I put that ‘s’ there just because I know that’s how you europeans like it!) will continue to be good. Unfortunately, your presentation in this video was… on a very different level. Why is that, do you think? Honestly, ask yourself how could a young physicist-to-be who admired you so much, suddenly have such contempt for the intellectual faculties of a man, who he only admired for his intellectual faculties, just hours before? I do mean hours, btw, it took me over two hours to write this. If you’re going to respond, please take that into consideration.
    I think it is because you have _no_ evidence to present. I think it is because you have an ideological bias preventing you from seeing the flaws in your thinking. Most of all, I think it the thing your friend Kristi talks about all the time is at play, ie; social norms. You have surrounded yourself with childish people, who believe (you might say “have faith in”) childish principles, and they conduct themselves in a childish manner, each and every time they are challenged on their beliefs… because they can’t defend them rationally. Just look at your own characterization of Sargon and “Thunderfoot,” in your own words, with their “tweenage nicknames.” So what? Why is that relevant? Is it their credibility you seek to undermine, or their ideas? I’m not sure if either of them intended to reveal their real names when they started their vlogging activities, so could they not post anonymously? Is the name of recorded history’s first Emperor truly that unpalatable to you? Truly? yet, you have no problem with someone of a similar ideological bent going by the nearly unpronounceable “chrisuousity.” This is what I’m talking about. You are making decisions without evidence, leveling criticism of an ideological opponent simply because you believe differently, and worst of all, you’re acting like a juvenile while you do it. The community that will laud you, extol your reasonable-sounding apologia of their beliefs, they will never point this out to you. They do not care if you make a fool of yourself. They merely want you to signal your dedication to their cause, repeat their talking points, and pat them on the back when they do the same.

    If you take one thing away from this overly long essay, let it be this: The very least you can do is to hear out, completely honestly, the ideas of your opposition. If your position is truly as right and strong as you think it is, you should have nothing to fear from exploring the ideas of others with an open mind.

    Sincerely,
    -a fan, a scientist, Nick

    Like

    1. Excellent link to Morons exchange with “Sir Metheven”.

      I really liked this part: “If you can’t answer this question directly, then you’re just a huckster peddling polemics.”.

      A childish one, too. Is Morons PhD from Trump University? That might be why he calls his own PhD a “mickey mouse qualification”. You can tell he has all the best words…

      Like

  26. Btw, I’ve just remembered that this isn’t the first time Mason has rejected the opportunity to discuss ideas with a fellow academic. This storify shows the exchange between him and a prof (musicologist) that proceeded predictably badly.
    https://storify.com/TimCField/thunderf00t-called-out
    Mason blocked both @profMetheven and myself shortly after that exchange, as well as couple of other academics. I guess you should think yourself lucky(ish) to be granted an audience for as long as you were.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, that’s a telling exchange. Thanks so much for the link. Time after time, when Mason is challenged he fails to provide even a semi-credible, coherent, rational, or evidence-based counter-argument.

      And this from the man who coined the PEARL acronym…

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Does this not constitute harassment by feminists? I mean, all those emails sent to Mr. Mason just to force an answer out of him and then when he doesn’t aswer you blame him of avoiding the question. There can’t possibly be another reason for him not answering to you, right?

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    1. @Tristan Verheecke

      That would be a wonderful piece of satire, right? But just in case it isn’t (and I’ve dealt with enough of Dr. Mason’s and Mr. Benjamin’s supporters to know that satire is not always something they appreciate*)…

      Ah, I love this type of response. Always makes me smile.

      Where are your evidence-based arguments? All you SJWs want to do is shout into an echo chamber. Where’s your evidence? Why won’t you debate us? All you want to do is avoid our arguments. We’ve got evidence and reason on our side.

      All these over-sensitive SJWs and feminists can’t cope with rational argument and reason — they run and hide to their safe spaces, the delicate flowers.

      Oh, OK. Here’s a comprehensive dissection of Dr. Mason’s evidence-free claims: https://muircheart.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/the-natural-order-of-things/

      What? You don’t expect us to read that, do you? So many words. So many letters. So many syllables. So many citations. How could we ever be expected to read that? It hurts our synapses and we haven’t got time for that.

      Anyway, you’re just harrassing Dr. Mason, expecting him to justify his claims with evidence. That’s pure feminist harrassment.

