Catholicism is sick

Really sick. I’m surprised it’s not terminal already. Behold, the Church Militant, and its spokesperson, Michael Voris, all sucking up to … Milo Yiannopoulos? Are you kidding me?

I’m simultaneously revolted and impressed by the fact that Milo has found another niche full of gullible fools. I’m sure he’s having a grand time with his new act.

Meanwhile, as Milo is fêted by Catholic fanatics, hundreds of more graves have been found at the Catholic Marieval Indian Residential school in Saskatchewan. But hey, let’s praise the repentant homosexual!

Nicholas Wade is the Andrew Wakefield of molecular virology

For the past month or so, my inbox has been inundated with letters insisting that they have proof of the lab leak hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Their insistent missives are full of jargon, like arginine codons and furin cleavage sites, and insistence that the particular sequence found in the virus could not possibly have arisen naturally. I am not an expert in viral genomics by any means, so my usually reply is a shrug that I don’t know the details, but I find their claim that the viral sequence could not have appeared by natural causes to be naive and unlikely, and that their probability argument is not a clincher. I’ve usually refrained from pointing out that they sound exactly like a few generations of creationists I’ve had to put up with.

A lot of that jargon and argument can be traced back to an article by Nicholas Wade in which he made those very same claims. I tend to veer away from anything by Wade — his embarrassingly bad book that advocated for “race realism” convinced me he’s not a trustworthy source — so I didn’t dig deeply into it. He seems to have persuaded some people, including David Baltimore(!), who has since retracted his endorsement of Wade’s “smoking gun”.

A science writer I trust far more, Thomas Levenson, explains what’s wrong with Wade’s claim.

Wade asserted that a particular arrangement of a specific sequence in the viral genome, called a codon, was unlikely to have gotten there naturally. There are actually six different codons for arginine, and the one found in a particular region of the SARS-CoV-2 genome called the furin cleavage site does occur less frequently in viruses than it does in the human genome. An even more telling detail to Wade is that this uncommon arginine codon shows up twice in that small segment of the virus’s genome. For that to occur naturally, Wade wrote, “a chain of events has to happen, each of which is quite unlikely.”

That’s what Baltimore assented to. But scientists say Wade misdescribed critical links in his chain. Scripps Research virologist Kristian Andersen led an early inquiry into the possible role of a lab escape in the origin of the virus, which concluded that it “is not a laboratory construct,” a finding that Wade termed “poor science” in his article. After Baltimore’s quote became public, Andersen re-entered the argument, and became one of a number of researchers to challenge many of the details Wade relied on. Andersen told Nature that Wade’s claim that steps in the emergence of the virus were too improbable to have occurred is not true. Rather, the pandemic virus uses that codon about 3 percent of the time that its genome calls for arginine—not common, but not impossibly scarce either—and, importantly, that other coronaviruses make use of it too, at similar or greater frequency.

Columbia University virologist Vincent Racaniello says the unusual pairing of a particular codon that Wade saw as decisive actually points away from laboratory manipulation. “We have some idea why this codon is rare in RNA viruses,” Racaniello says. Selection pressures have been identified that would discourage its use in viral genomes. But, he says, “We don’t know why it’s not zero. The fact that it is conserved in many viruses means that it’s beneficial in some way we don’t understand.” This is the kind of mystery that evolution throws at researchers all the time. Racaniello adds that if a lab researcher was trying to modify a virus to measure its effect, the researcher wouldn’t use the codon pairing identified by Wade because its effect would be too unpredictable.

I’d had an uncomfortable feeling with any argument that claims a low probability makes something impossible, because improbable things happen all the time. But 3%! That’s not low, especially not when you’ve got a virus with a population of trillions.

