Ada Lovelace Day

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Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, was a pioneer in computer science. She wrote what is said to be the first computer program in her notes on an article on Charles Babbage’s analytical engine she translated from Italian. Today is “Ada Lovelace Day,” and Finding Ada has a compendium of sites blogging about women in computer science in celebration of the day.

As a partly relevant aside, as I do every year, last week I judged at the North Central Ohio District Science Day and the Marion Area Science and Engineering Fair, and my subjective impression (I haven’t done a count) is that girls dominated the awards, including one 9th grade girl who was selected to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, CA. That was great fun to see.

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Did they dominate all awards, or just in the biological sections? My experience judging for years down in Dallas was that females did well in biology and often mathematics as well.. However, they were less represented in the physical and computing sciences.

I can’t speak to that except to note that the winner of the best overall chemistry project was a girl. On the other hand, the best overall project in molecular biology and biochemistry was done by a boy. Again, I don’t have the full results and haven’t done any counts. This is purely a subjective impression from looking at the group of ‘Superior’ awardees on the stage and seeing it dominated by girls.

I got soured by the science fairs. Kids who really do some science all on their own do really good science, but it is not very flashy. Things like a really correct protocol find which coffee mug retains heat longest or which drain cleaner is most corrosive etc.

They get completely blown away by kids who get lots of help from their uncles, parents or siblings. When a ninth grader presents a “genetic algorithm” it sounds impressive till you dig a little and find that her elder brother is a grad student working on genetic algorithms and she could not even program in Basic. I think these cheats who game the system are doing enormous damage to science. It is teaching the winning kids that it is ok to cheat. And it is demoralizing honest kids whose work gets over shadowed.

And please don’t get me started on the inconsistent quality of judging in high school level competitions. In forensics, different sections have different rules. Like “In poetry reading one should not gesticulate”. Kids violate these rule, impress the judges and walk away with prizes and the kids who followed the rules are left heartbroken. The coaches teach the kids to “push the envelop”.

Everywhere I see people gaming the system. I don’t know if that has always been the case, or it has started deteriorating recently.

Ravilyn Sanders said:

I got soured by the science fairs. Kids who really do some science all on their own do really good science, but it is not very flashy. Things like a really correct protocol find which coffee mug retains heat longest or which drain cleaner is most corrosive etc.

They get completely blown away by kids who get lots of help from their uncles, parents or siblings. When a ninth grader presents a “genetic algorithm” it sounds impressive till you dig a little and find that her elder brother is a grad student working on genetic algorithms and she could not even program in Basic. I think these cheats who game the system are doing enormous damage to science. It is teaching the winning kids that it is ok to cheat. And it is demoralizing honest kids whose work gets over shadowed.

And please don’t get me started on the inconsistent quality of judging in high school level competitions. In forensics, different sections have different rules. Like “In poetry reading one should not gesticulate”. Kids violate these rule, impress the judges and walk away with prizes and the kids who followed the rules are left heartbroken. The coaches teach the kids to “push the envelop”.

Everywhere I see people gaming the system. I don’t know if that has always been the case, or it has started deteriorating recently.

My experiences judging have been different. I have seen some stellar projects where the kids actually knew what was going on. I was blown away by one kid who did not just have college senior/graduate level mathematics on a pretty board, he actually understood what it meant. To touch on genetic algorithms, another kid almost took state for one that he wrote himself. I couldn’t give him any awards because I know him and his father, but he actually took the time to learn how to program and did it himself. Another kid developed a method for blind people to interact with computers based on touch that actually works. It was fantastic. I remember another who wondered how much HP a car loses when it is at high altitude, so he went out and got an accelerometer and started measuring things. Not flashy, but it was well grounded. I have seen a number the mom and dad did it projects, but I have seen enough spectacular projects where mom and dad did not do it to warm my heart.

BTW, the aesthetics of the presentation rarely comes into play when I’m judging. If I can understand what is going on and see what was done, it can be uglier than a turkey vulture for all I care. If the material is way above HS level, I can always talk to the kid. Sometimes I’m shocked at how advanced some of them are. One kid was able to knowledgeably discuss tensor analysis. Sometimes I’m shocked that mom and dad expect the kid to pass of their work as his/her own.

