1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    thank you for reading me repeat myself:
    The first flaw I see in the Biblical quote against transgenderism is the word image. Image is appearance not structural. Later is the gift of free will He bestowed upon his creation. Seems to me that free will includes the freedom to choose one’s gender, regardless of one’s anatomy.

    Thank you, this argument has never worked, I like repeating it regardlessly, possibly for my own dysphoria.

    Excellent video explaining the dichotomy between genetics, biology, anatomy, and gender [my, a very special DIchotomy, becoming 4 subsets]

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 1, the Bibblica; quote:
    also, are you saying that God himself is also composed of DNA and chromosomes and biological anatomy? Makes no sense

  3. hemidactylus says

    Interesting video.

    Genetic content of organs and cells within may differ due to mutations. There is ploidy in liver cells. But that merely increases content rather than making it sequentially different I suppose. Hard to pick nits with you. But I try 🙂

    At least you didn’t add lymphocytes which change segments of their DNA. And mature red blood cells being enucleated lack genes. So those have no sex chromosomes rendering “all her bodily cells are male” ridiculous in itself.

    Yes turtles and croc/gators sex differentiate due to temperature.

    Transgender isn’t an overt sex characteristic like born plumbing. It’s in the head. Isn’t gender differentiation of brain and subsequent identity variation influenced by conditions in the womb? Do humans born as twins exhibit intrauterine position effect like outcomes. Those questions are probably too narrowly focused with regards to time frame, non-human analogued, and reductionistic. Gender has a socially constructed component especially as to imposed societal roles.

    I am interested in the psychological development angle though:

    Wondering about gender dysphoria term led me here:

    Improvement over gender identity disorder.

    13:05 I wonder if the Jungian pied piper has any degree of gynecomastia.

  4. petesh says

    @1 @4: tetrachotomy (for four); poly- for many.

    See, being taught ancient Greek in school was useful, or so they told me. Actually, it was more fun than Latin and the divinities much more interesting.

  5. consciousness razor says

    “polychotomy” and “tetrachotomy” = DOIN IT RONG
    “διχό” is two and “τομος” is cut. The cutting part that you want to combine with another term is “-tomy” not “-chotomy.”

    Thus, polytomy or tetratomy. Similarly, there’s no “cho-” in “anatomy,” for example. Unlike those, it has the benefit of being familiar already to most English speakers; its meaning is not needlessly obscure.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @6: but “dikha” is not “two”; it’s “twofold”. Threefold is “trikha”, so “trichotomy” is correct.

  7. Rob Grigjanis says

    Oh yeah, it was for fourfold, so that would be “tetrakha” —-> tetrachotomy.

  8. consciousness razor says

    Rob, #7,8:
    Fair enough. I wasn’t bothering with “fourfold” as opposed to “four.” But unless I’m mistaken, “many” seems to be a different situation, so it would just be polytomy.

  9. hemidactylus says

    PZ had an important afterthought on the cognitive and cultural aspects of gender. So his video was mostly about biology of how sexual differentiation comes to be to counter JPs ignorant nonsense, but he acknowledges that gender itself is multifaceted and open to a pluralistic approach. As Gould might offer the metaphor of a multidisciplinary patchwork quilt. And even this falls short of the subjectively qualitative feeling of what it is like to experience one’s personal identity first hand or its contextual meanings. So personal reflections or autobiographical accounts are just as important, if not more than academically reductive accounts, though it helps to counter the BS as PZ does.

  10. unclefrogy says

    like most of “conservative” thinkers (?) who seem to have a real problem with the fact everything gets real fuzzy on the margins and at depth. He wants everything to have hard and fast edges and definitions. The answers must be clear simple and unchanging. There is nothing but hubris in their posture and their conflict with any thing that threatens their just so world view.
    it belongs on the children’s table
    uncle frogy

  11. says

    I have essentially no greek, so I could be wildly misinterpreting, but the sources I looked at suggested that dicho- meant “two separate pieces” or “two pieces apart”. The “tomos” would be the cutting into those separate pieces.