I’m calling it the Chris Rufo Theory from now on

Chris Rufo is a sad little man, and I almost feel sorry for him. He is the primary person responsible for triggering the nationwide moral panic over Critical Race Theory; he’s the one who handed the far right an egregious misinterpretation of the idea, shaping it into a meaningless punching bag for conservative resentment. Now he’s getting his moment in the sun, and we all get to see how feeble his idea is. He got eviscerated by Joy Reid. From the very first question she asks he is found wanting.

“Are you an expert in race or racial theory, are you a lawyer, a legal scholar, is that part of your background?”

Yeah, I’m a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, I’m running their initiative on Critical Race Theory.

Uh, what? The Manhattan Institute is a conservative think-tank dedicated to promoting capitalism and free market economics. Former members include George Gilder (who also co-founded the Discovery Institute) and Charles Murray. One of its big policy successes was pushing broken-windows policing, that terrible flop of an idea that only succeeded in increasing police power.

Rufo is, or was, a documentary film maker, and a research fellow at the Discovery Institute. There is absolutely nothing in his background that qualifies him in the slightest way to be an expert in race or the law. He should have said “No” in answer to that question.

But that’s OK, because Reid then exposes his ignorance repeatedly. She is amusingly vicious with a smile as she points out that nothing he claims is part of Critical Race Theory actually is, and wickedly uses his own words against him. His version of CRT is just a propaganda tool, a grab bag of lies and nonsense that he claims are all part of the theory; as he himself says, The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’ I like that she also does not let him use this interview to vomit up nonstop lies without pushback, something I’ve missed from too many journalists in the last few decades. A good interviewer is not a stenographer who is providing a platform for the interviewee.

Watch the whole thing.

One lasting contribution is that I’ll never again think of the right-wing spin on CRT as Critical Race Theory. It’s all really Chris Rufo Theory.

AiG thinks incest is just fine, after all

At their Creation “Museum” and at the Ark Park, Answers in Genesis does have displays justifying all the incest in the Bible — everyone was less corrupted by the Fall back then, you know. So an editor publishing an article in a journal he edits, run by his employer, is perfectly fine, I guess.

The article below is from Dan Phelps, who happens to be a real geologist.

Today I received a press-release (provided below) for a paper published by Answers in Genesis’s geologist, Dr. Andrew Snelling. The paper claims, among many other things, that certain rocks in the Grand Canyon were folded before they were lithified (turned to rock) and this “proves” the rocks formed recently in Noah’s Flood of 2348 BC. This is total nonsense. I read the paper, which includes much extraneous material that appears to be present to impress AiG’s supporters rather than to convince geologists. The paper presents sundry creationist claims about radiometric decay as if they were widely-accepted when they are not considered such outside of Young Earth Creationist (YEC) circles. The paper concludes that the rocks in question formed during the “global Genesis Flood cataclysm about 4,350 years ago” This paper is, in reality, a parody of a scientific paper, designed to impress non-scientists.

Note that the paper is published in AiG’s own “journal” (Answers Research Journal) which Snelling, himself, is THE editor. The instructions for authors of this self-published journal (below) are rather revealing. Papers are judged for publication based on their “biblical stand” and other religious criteria. Specifically, the instructions for authors states “The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or if it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of faith.” This is, quite obviously, not what a real science journal would do. The paper was not submitted, to my knowledge, to a peer-reviewed journal such as Geological Society of America Bulletin, Geology, or any of a number of journals devoted to structural geology. If Answers in Genesis really wishes to convince the scientific community as to the validity of their claims, why is this? Wouldn’t impressing the scientific community with convincing arguments be more important than convincing laypeople and potential donors if AiG’s goals were honorable?

The claims that these rocks were soft when deformed have been presented by young earth creationists for a number of years and geologists find them laughable because of evidence to the contrary and creationist’s apparent ignorance of the dynamics of how folded rocks form. See for example a chapter on this very subject in the book Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth. Available here:

The press-release for the paper put out by AiG is found below.