My experience echoes Jesse’s. In our judging (and I’ve done it for years), we talk with the student for as long as 15 or 20 minutes, assessing the degree to which he or she actually understands what was done, why this or that variable was manipulated, what confounds there may be, what the broader implications and connections of the research there are, and so on. Basically, the approach is to push the student off script to evaluate whether the student really knows what the project is about. That allows us to pretty easily determine whether the student is merely reading a script and a father or uncle or older sister was the prime mover, or the student really did the learning and thinking and work.

And on the genetic algorithms theme, last year I judged a project that had as a component a GA that two students (it was a team project) devised and wrote themselves. They went on to the International Science and Engineering Fair and placed fourth in their class. They knew what they were doing.

Ulp… science fairs! I still have a raw spot in my memory of having to participate in science fairs in Eighth and Ninth grades. My 1965 diary turned up a while back and I can see I spent the spring of Eighth grade practically in a hyperventilating panic because the science fair was coming up and I had absolutely no idea what to do for it. I have a feeling my teacher (a direct predecessor of the famous Mr. Freshwater, incidentally) was a little vague on what was expected or how to go about it, or expected me to figure it out on my own. In the end I slapped something horrible together at the last minute (so embarrassing I can’t bear to describe it even yet), lucked out with a kind judge, and because I had some slight notion of testing a hypothesis, came out with a red ribbon (intermediate between blue for superior and yellow for basically showing up). I remember looking at the other kids’ displays, and there were a few that were suspiciously elaborate, with blinking lights and cool stuff (and the kids’ fathers were engineers at Cooper-Bessemer in town…).

The following year went better because I knew what was expected – and simply had a better teacher who was willing to help. I came up with a better experiment, going by the book on proper scientific protocol, determined to do the thing right. It was something fairly useless, involving feeding vitamins to hydra (the pond life) to see what happened while keeping a control group undosed. Then both populations died right before the fair and it was too late to get more… I would have had a better experiment if I’d just cut the little guys up. (Seriously. They regenerate in the most amazing ways.)

Some of the judges were recruited from the Kenyon faculty, I recall, but it was before RBH’s time. So he wasn’t the judge who asked me what the result of administering vitamins to hydra was and I had to sadly admit, in all my woefully winsome way, “I don’t know. They died.”

I won’t say the experience put me off science, but it didn’t help…

When I judge a science fair, the kids who get the highest score are NOT the ones with the slickest presentations. The highest scores go to the kids who are the most knowledgeable in the experiment that they are conducting… period. You can take it to the bank that these are the kids who deserve the trophies.

waynef43 said:

When I judge a science fair, the kids who get the highest score are NOT the ones with the slickest presentations. The highest scores go to the kids who are the most knowledgeable in the experiment that they are conducting… period. You can take it to the bank that these are the kids who deserve the trophies.

2 or 3 years ago, the girl that we gave the award to had a horrible presentation. I mean terrible. Hand drawn graphs that were sometimes, ahem, well… But, she had done an analysis that was pretty close to what a retired statistician from Sandia had done on education, and there was no way she could have seen the methodology that he had used.

I prefer to be a special judge for 501c3 education/science organizations. I’m not just limited to judging in just one field that way. I go with a team and we descend upon the poor kids all at once. I absolutely love going from field to field to see what the kids have done. Even when their project doesn’t meet our criteria for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that their project is bad. If I see a really interesting project and we have made our selections before time is up, I’ll wonder around and talk to some of the kids that we couldn’t give an award to for reasons not related to the quality of the project.

I did judge at a charter school’s science fair a couple of months ago as a favor to a friend. This is a charter school in an area where almost all of the students are in poverty and almost all are minority. When I say poverty, I mean that a kid who’s father is a mail man has an economic advantage over the rest of the kids. One 6th grader figured out titration on his own. I’m sure he got on the web and did some research or something of the sort, but it was clear that he figured out that he could measure relative pHs by measuring a set amount of whatever he was investigating out and then measuring how much red cabbage juice it took to change the color. He didn’t even know the word titrate. I encouraged him to go into science when he gets older because he had a mind for it.