    This in turn suggests that “Polytomos” would indicate “multiple cuts” but not necessarily multiple severings. Polychotomos would be – again, if in my ignorance I interpreted my sources correctly – “cutting into multiple separate pieces” while “polytomos” would simply be “make multiple cuts [which don’t necessarily cut deep enough to result in separate pieces, but could]”.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but that’s what is suggested to me by the “apartness” or “separateness” meaning contained in “dicho” that is not contained in the simple number “di”.

    Y’all are probably more knowledgeable than me on this, though, so let me know if I’ve made an error.

  12. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin is not an expert on Greek, or Latin, but that’s never stopped her (she does insist she had nothing to do with the burning of Rome, and was simply looking for a ride to Gaul, where they had some fine cheeses, but the taxi-chariot driver didn’t like tuxedos smelling vaguely of herring — the mildly deranged penguin doesn’t like horses — and things sort-of escalated…). Anyways, she points out a good way of cutting things is with a chainsaw, which is also a verb meaning to use a chainsaw, and therefore the word you’re looking for is chainsaw. The number of pieces doesn’t matter unless you want to identify what was chainsawed.

  13. says

    I’d like to see the term “gender creationist” gain some traction. Petey and his pals’ grasp of the topic is about as informed as the bible-thumpers’ grasp of biology, and their respective content is similarly honest.

  14. mikehuben says

    Looking no further than wikipedia, the font of all knowledge :-), polychotomy and “polytomy have somewhat different meanings. The latter is only for phylogenetic trees according to wikipedia.

    Thus, polychotomy is probably the right term.

    I love our attempts at pedantry!

  15. consciousness razor says

    CD, #14: I had assumed that “tomos” suggests splitting or dividing, not a shallow incision which fails to split or divide.
    I don’t know what slithey tove had in mind, if that matters…. When I think of “genetics, biology, anatomy, and gender,” I don’t picture something being partitioned (since those have a lot of overlap), and it’s not clear what that entire thing is supposed to be. Perhaps it is merely a flesh wound, in this case? I don’t know.
    Moving on…. Peterson’s very boring. And I like boring sometimes, but not like this.
    Thinking about worldviews and everything that follows from them, I started wondering about the old arguments about dictionary atheism. The usual slogan recited now is that what’s needed (for something) is some kind of extra stuff sprinkled on top of atheism, because (so the claim goes) little or nothing follows without the sprinkles. How is that known? Well, it isn’t, and this is where things goes off the rails. People do point at atheists who lack the magic sprinkles, as if that settled the question.
    But whatever. The magic sprinkles are “humanism,” in the usual recipe. So you have your ingredients, which are supposed to do something somehow. Yet it’s not clear how you got a rejection of essentialism out of them, for example, or political conservatism, for another. If a lot of bad shit follows, then presumably those are important too, no? (None of this is how I’d want to think about it, but it seems like people who do take that line should be asking themselves about it.)
    Could there be dictionary essentialists, for whom certain bad implications don’t follow? All they’d have to do is merely be inconsistent, so of course there can be such people. But it’s easy to see why that makes no difference.

  16. DanDare says

    JP does no investigation of reality. He tries to assemble magic words that will get other people to agree with how he thinks things are.
    He suffers from what Edward deBono calss the intelligence trap. His mind has a lot of horse power but he uses it all for reinforcing his position and bamboozling others.

  17. consciousness razor says

    Regarding the “splitting/dividing” connotation, which I was taking for granted: atoms. The ancient atomists were speculating about the smallest pieces of matter, which can’t be split into any smaller pieces.

  18. says


    “His mind has a lot of horse power but he uses it all for reinforcing his position and bamboozling others.

    So, he’s an apologist. Or a theologian. Or a conman, with himself as the primary victim of his game.

    And much like his fellow PoMo “scientific” spiritualist, Deepak, does not respond well to negative feedback. Is “thin-skinnedness” a prerequisite for modern woo-merchants?