Here are the instructions for authors of Answers Research Journal:

See especially page 13:

Answers Research Journal’s instructions for authors-

“VIII. Paper Review Process

Upon the reception of a paper, the editor-in-chief will follow the procedures below: A. Notify the author of the paper’s receipt
B. Review the paper for possible inclusion into the ARJ review process
The following criteria will be used in judging papers:
1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?
2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?
3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?
4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?
5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?
6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture? If necessary, refer to the following: R. E. Walsh, 1986. “Biblical Hermeneutics and Creation.” In Proceedings First International Conference on Creationism, vol. 1, 121–127. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.
The editor-in-chief will not be afraid to reject a paper if it does not properly satisfy the above criteria or if it conflicts with the best interests of AiG as judged by its biblical stand and goals outlined in its statement of faith. The editors play a very important initial role in preserving a high level of quality in the ARJ, as well as protecting AiG from unnecessary controversy and review of clearly inappropriate papers.”

Here is the press release AiG issued today.

Creation Scientist’s Ground-Breaking Research at Grand Canyon Published

4-Year Study Helps Confirm Rapid Formation of the Canyon’s Layers by Massive Flooding

Petersburg, Kentucky, June 23, 2021 – A bedrock belief of evolutionary geologists has been convincingly undermined today with the publication of ground-breaking Grand Canyon research conducted by geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling of Answers in Genesis (AiG).

A scientist with the highest credentials, Dr. Snelling spent more than four years studying layers in the walls of Grand Canyon in Arizona, especially where those rock layers are not lying flat but are folded. Dr. Snelling, a creationist, has just released his stunning findings in the peer-reviewed Answers Research Journal. His research helps confirm a rapid formation of those massive Canyon layers and contradicts the belief that they were formed over millions of years, as is commonly accepted by geologists. His in-depth paper can be found at

Throughout Grand Canyon, thick rock layers appear which are smoothly bent (some close to being at a right angle—see photo). Dr. Snelling observes: “Normally, solid rock cannot bend without breaking, so this leaves only two options for bending: either the rock layer was bent while still soft, shortly after being deposited by water, or after the layer had fully hardened, it was bent by pressures which made the rock plastic, like playdough. Geologists who believe the layers were laid down over millions of years accept the latter option.”

Dr. Snelling points out that for hardened rock to bend without breaking, it must undergo metamorphic changes in its mineral content as well as its structure, including at the microscopic level. At the outset of his research, his question was: is there any evidence of the hard rock in the bent layers being metamorphosed?

Dr. Snelling examined samples from two prominent folds in Grand Canyon. His research concluded: “By comparing the Tapeats Sandstone samples from the folds with other Tapeats Sandstone samples located far from the folds, no metamorphism has occurred. Therefore, our four-year research project confirms that these rock layers were bent while they were still soft, after rapid deposition.” Dr. Snelling also concludes: “This is tremendous evidence that the Canyon’s rock layers were laid down during a massive flood and subsequently bent before any of the layers had hardened.” Dr. Snelling suggests this evidence is consistent with the effects of Noah’s flood and its aftermath.

The “uniformitarian” argument—namely, that the layers of rock (or “strata”) at huge canyons like Grand Canyon were laid down over millions of years—has been powerfully challenged by this seminal study of rocks Dr. Snelling personally collected inside the folds of the canyon.

The quandary now for those who argue for millions of years for the canyon’s layering is: how could these hard layers, which were bent supposedly 450 million years after they formed, not shatter during the bending process? Dr. Snelling declares: “Observational science tells us that rock layers must be soft when they fold. But over the supposed 450 million years, how could they possibly have remained soft until they were then bent?”

Ken Ham, CEO and founder of AiG, states: “Dr. Snelling’s monumental research confirms what should be obvious to all geologists: such folds must have been formed relatively quickly before the thick rock layers hardened. It’s a major blow to long-age geologic thinking.”