I am the director of the science fairs mentioned by RBH. (Thanks for judging for us, Dick!) We just got our finalists (both girls) signed up for the International Science & Engineering Fair this evening. I tune into PT, and find a discussion about our special awards - and I haven’t got the results posted yet.

The results of special award judging are up now. Go to one of the links given by RBH and refresh the page, if necessary. My quick count showed almost 60% of the awards going to female students. I’ll leave it to others to conduct the type of analysis suggested by Walker in the first comment.

waynef43 said:

When I judge a science fair …

I am very sure the posters of PT would make very good judges and would not be fooled by slick displays. And they would have ways of testing to see how much of the work was original and how much was done behind the scenes by other people, and the kids and their families gaming the system.

But leave personal anecdotes aside. In fact leave all anecdotal evidence aside. It is unbecoming of science supporters to trot out “in my personal experience” or “I can tell 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 instances of very good science projects done completely by the contestant”.

Look back at the last science fair you judged or the forensics competition you judged. Recall what the other judges did. Were there clueless judges? Judges who were fooled by slick displays? Did you get out voted by them? Think about how many projects got higher score than they deserved?

Do not chicken out by saying, “My selection did not make it to the top, but it was just my opinion and other judges had differed from me, that does not make them incompetent or clueless”. Science is NOT a democracy. I would rate a single vote from a serious PT poster as a more reliable and trustworthy vote than the vote by many other science fair judges and forensics judges I know personally.

I did not grow up in America and I am not familiar with all aspects of school competitions here. Forensics and science fairs are the two things my child did. And my experience with the quality and consistency of the judges in these fields leave much to be desired.

To some extent I have to blame myself and people like me. For all that enthu I show in posting in PT and various internet fora I have not qualified myself or volunteered to judge forensics or science fairs. If I have shown a tenth of the initiative I show in carping and bitching in actually joining the system and improving it, things would be better. Sorry for being a lazy bum and a cynic.

Sorry for OTP ;-) but I didn’t find

2 D goggles over on the “Finding Ada” site.

Did I miss it?

While this is somewhat off topic, I should note that William Gibson and Bruce Sterling in their classice “steampunk” novel, “The Difference Engine”, refer extensively to Charles Babbage’s work (In their alternate history Babbage’s “difference engine” is built as the Victorian Era’s equivalent of our modern computers.). Similarly, in one of his earlier novels, “The Diamond Age”, Neal Stephenson conjurs up Babbage’s early Victorian Era, in a near future fantastical example of classic cyberpunk literature.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Ravilyn Sanders said:

waynef43 said:

When I judge a science fair …

I am very sure the posters of PT would make very good judges and would not be fooled by slick displays. And they would have ways of testing to see how much of the work was original and how much was done behind the scenes by other people, and the kids and their families gaming the system.

But leave personal anecdotes aside. In fact leave all anecdotal evidence aside. It is unbecoming of science supporters to trot out “in my personal experience” or “I can tell 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 instances of very good science projects done completely by the contestant”.

Look back at the last science fair you judged or the forensics competition you judged. Recall what the other judges did. Were there clueless judges? Judges who were fooled by slick displays? Did you get out voted by them? Think about how many projects got higher score than they deserved?

Do not chicken out by saying, “My selection did not make it to the top, but it was just my opinion and other judges had differed from me, that does not make them incompetent or clueless”. Science is NOT a democracy. I would rate a single vote from a serious PT poster as a more reliable and trustworthy vote than the vote by many other science fair judges and forensics judges I know personally.

I did not grow up in America and I am not familiar with all aspects of school competitions here. Forensics and science fairs are the two things my child did. And my experience with the quality and consistency of the judges in these fields leave much to be desired.

To some extent I have to blame myself and people like me. For all that enthu I show in posting in PT and various internet fora I have not qualified myself or volunteered to judge forensics or science fairs. If I have shown a tenth of the initiative I show in carping and bitching in actually joining the system and improving it, things would be better. Sorry for being a lazy bum and a cynic.