      Another great example of just how spot-on these cartoons are: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2012/12/gabbys-cartoon_12.html

      See also this recent comment by confrep, which amused me greatly: https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/hanging-out-with-dr-winters/comment-page-1/#comment-2097

      * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsrp_RpSyVs

      Like

      1. Yes, it would be quite the satire. 🙂

        I must admit that I came here with the intent of defending Mr Mason. I have read the posts I think relevant about the subject just after posting this comment. I see now that you also provided a link to the post I read earlier. 🙂
        Since I had already posted this comment I didn’t reply on that post and was waiting for you to reply on this; since you have a habit of commenting on just about any post. :p
        No, critique, just an observation. 😉

        Luckily, I’m not an idiot that haphazardly posts his opinion, what I commented on was the possible hypocrisy on your side. Which I think was a valid question and I take it you somewhat agree, by your satire comment. But, like I lumped you in with those feminazis, you lumped me in with MRA cry babies and argued from that position. While your second paraphrase is applicable to me, the first one isn’t. I suppose we’re even on that front.

        Now, to the evidence you have provided on this post, I still have a few questions about that:
        I’ve also read the study and not just your post about it. 😉 Thanks for circumventing the paywall, btw. While in the study it does say that 50-50 is the average the one we’re concerned with is the 30-70 heritability vs nurture percentage respectively for social traits. This does not help my case one of course, but neither does it answer which is responsible for what! Is the heritability the cause for the lack of women in STEM or is it nurture? While the chances are greatly in favor of nurture, it is not definitive evidence to say that it is. I would have rather seen a more detailed study on this. Which I’m sure has to be out there seeing the meta-study encompasses 2000+ studies.
        One can easily argue that because of the build of men’s bodies they are more resilient against stress, which there is a great deal of in STEM or any other high paying job.
        Which also leads me to the question whether this is a social issue at all?

        I’m looking forward to hearing from you again! And, please, if you don’t mind, leave the MRA cry baby version of me in your thoughts this time. 🙂

        (I see that your email exchange with Mr Benjamin has been made pubilc. I will certainly read this later!)

        Like

        1. I understand family and work come first and I’m well aware you like to call people by their name rather than their pseudonym. Whether they should or should not use it themselves is a matter of taste not age. The handle Thunderf00t is aesthetically distastefull, but Mason’s lack of aesthetic consideration is evident in his videos aswell and Benjamin’s is quite narcissistic, but at least it has some relevance to the topic he discusses. (according to him King Sargon is the cause for patriarchy in the west)

          Yes, all my comments were genuine at the time. While I have reconsidered a few since, the question whether those e-mails constitutes harassment according to feminists was not and I think I made it clear what type of feminism I was talking about with my comment about me lumping you in with feminazis. That question was basically designed to have a feel to what group you belong to. Which you have extendedly proven to me you do not, so fair game. 🙂

          You did not directly mention MRAs, that is true, but the comics you provided did clearly, at least for me, target MRAs. What is not said is equally important to what is and that’s basically what sparked this egalitarian movement.

          I’ve watched the video you have linked and am glad to have seen it, as it answers some questions I’ve had. I would’ve linked you to this article:
          https://www.aei.org/publication/women-earned-majority-of-doctoral-degrees-in-2015-for-7th-straight-year-and-outnumber-men-in-grad-school-134-to-100/
          But you already mentioned that in the video as possibly being caused by cultural difference. One who was uninformed about this could have argued about the stress factor but one will no longer do so. I was thinking out loud there and asked myself whether that could be the case, but later realized myself that can easily be offset with proper excersise and diet. Which might be why STEM in the US isn’t that populated by women, they do have a vey unhealthy culture. Just thinking out loud!

          About Benjamin, he is of the mind that war is the fastest way to progress and I think that’s why he’s picking fights wherever he can because this way he can progress his knowledge about the subject faster (feminist theory). On multiple occasions he has mentioned that his channel is a learning experience for him and also boasts a lot about all the books he has read and still has to read. Whether it’s ethical or not is a whole other question of course and it obviously isn’t, but he views this as a war and has also said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t apply ethics to his enemies. On one he has mentioned that he found it ok for the American troops during the Iraq war to have pissed on their prisoners and humiliate. Jess Phillips is in his eyes the enemy. This does not excuse his actions of course, but does explain them, if you were looking for one.