Dr. Snelling, with an earned doctorate in geology from one of the world’s leading institutions, the University of Sydney, had long recognized that more creationist research in geology was needed to explain the formation of the massive layers exposed in canyon systems around the world—and whether they could be explained catastrophically (e.g., massive flooding) as opposed to the dogma of uniformitarian long-age thinking. (The arguments for a global flood, including from Dr. Snelling’s decades of research, are presented at AiG’s attractions, the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum.)

The evolutionists’ story about the formation of Grand Canyon in Arizona is that the rock layers at the Canyon were laid down over very long ages. Then the Canyon was carved through them over millions of years by the slow erosive powers of the Colorado River. Because of their dogmatic thinking, officials and academics associated with Grand Canyon National Park tried to prevent Dr. Snelling from conducting this study, expressing disdain in emails about his religious and creationist beliefs. In 2017, international media reported that Dr. Snelling finally received the research permits he had first requested from the park in 2014 so that he could continue his field work inside the canyon. Presented with the clear-cut, documented evidence of an anti-Christian bias in the permits’ denial, the Departments of Justice and the Interior agreed; the Grand Canyon National Park changed course and issued Dr. Snelling’s research permits.

Ham hailed Dr. Snelling’s research: “This scientist with top credentials has offered powerful new evidence of the rapid formation of Grand Canyon’s layers during the global flood of Noah’s day followed by the canyon’s quick formation. His superb work exemplifies AiG’s ongoing original research, conducted by full-time PhD scientists from renowned institutions who have published in leading science journals. Our faculty also work in other fields such as genetics, paleontology, and astronomy to help confirm the Genesis account of origins as well as Noah’s flood.”
Research Background

Dr. Snelling collected rock samples on a research trip through the Grand Canyon in August 2017 in order to investigate the nature of the folding of strata in the Canyon. Dr. Snelling stated: “The Tapeats Sandstone is a formation 30-100 meters thick that prominently outcrops through the walls of Grand Canyon for about 500 kilometres. Erosion of the underlying Precambrian basement rocks produced what’s well-known in geological circles as the ‘The Great Unconformity,’ upon which the Tapeats Sandstone was deposited. The Great Unconformity, in fact, has been traced across several continents.”

Dr. Snelling added: “The mineralogical content, textural features, sedimentary structures, continental-scale deposition, paleocurrent directions matching continental patterns, and even the tracks and traces of transitory invertebrates, all indicate rapid burial and are consistent with the catastrophic erosion of the Great Unconformity near the initiation of the global Genesis flood cataclysm, only about 4,350 years ago.”

Dr. Snelling is a member of eight professional geology groups. One of his prior research projects included a study at the Koongarra uranium deposit in Australia. Dr. Snelling is also the author of the two-volume Earth’s Catastrophic Past and hundreds of articles on geology. Several more articles are to come on Dr. Snelling’s original research at Grand Canyon.

To read Dr. Snelling’s research paper, visit:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Bible-affirming) ministry based in northern Kentucky. Its Ark Encounter opened in 2016 and features a 510-foot-long Noah’s ark. West of the Cincinnati Airport and next to the AiG headquarters, the Creation Museum has also become a major family attraction. Both venues are experiencing huge crowds this month, with some record-setting days.

Conservatives don’t understand the military

They dragged in a general to testify about critical race theory. They didn’t get the answer they expected.

I suspect that generals are better educated overall than senators (amused that they cut away briefly to Matt Gaetz, shaking his head in…hey, why is that corrupt Floridian still in office anyway?). The enlisted personnel are definitely more diverse than the Senate. It was a real eye-opener for me when I actually visited a couple of army bases, visiting my son, and noticing that the people working there are much more diverse than even at my liberal university.

If the right-wingers, which includes so many chickenhawks, think they can automatically get the support of the military, they better think again. This is not to say liberals do understand the military, or that the army will support the left wing, but that they’re a separate perspective that doesn’t neatly fit into our civilian categories. The best thing to do is leave them out of politics, and encourage them to continue to be independent of that role.