And my experiences still differ from yours. I prefer to be a special judge, but I have judged as a regular judge and I have encountered what you are talking about, but not to the degree that you are talking about. It’s really hard to be 100% objective as a judge given how things are setup. You don’t have time to go through the entire experiment and reproduce their results, so you have to act based on the presentation and what comes out of their mouths. I have seen some really good projects from some kids who really know their stuff. That there are some really good projects out there is something that you shouldn’t ignore. In fact, I think that those really good projects should be used as examples of excellence and the kids should be given some recognition.

i have nieces and female friends who get almost perfect constantly in math and other subjects. Yet I know females do not keep up in acheivment in math/sciences later on relative to guys. Not even close. I believe it all comes down to motivation from deep presumptions. Darwin in his second book said women were biologically intellectually inferior to men because of evolution over time. Of coarse they are not inferior innately. Though in results they come up short and I think this will continue . This is a good case to demonstrate Why Darwin was wrong. Why was his observations and “science” faulty!? If wrong here why not elsewhere? Its time for a creationist women or anyone to take on Darwin and do actual scholarly work with accurate conclusions. Of coarse if a girl did this in school today she would be breaking the law. perhaps its time for a woman to get rid of the censorship law.

Robert Byers said:

i have nieces and female friends who get almost perfect constantly in math and other subjects. Yet I know females do not keep up in acheivment in math/sciences later on relative to guys. Not even close. I believe it all comes down to motivation from deep presumptions. Darwin in his second book said women were biologically intellectually inferior to men because of evolution over time. Of coarse they are not inferior innately. Though in results they come up short and I think this will continue . This is a good case to demonstrate Why Darwin was wrong. Why was his observations and “science” faulty!? If wrong here why not elsewhere? Its time for a creationist women or anyone to take on Darwin and do actual scholarly work with accurate conclusions. Of coarse if a girl did this in school today she would be breaking the law. perhaps its time for a woman to get rid of the censorship law.

Who is this Darwin guy and what does any of this have to do with the Modern Theory of Evolution?

I was surprised to learn Babbage was an advocate for Intelligent Design 150 years before the latest synthesis! There were doubters before Darwin! How convincing was his argument? His argument for miracles still persuades some.

http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bi[…]-charles.htm

Babbage used the age of the Earth [sic. Actually, the time mankind had been on Earth. He is called by some an “Old Earth Compromiser”] (6,000 years), the average number of years between generations (30) and estimated population figures to calculate how many people had lived through time. Over all this time only 1 person (Jesus) was crucified, died, buried and rose from the dead. Statistically Babbage showed that the odds of this happening would be about 1 in 100,000,000,000. Using this estimate and the documented, written Word, Babbage told non-believing scientists that they would have to be able to formally document a larger probability that Christ’s resurrection did not happen. Scientists have been unable to do so. (Lawson, 2005) The significance of his calculation is that he was able to prove that a miracle could have occurred, whereas the scientists have yet to prove that the resurrection did not occur. Babage figured that secular scientists have no business saying that the resurrection did not occur since they had not done any math calculations to back up their disbelief.

Eh? Nobody could prove the nonoccurence of a unique event that wouldn’t necessarily have left any discernible evidence even if it did occur? Imagine that.

Babbage’s argument is meaningless, since no probability can be assigned to an event which has no determinable antecedents.

It’s only for the already convinced.

Ed Karas said:

I was surprised to learn Babbage was an advocate for Intelligent Design 150 years before the latest synthesis! There were doubters before Darwin! How convincing was his argument? His argument for miracles still persuades some.

http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bi[…]-charles.htm

Babbage used the age of the Earth [sic. Actually, the time mankind had been on Earth. He is called by some an “Old Earth Compromiser”] (6,000 years), the average number of years between generations (30) and estimated population figures to calculate how many people had lived through time. Over all this time only 1 person (Jesus) was crucified, died, buried and rose from the dead. Statistically Babbage showed that the odds of this happening would be about 1 in 100,000,000,000. Using this estimate and the documented, written Word, Babbage told non-believing scientists that they would have to be able to formally document a larger probability that Christ’s resurrection did not happen. Scientists have been unable to do so. (Lawson, 2005) The significance of his calculation is that he was able to prove that a miracle could have occurred, whereas the scientists have yet to prove that the resurrection did not occur. Babage figured that secular scientists have no business saying that the resurrection did not occur since they had not done any math calculations to back up their disbelief.