          I don’t agree that the conversation you had with Kargoneth is a valid example of intelligence having anything to do with being able to interpret satire though. I read all the posts and such, and I agree it is a nice case study as to why men (including me) are atrracted to this movement, but my impression was that he was just being friendly and just didn’t address those comments. He also seemed very timid in his response and this indicates to me that he might have been scared of being yelled at.

          I’m glad to have met you Philip. You certainly have brought things into perspective for me and I hope this will be the same for other people aswell. So keep on fighting the good fight!

          Like

  28. I wonder if anyone yet has posted here this 5-part series criticizing Thunderfoot’s critique of the hyperloop? The series began a month ago and finished today. It appears to be an in-depth analysis of Thunderfoot’s mistakes in his own videos, mostly relating to physics and engineering (if I understand the areas in question correctly). I understand less than 1% of this but it’s obvious that an enormous amount of work has gone into these videos. To my untrained eye, it appears that TF comes out looking inept regarding the science. But I have to admit I’ve absolutely no way of evaluating this. There’s so much investment to watching the videos, I’d be shocked if anyone qualified around here wanted to, or had the time to, wade through it. Ok, here’s something I can say: what do we do if we’re wrong? How do we process being wrong and getting it wrong? We all have to do it at some point. One would think that a career in science would be much about this question since getting it wrong in science is less subjective than other fields. No?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Brett.

      what do we do if we’re wrong? How do we process being wrong and getting it wrong? We all have to do it at some point. One would think that a career in science would be much about this question since getting it wrong in science is less subjective than other fields. No?

      Great, great question. We should, of course, admit our mistakes. This can be embarrassing (e.g. https://pubpeer.com/publications/DBC836E90EFB5926817D2B2A98B55C ) but is absolutely essential for the progress of science. However, to admit being incorrect is too often not the “done thing” in science, because careers and funding can be adversely affected.

      The reward system in science today means that admitting when we get something wrong can be detrimental to one’s career. This is shocking and needs to change.

      See https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/philip-moriarty-peer-review-cyber-bullies/ for much more on this.

      Thanks for posting the links to those videos. I’ve already seen two of them — one of the video-makers brought the videos to my attention — and I’ll watch the entire series when I get a chance.

      Best wishes,

      Philip

      Like

      1. Thanks Philip. I can’t understand the substance of the videos but I did see that TF demonstrated some unwillingness to engage the critique in a professional way. It’ll be interesting to get your take somewhere down the line. I suppose it’s not directly related to the issues raised here, unless it reveals something about the way he generally engages with criticism.

        Like

  29. Professor Moriarty,

    Thanks for the videos (hadn’t seen these); there too many people pointing out the problems with the Hyperloop videos for anyone to keep track, though these comments were drowned out by Thunderf00t’s retinue and the snark-as-argument brigade.

    In my own modest way, I pointed out that trains (Hyperloop is a railway,, basically) have brakes, so TF’s ball bearing was a bad model, then wrote a couple of posts about — well, about how engineers tend to understand engineering a lot better than TF gives them credit for.

    TF’s response to quality criticism is a mix of {ignoring; mocking without responding; and pretending that he’s trolling when caught out without escape}. I stopped responding to TF when I sussed that out.

    In case anyone is interested, a comparison between TF’s style of “argumentation” and Destin ‘smarter every day’ Sandlin’s style is on the second half of this post:

    http://sitacuisses.blogspot.com/2016/07/what-is-and-isnt-ad-hominem.html

    A longer, more getting-to-fundamentals post (because some of us, even former academics, do prefer the written word), is at:

    http://sitacuisses.blogspot.com/2016/07/product-prototype-technology-idea.html

    Regards,
    JCS

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, JCS, for the links to those blog posts. Fascinating reading. I’ve not met Destin, although I’m very aware of his great “Smarter Every Day” channel via Brady Haran. Destin is a fantastic science communicator and you couldn’t have chosen a better counter-example to Mason.

      Very much appreciate your comments here — thanks again.

      Philip

      Like

  30. He didn’t get trolled; Phil (Mason) just hid behind that when he lost. He did the same thing with K.Winters. If he loses, he’s trolling. When he thinks he won, he’s super serious. Phil is a fragile person. He can’t take losing so he throws the pieces off the board and shits on it and claims he was just there to take a shit and laughs that the other person playing didn’t get it.

    Like

  31. @teh y

    First, thank you for commenting so avidly here. I appreciate it that you’ve given up so much of your time to post comments at this blog.