Are you on Team Snake, or Team Spider?

I know which side I’m on — the winning side, and that would be the spiders. Here’s a whole photo essay of spiders killing snakes. It’s a real David vs. Goliath matchup, and it seems the little guy (who is often Latrodectus — I really have to get some of those in my lab) typically wins. As the article says, “there are no recorded instances of a snake successfully biting and injecting venom into a spider.”

To be fair, though, that’s probably because of the gross mismatch in size. Spider kills a snake, sits on it for days trying to suck the juices out of it; snake kills a spider, chomp, gulp, it’s done and gone in a few seconds, providing fewer opportunities for a photo op.

Hucksters hear the blunt facts about the Serpent Mound

The Serpent Mound in Ohio is an amazing artifact of a past culture — earthworks over 400m long in the shape of a snake.

You can imagine how the European colonizers of the area regarded this immense communal work of architecture…or don’t imagine, just see what a mess they made of the story.

“Unfortunately the Serpent Mound has become the epicenter of efforts to appropriate sacred American Indian sites and replace the Indigenous story with all sorts of fantastic, absurd stories,” said during his solstice presentation.

“Let’s be absolutely clear. At the heart of these myths and fantastic stories is the racist notion that American Indians were too stupid to have built something so wonderful,” he added.

Right. There’s Graham Hancock, of course, babbling about “The Ancients” and a world-spanning civilization of New Age stargazers, or various people on the History Channel claiming that it’s evidence of a race of giants, because, after all, American Indians were too short to build large structures, so there had to be a population of 9 or 10 foot tall giants to build these mounds. It’s disrespectful and nonsensical.

In recent years, activities at the mound have taken on the quality of what Barnes describes as a minstrel show disrespecting and appropriating Native cultures.

Since the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the mound has become a mecca for followers of New Age spirituality. The idea of the Convergence was created by author and art historian Jose Arguelles who claimed August 16-17, 1987, were significant dates in the Maya calendar and represented an especially auspicious time to meditate for global peace.

Some New Age activities such as digging and burying items in the mound, forwarding information purporting that the effigy was built by aliens from space or prehistoric giants and misrepresenting Native connections to the site has been of growing concern to tribal leaders like Wallace and Barnes. Of even greater concern was the way that past managers of the Serpent Mound site often turned a blind eye to these activities, sometimes allowing such practitioners to manage and stage events at the mound. This sent a message to the public that these wild theories were part of the official history of the site according to Wallace and Barnes.

It was supposed to be a kind of cosmic bomb shelter for people at the end of the world predicted by the Mayan calendar to occur in 2012, for instance. You may have noticed we didn’t achieve world peace in 1987, and the world is still here in 2021, and that whole Mayan calendar thing was nothing more than the end of a calendar cycle. That reminds me — I’ll have to get a new calendar in January. Either that, or the world is ending at midnight on 31 December. Hey, what do the Maya have to do with the native people of Ohio, anyway?

Jason Colavito has a thorough dissection of the absurdist pseudo-history of Serpent Mound. Would you believe that some claim it is a cathedral for a global penis-worshipping cult? Of course you would. There are loonies everywhere, and they tend to get rewarded with a “documentary” series on the History Channel.

The summer solstice was just this past weekend, so I took a look at the calendar of events for Serpent Mound. There was some good stuff about the history of the area and the archaeology of the mound, but also…Bigfoot? Nephilim? New Age quacks peddling crystals and herbs? Whoever runs this event has no integrity at all and willfully misrepresents the truth to make a buck.

The good news though, is that at least this time the organizers invited some of the descendants of the people who actually built the mound to come speak. That’s a little progress.

The Shawnee tribe returned home to the Serpent Mound on the longest day of the year.

The Summer Solstice, June 20, the longest day of the year, marks the first time that the Shawnee tribe has officially returned to the Serpent Mound located in Ohio to present their history and connection to this place that they called home so many years ago.