I think she gets bigger every year. Thanks for mentioning this.

If “The Difference Engine” hasn’t been made into a movie yet, it really, really should be.

Byers:

I believe it all comes down to motivation from deep presumptions.

I-R-O-N-Y

you’re killin’ me, Byers, just killin’ me!

I second your recommendation Marion. “The Difference Engine” could be turned into a great film, and one that is visually far more exciting and fascinating to view than even “Avatar” IMHO:

Marion Delgado said:

I think she gets bigger every year. Thanks for mentioning this.

If “The Difference Engine” hasn’t been made into a movie yet, it really, really should be.

Robert Byers said:

i have nieces and female friends who get almost perfect constantly in math and other subjects. Yet I know females do not keep up in acheivment in math/sciences later on relative to guys. Not even close. I believe it all comes down to motivation from deep presumptions. Darwin in his second book said women were biologically intellectually inferior to men because of evolution over time. Of coarse they are not inferior innately. Though in results they come up short and I think this will continue . This is a good case to demonstrate Why Darwin was wrong. Why was his observations and “science” faulty!? If wrong here why not elsewhere? Its time for a creationist women or anyone to take on Darwin and do actual scholarly work with accurate conclusions. Of coarse if a girl did this in school today she would be breaking the law. perhaps its time for a woman to get rid of the censorship law.

Lack of citations makes you look like a liar.

Robert wrote:

“Its time for a creationist women or anyone to take on Darwin and do actual scholarly work with accurate conclusions. Of coarse if a girl did this in school today she would be breaking the law. perhaps its time for a woman to get rid of the censorship law.”

I agree. It’s time for anyone who wants to to do actual scholarly work and draw accurate conclusions. SO, what is ya waitin fer? GO aheads alreadiue. OF coarse, someone who can’t even construct a decent sentence in englishes probibly won’t be ables to makes much pig headed away. Can you describes to usens exactlies how doin scholarlike works could posibly be breakin the laws? Perhaps its time fer womens to quit listinin to nonsense such as youre a spoutin.

More likely utterly delusional and hopelessly unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy, which sadly, is an apt observation of Booby Byers’s mentality;

Dale Husband said: Lack of citations makes you look like a liar.

Over all this time only 1 person (Jesus) was crucified, died, buried and rose from the dead. Statistically Babbage showed that the odds of this happening would be about 1 in 100,000,000,000.

If that resurrection “fact” was well documented and proven, no one would have to make up a pseudoscientific statistical argument.

There are long running arguments in the biblical scholarship community over whether jesus ever even existed.

Robert Byers, you must enjoy being a chew-toy or punching bag. If you’re not paid by the word, you might consider slowly checking your spelling and grammar and toning down the always-present slightly hysterical tone.

Darwin was making a sociobiological argument, in the sketchiest possible way, that’s very similar to Stephen Goldberg’s “The Inevitability of Patriarchy.” Goldberg hypothesized that men are status-seeking more than women, and used Bell Curve-style arguments to show that even small differences between the male and femal populations would lead to large differences at the extremes. He thought it was male hormones in the womb that caused the difference. He also speculated that men might have intellectual advantages in many areas, but said it wasn’t necessary for his thesis to be correct. He also obliquely referred to the possiblity that women seek higher-status males, also a sociobiological argument.

The argument is perfectly reasonable. What caused such lines of reasoning to fall out of fashion was the rise of feminism, social constructivism, etc. etc. that showed how many socioeconomic factors were different for, e.g., men and women by such large percentages that a genetic pattern or trend would be hard to isolate.

Ironically, creationists tend to hate that entire movement in academia, making their coopting of it hypocritical.

