On the Sex Deracination Gambit

19th July, 2021 10

Prospect Magazine is an “intellectuals’” magazine in the UK covering arts, society, science and politics. Their Summer issue contains an essay by journalist Angela Saini called “What is a woman?”. I wrote a twitter thread detailing how this essay is a good example of a type of argument used to trick people into thinking sex is not a well established scientific concept. This is that (slightly edited) twitter thread… This [read more…]

The Decline and Fall of Science-based Medicine

7th July, 2021 14

The philosophy of science-based medicine (SBM) is a response to perceived shortcomings in the practice of evidence-based medicine. EBM is the movement that strives to make medical treatments less dependent on the authority and experience of doctors, and instead put authority in the best available clinical evidence for that treatment. “EBM is the conscientious, explicit, judicious and reasonable use of modern, best evidence in making decisions about the care of [read more…]

On the Ontology and Epistemology of Sex

9th April, 2021 15

Much confusion appears to exist in popular discussion about the nature of sex. This has political importance at the moment, most visibly in recognition of people with trans identities in law and society. Confusions abound around conflations of the terms sex and gender, but, most fundamentally, about what a sex is, and what it means for an organism, animal or human, to have a sex. What is a sexed body? [read more…]

The Two World-Views of Puberty Blockers.

8th October, 2020 6

A Judicial Review is being brought in England by ex-patient Kiera Bell against the NHS Tavistock Gender clinic. At dispute is whether or not children can consent to the life-changing effects of taking puberty blockers as result of believing they are ‘transgender’. On either side of this case are two very different world-views. 1) The first sees being trans as some sort of deeply intrinsic human state where our True [read more…]

The Capture of Nature

3rd September, 2020 47

Nature is recognised as one of the world’s most prestigious and cited academic journals. It publishes weekly a set of original peer reviewed research articles with accompanying editorials, scientific news and comment. Some of those comment articles have recently included a strange disclaimer. In July 2020, a news item reported on “The gender gap in cystic fibrosis”. The article noted how women appear to have poorer outcomes than men, and [read more…]

On the existence of females

8th June, 2020 43

This post has been adapted from a twitter thread. Some time ago, I lived in a house that had a number of peafowl living in the garden. (Long story). They used to come in the house and steal my cats’ food. We can tell this is a female peafowl – a peahen – because she is busy feeding the children and not squawking and strutting around outside with show-off feathers. [read more…]

Tribal Scepticism

3rd January, 2020 22

So, Rebecca Watson of @skepchicks has produced a video calling JK Rowling a ‘bigoted fuckface’. She comes to this conclusion because the Harry Potter author defended Maya Forstater after Maya lost an employment tribunal over her beliefs that sex is binary and immutable. [read more…]