  19. blf says

    The ancient atomists were speculating about the smallest pieces of matter…

    Peterson’s brain?
    Probably not — a photon, with a probable rest mass of zero, is an intellectual heavyweight in comparison to this clown. (Apologies to all genuine clowns. And to photons.)

    Somewhat more seriously, anyone happen to know of a connection between Peterson and Julius Evola who “is popular in fringe circles, largely because of his extreme metaphysical, magical, and supernatural beliefs […] and his extreme traditionalism and misogyny. He himself termed his philosophy magical idealism. […] Evola also justified rape (among other forms of male domination of women) because he saw it as a natural expression of male desire. This misogynistic outlook stemmed from his extreme right views on gender roles, which demanded absolute submission from women.” — those fringe circles, by the way, may include Steve Banon (Steve Bannon Cited Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists and Inside the Secret, Strange Origins of Steve Bannon’s Nationalist Fantasia), albeit he has allegedly denied it.

    With, I suspect, the same(-ish) exception that applies to Bannon, Peterson’s babblings might fit in rather well with what Evola bellowed. That exception is Evola was anti-xian, whereas both Bannon and Peterson claim, I believe, otherwise.

  20. unclefrogy says

    Is “thin-skinnedness” a prerequisite for modern woo-merchants?

    I think it maybe is in fact, The “woo” is part of the ego defense reaction to the growing doubt that what they “always thought” was true might not actually be true and they do not know what the hell is going on and what ever it is that is going on is not about them. All of their energy is devoted to making themselves the center of attention because they have the answer to all of these strange “new ideas” they are offended and threatened by reality so they are attracted to and make up irrational or semi-rational bullshit and push it at everyone else as if it would change reality if everyone else was wrong also.
    uncle frogy

  21. hemidactylus says

    Not sure if faceting is a better metaphor than all this cutting and chainsawing going on here. But a compromise may come from the fact that gem facets are…cut?

    There are dangers in both lumping and splitting. The -chotomizers or -tomists risk going too far. That and lumping may be Bacon’s idol of the den. As consciousness razor, though having a cutting name said, stuff overlaps a bit.

    Back to Bacon as everything goes well with bacon. Aren’t essentialism (and nominalism) idols of the marketplace? I guess words as mere labels or placeholders can have referents, but don’t carry some Platonic ethereal realm magic force.

  22. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re al:
    fun reading all the discussion about correcting my error. Seems it is so complicated. I’ll stick with being obviously in error. Deliberately using the wrong, coomon, word followed by what I really mean by it, EG listing the 4 things meant by “dichotomy”.
    I like to think of it similar to the mnemonic of feet in a mile. 5280 ft in a mile is easy to remember cuz 5 =2 = 8, oops, aha {smirk}.
    IE sometimes it’s preferable to use words for their sense rather than their literal meaning. Especially when I fumble with getting the correct word.
    thank you

  23. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @25:
    oops missed the shift key for the + sign in 5+2=8 you know

  24. kevskos says

    I’ve a hen in my yard. Getting pretty old now, about 6 years.She has not laid an egg for years and she crows like a rooster and keeps my other hens from fighting, sort of like a rooster. I think he thinks he really is a rooster.

  25. Matt G says

    This quote often comes in handy:

    Yet the greater part of it, I shall show, is nonsense, tricked out with a variety of metaphysical conceits, and its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself. -Peter Medawar

  26. hemidactylus says

    I would hesitate though to compare Teilhard too closely with Peterson. The Omega point orthogenesis or teleology shows what can go wrong when one collapses Gould’s magisteria. Gould’s own Full House and the notion of Modal Bacter:

    …and his notion of contingency in evolution are great antidotes to Teilhard’s anthropocentric biases. The thinking layer metaphor was exaptable to the internet and subsequent web until the rise of the trolls refuted it. He inspired Julian Huxley to coin a field of noogenetics that scooped Dawkins by decades, though maybe that’s not a good selling point. Being a boldly thinking Jesuit paleontologist he was sure to ruffle feathers of those who kept sacred and profane in separate compartments.