I notice every source I saw that said Darwin thought women were inferior quoted mostly people that are said to be influenced by Darwin, with fewer quotes from Darwin himself. Also, most of those quotes were broken up or paraphrased.

femal(e)

There’s also a very good nonfiction book called The Difference Engine. If I remember correctly, it portrays Ada Lovelace as someone who thought very highly of her own mathematical abilities but was really a bit of a crank. She was apparently more of publicist than a programmer.

And Robert Byers, I can’t wait to see what happens when creationists “do actual scholarly work with accurate conclusions.” I think everyone here would be in favor of that.

Marion Delgado said:

Robert Byers, you must enjoy being a chew-toy or punching bag. If you’re not paid by the word, you might consider slowly checking your spelling and grammar and toning down the always-present slightly hysterical tone.

Darwin was making a sociobiological argument, in the sketchiest possible way, that’s very similar to Stephen Goldberg’s “The Inevitability of Patriarchy.” Goldberg hypothesized that men are status-seeking more than women, and used Bell Curve-style arguments to show that even small differences between the male and femal populations would lead to large differences at the extremes. He thought it was male hormones in the womb that caused the difference. He also speculated that men might have intellectual advantages in many areas, but said it wasn’t necessary for his thesis to be correct. He also obliquely referred to the possiblity that women seek higher-status males, also a sociobiological argument.

The argument is perfectly reasonable. What caused such lines of reasoning to fall out of fashion was the rise of feminism, social constructivism, etc. etc. that showed how many socioeconomic factors were different for, e.g., men and women by such large percentages that a genetic pattern or trend would be hard to isolate.

Ironically, creationists tend to hate that entire movement in academia, making their coopting of it hypocritical.

I notice every source I saw that said Darwin thought women were inferior quoted mostly people that are said to be influenced by Darwin, with fewer quotes from Darwin himself. Also, most of those quotes were broken up or paraphrased.

I read it in his second book called “Descent etc”. This Goldberg guy and Darwin are just plain wrong and incompetent about this. There is no difference in peoples intellectual ability from biology (save retardation interference) and all differences in ‘intelligence’ have simple cause and effect reasons. Not hormones or status seeking. Yes motivation is the answer and thats all. Yes at the extremes there will be a greater difference. Yet it still comes down to the quality of investigation. Darwin saw things in too simplistic a way and the error about women is the same as the error for biological diversity and complexity. Indeed why is not Darwins opinions on female intellectual inferiority not addressed directly? it must be a embarrassment. On results and process.

Why is Robert Byers allowed to repeatedly troll and disrupt every thread he visits with his disgustingly inane ignorance?

Why does Kitty keep hitting the springy ball with her paw?

Marion Delgado said:

Why does Kitty keep hitting the springy ball with her paw?

So it’s Kitty’s fault that the springy ball trolls are crapping indiscriminately on every thread?

Ed Karas said: Babage figured that secular scientists have no business saying that the resurrection did not occur since they had not done any math calculations to back up their disbelief.

Well, that’s simple…

Not counting 4 Biblical references to Jesus, Lazarus, and the widow’s son, and the dead dude whose body touched Elysha’s corpse, the rate at which dead humans are known to stay dead…

99,999,999,995/99,999,999,995 = 1.000000000

Rate at which they unambiguously come back to life once thoroughly dead (not just mostly dead)…

0/99,999,999,995 = 0.0000000000

Odds that the 4 unsubstantiated, miraculous, resurrections recorded by biased observers in a holy book known to be full of exaggeration and allegory actually happened…

4 x 0.00000000 = 0.0000000000

It’s been a long time since college statistics, though, so somebody should check my math. For reference, I used the standard “reality minus supernatural mumbo jumbo” formula, taken to 6 standard deviations of “oh pu-leeze”.

Why would the viewpoint of somebody 150 years ago be an embarrassment to anybody today? It certainly wouldn’t affect the reliability of current science.

Marion Delgado said:

Why does Kitty keep hitting the springy ball with her paw?

Um, because he can reach?

No, wait… that’s the licking himself joke.