    “Because the null hypothesis is “things are the way they are without some type of theory interfering” and you must prove that no some type of theory is interfering”

    This is a remarkable statement. First, there are no proofs in science. This is not some type of petty semantic point — it’s a key difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. See the two articles linked at the bottom of this post for much more on this: https://muircheartblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/science-proves-nothing/

    “Things are the way they are without some type of theory interfering”

    Yes, why bother with rigorous science and rational, evidence-based debate when we’ve got erudite and compelling insights like that. Let’s just say “things are the way they are” and be done with it. That’s exactly the type of careful and considered thinking we need to get to the bottom of any issue.

    Like

  32. Hi, I’ve previously made a comment on this thread which I no longer can find, so I’m making a new one. I still get emails notifying me about replies to this post and reading them made me realise how wrong I was. Now I see the point of you arguing with mason and people like him, and I really appreciate it. Apologies for my first comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Tl;dr – Main point is not right or wrong explanation of “why is STEM 80:20”, it’s about idiotic methods that are constantly put in place trying to make it 50:50 and many times it is insistance that it’s all mens fault.

    Whatever you think and no matter what side you take, no matter what you conclude, this is not a good guys vs bad guys matter.
    People fighting against SJWs in 80:20 debates are not right wing and/or misogyny incarnated (even though some people on both sides hate men/women, either side can nit-pick those to prove that they are a good side).
    It is also not because of the different oppinion in what theory is correct – nature/nurture/patriarchy/whatever.
    Resistance is against quotas and “extra points for having certain genitals”. It doesn’t work, it gets less qualified people on the job and it makes people not try as hard as they would otherwise.
    Resistance is against creating every child a special snowflake, all the way from kindergarden up to university where they are constantly told that they are amazing and special, then they get a useless degree and claim it’s everyone elses fault that they don’t make big money.
    Resistance is against blaming men for everything.

    Like

    1. “every child a special snowflake”

      I know, I know. Isn’t it just awful when there are those out there who can’t tolerate different opinions and opposing viewpoints, and who lack the intellectual courage and integrity to tackle those views in an open and honest manner? That, instead, they have to result to the worst type of underhand McCarthyite tactics?

      https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/exposing-crazy-radical-professors-12-best-trollprofwatchlist-tweets

      Such delicate, precious snowflakes…

      Like

  34. Hi Philip,

    Thanks for your amusing and intelligent take down of ‘Thunderfoot/Mason’ who is readily and disappointingly revealed to be a hypocrite and intellectual coward. Love our work.

    Regards,

    Miguel

    Like

  35. @”Dick Steel”

    “You might think you only ask Mason for evidence to back up his claims, but you are not. You have a very (or two rather) strong bias, which is in play here. And you seem oblivious to that, which is funny considering you making such a big deal about being a scientist, talking about logic and coherence and all.”

    Where is my bias? I have asked for Mason to provide evidence to support his claim. I have said explicitly on a number of occasions that if the evidence is presented I will take it on board. So I’ll ask you the same question. Please provide me with evidence, appropriately normalised to remove temporal, geographical, and societal biases (see slides in the link below), that provides strong support for the claim that the gender balance in physics (or indeed other STEM subjects) is due to sexual dimorphism.

    You have given us a mini-rant but have provided zero evidence to support your case.

    “Another thing; you seem to not understand that you don’t run the show, you are in no control, you are not important. What I mean by this is that you don’t decide how things should be said or written, you don’t decide if people can or cannot use anonymity. It doesn’t matter what some philosopher said about something back in the day.just because you use a quote as a reference.”

    And when did I ever suggest otherwise? Indeed, I have said explicitly — hmmm, I seem to be using that word a lot — that I am not suggesting for one moment that we attempt to ban anonymity. (How would we ever do that in practice in any case?) I am simply exercising my freedom of speech to point out just how gutless and cowardly it is to slag off others from behind anonymous cover. That’s my opinion. If you’d watched said video past the opening few minutes you’d have seen me make this point more than once.

    I’m entitled to voice that opinion, just as much as you are entitled to hide behind anonymous cover.

    As regards your claim that I resort to “strawman” arguments, it’d be helpful if you didn’t parrot what you’ve heard elsewhere and again provided some evidence for this. Provide a single specific example of the strawman arguments of which you speak. Thank you.

    Oh, a very Merry Christmas to you too.

    Like

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