Nevermind.

Robert Byers said:

Indeed why is not Darwins opinions on female intellectual inferiority not addressed directly?

Because those opinions have no relevance to evolutionary science today. We do not consider Darwin to be an infallible prophet.

Because those opinions have no relevance to evolutionary science today. We do not consider Darwin to be an infallible prophet.

Yeah, Darwinianism is a non-prophet thing.

Robert Byers said:

Indeed why is not Darwins opinions on female intellectual inferiority not addressed directly?

I dunno.

Why are William Shockley’s bizarre racist ideas not addressed directly whenever transistors are used?

Why are Nikolai Tesla’s bizarre ideas about alien worlds not addressed directly wherever electrical motors are used?

Maybe it’s because the basic rules of physics and biology don’t care who first discovered them. If it wasn’t Darwin, Shockley and Tesla it would have some other guy 10 years later.

Maybe it’s because science doesn’t put its heroes up on the same pedestal of infallibility as politics and religion do. Once the basic laws of physics and biology are discovered, other people take the idea and verify it, then, if it works, run with it.

maybe it’s because science only cares about stuff you can verify.

Maybe because every last weird idea of the guy who developed the original concept is not germane 100 years after he’s dead.

Darwin, Shockley and Tesla had good ideas and got to put their names on them. But, that’s about it. Outside their fields of expertise, nobody gives a rat’s ass.

Regardless of what you might think, Byers, nobody in science considered “Origin” some sort of holy text. In fact, it is -gasp- known to contain significant errors.

Darwin got lots of things wrong.

But he got one important thing right before any of his close contemporaries did, which is why we call his contribution “Darwinian Evolution”. And that’s pretty much where “Darwin Worship” ends.

Uh, OK. On female intellectual inferiority, Darwin was dead, flat wrong. He didn’t have good data because he had never researched the question, and in the absence of good data he accepted the wrong ideas that he had been brought up to believe.

Like you do.

On the other hand, on the sufficiency of random mutation and natural selection over deep time to account for the origin of the species, he was absolutely, triumphantly, completely right.

And you’re wrong.

Okay, so why is it, that most people aren’t willing to admit that there might be a genetic component to variation in intelligence? Everyone is willing to admit that there is a broad range of variation in physical ability, and that some people just have the genes that allow them to run faster, or swim faster than those in the lower 3/4 of the bell curve. No matter how much I practice, I am not going to win an Olympic running race, or shoot hoops like Michael Jordan (and yes, I know that Michael Jordan worked his butt off to get where he did, but that’s not the point).

Yet, when it comes to “intelligence”, the “general consensus” seems to be that all people have the same capacity to learn as everyone else. People make exceptions for the “mentally retarded” (sorry, I don’t know what the PC term is nowadays), or those with learning disabilities. But why aren’t those just the low end of the bell curve in variation? Why is it the Special Ed group with obvious problems, and then everyone else is lumped together?

Certainly, everyone needs the same opportunities to learn and grow as much as they can. And yes, a genetic predisposition for or against some capability doesn’t mean that you can’t work hard to overcome that.

But in the tug between Nature versus Nurture, “Nature” often seems to be overlooked or downplayed.

[ Sorry, that’s not very articulate. It’s just frustration. ]

Is the problem, perhaps, that people don’t want to categorize others? Or perhaps, if a person is “labeled” in some way, they might then be limited in their potential by the assumptions of people around them?

Scott, of course there’s a genetic component to variation in intelligence. This is not the same thing as saying that women are less intelligent than men or vice versa.

Whatever “intelligence tests” actually test, PROVIDED THAT THEY ARE FAIR, they do demonstrate a range of scores that are reliably repeatable within groups of similar environmental and historical backgrounds. This supports the idea that this range is genetically determined.

However, there is no reliable data that indicates that this range is different for any subset of humanity, given the same environment. People display a range of intellectual abilities. This range is the same, within measurable limits, for all people from a given environment, provided that the sample is significant. As with all human behavioural characteristics whatsoever, culture plays an important role, but quantizing its effects is a pained and vexed issue.

Specifically, despite more than a century of attempts to measure any quantitative difference between the overall formal intelligence of men and women, no data has been presented that reliably indicates any. All such attempts have either found no difference overall, or have foundered on criticisms of their methodology, mensuration, or validity.

Of course such research is fatally compromised by the fact that there is no consensus on a definition for “intelligence”, and by the problematic entanglement (and probable mutual derivation) of culture, environment and genetics. Nevertheless, no data is no data, and it is irrational and illiberal to proceed as if such data existed.

jesuscult.com:

Martin Luther Father of paternalistic Protestantism The following quotes concerning the nature and role of women are from the father of Christian Protestantism, Martin Luther:

The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes. Martin Luther, Works 12.94

Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children. Martin Luther, Table Talk

Even though they grow weary and wear themselves out with child-bearing, it does not matter; let them go on bearing children till they die, that is what they are there for. Martin Luther, Works 20.84

God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God’s will. ‘Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error.

We may well lie with what seems to be a woman of flesh and blood, and yet all the time it is only a devil in the shape of a woman.

No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise

I would be hard to top Marin Luther the founder of Byers cult for misogyny. He thought women were inferior, one step above the devil, and only to sit around and have kids until they died.

But not impossible. Luther got his misogyny from the bible, which is soaked through with contempt for women who were seen as inferior and property.

Do women have to remain silent in church?

Answer: 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 states, “…As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

Several passages in the NT prohibit women from saying anything in church. Most xian churches to this day prohibit women from being ministers or priests. Some do not allow women to speak or vote in church such as the Wisconsin Lutherans, WELS.

“No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman.….Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die” (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24).

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I don’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (I Timothy 2:11-14).

“The birth of a daughter is a loss” (Ecclesiasticus 22:3).

The misogynic contempt for women starts in the bible on page 1 and keeps going to the very end. The xians like to blame a mythological first woman named Eve for everything.

I really have no idea what Darwin thought about women and don’t much care. The difference between Darwin and Ecclesiastics, Timothy, and the rest of the bible is crystal clear. Darwin was just a guy, albeit a great scientist who is featured on the UK ten pound note. A lot of people claim to believe that the bible is the literal, inerrant word of god.

No one worships Darwin but tens of millions idolize and worship an ancient book.

Dave Luckett said:

Uh, OK. On female intellectual inferiority, Darwin was dead, flat wrong. He didn’t have good data because he had never researched the question, and in the absence of good data he accepted the wrong ideas that he had been brought up to believe.

Like you do.

On the other hand, on the sufficiency of random mutation and natural selection over deep time to account for the origin of the species, he was absolutely, triumphantly, completely right.

And you’re wrong.

he was wrong. Yet is it because of ‘science’ or because of mnodern politics as far as the evolution crowd thins. ? Why should selection breed smarter people if evolution is true? Thats the point about apes being dumber?. Darwin error about women is a hint that his whole outlook on nature is in error. Why not? Superficial observations with , to them him, seening plausible explanations. it wasn’t just the chicks! He said a lot. Hias ideas on woman fit perfectly with his evolution ideas. Thats the problem. SHHHHHH.

Yet is it because of ‘science’ or because of mnodern politics as far as the evolution crowd thins. ? Why should selection breed smarter people if evolution is true? Thats the point about apes being dumber?. Darwin error about women is a hint that his whole outlook on nature is in error. Why not? Superficial observations with , to them him, seening plausible explanations.

I think this should be nominated for the word salad award of the year. Probably of the century. Possibly of the millenium.

Byers, you have passed from incoherence to utter meaninglessness, and I think it’s neurological. Mere linguistic incompetence doesn’t account for it. Get help.

Robert Byers said:

he was wrong. Yet is it because of ‘science’ or because of mnodern politics as far as the evolution crowd thins. ? (snip) Thats the problem. SHHHHHH.

Wow.

I’m with Dave here, Byers.

Even by your standards this is incoherent. And that is saying a lot.

Did you switch meds recently? (Seriously - Did you switch meds recently?)

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on March 24, 2010 11:40 AM.

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