Although it was certainly ancestors of the Shawnee people who built the magnificent serpent shaped mound, the largest earthwork effigy in the world, Ohio failed to involve the tribe in conveying its meaning to the public until now.

Glenna Wallace, chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Ben Barnes, chief of the Shawnee Tribe, also located in Oklahoma, spent the weekend telling visitors to the Serpent Mound historical site about their peoples’ and ancestors’ connection to Ohio and the mound.

I also like the title of the article: “Shawnee reclaim the great Serpent Mound: Ancestors of Native Americans, not prehistoric giants or space aliens, built the mound in Ohio”. The white people who run the solstice event ought to be embarrassed that they had to invite Indians, who had been dispossessed from the land and treated as primitives who couldn’t have built the structure, to come back and tell them the simple truth.

I don’t want to see your genitals, and I really, really don’t want to see what fluids your genitals produce

Last night, I was listening to Katy Montgomerie’s latest TERF Wars video while I was supposedly puttering away at a lecture — it’s a nice entertaining mix of laughter and righteous anger — when she mentioned a name I hadn’t heard in a while, Andy Lewis. I banned him for his obnoxious TERFy bullshit way, way back in 2018, and I got a lot of cluck-clucking and tut-tutting from the British sceptic community for it. He’s such a rational fellow, don’t you know. Such an important figure in UK scepticism. He is still ranting away about Adult Human Females now in 2021, I guess, so I took a peek at his blog. He wrote about me just last year! Not just me, though, the main target of his ire was Rebecca Watson, who is still punching all the right buttons.

He was mad because she was using slurs and pointing out that the XX/XY dichotomy is “middle school science” and largely irrelevant in any discussion about human rights. He wants to discuss the True Science, which reveals that there are only males and females, and chortles dismissively at the idea that he and his fellow TERFs would use the XX/XY distinction.

The claim is that this is ‘middle school science’ and that if ‘the fervent believers’ are challenged they ‘will throw their hands in the air, claim it’s too complicated or the data is lying or whatever other excuse they can think of, and continue believing what they believe. And in a statement that we shall come back to, “They came to their belief first, for other reasons, and then attempted to build up science and reason in a way that makes it look like it supports their belief.”

This is a straw man argument because biologists do not define your sex by the chromosomes XX and XY. These chromosome combinations are part of a *sex determining mechanism* in organisms like humans. This mechanism is not universal in life. Birds, for example, have a different chromosomal sex determining mechanism – ZZ/ZW. Birds still have quite distinct males and females though.

In the XX/XY system found in humans, the actual determination mechanism is the SRY gene that is usually, but not always found on the Y chromosome. This gene switches between one of two evolved developmental pathways.

Almost, but not quite. He’s trying to reduce it even further, from a whole chromosome to just a single region on that one chromosome. If only he thought a little deeper about that phrase, “developmental pathways”, because that’s what really matters from a biological perspective — there’s a whole long chain of events that are usually, but not always, in concordance, and there’s a fair bit of wobble in the outcome. It’s not binary at all — as soon as you start dealing with multigenic processes, you open the door to a whole lot of variation.

(By the way, birds aren’t quite so binary, either. Gynandromorphs, anyone? Avian homosexuality? Birds don’t play by your rules, man.)

If not chromosomes, then what is the binary defining character? He plops down in favor of gametes.

Sex is not defined by these chromosomes. Sex arises from the fact that we are evolved sexually reproducing organisms. Sex evolved deep in life’s history and has remained remarkably conserved – although there are many *sex determination mechanisms* in organisms. [Yes? He keeps almost getting it — sex determination in different species is fluid!]

Sex is near universal in eukaryotes and is the ‘the mixing of genomes via meiosis and fusion of gametes’. In multicellular organisms it is almost always done through the joining of unequal size gametes (anisogamy).

It is this fundamental and ancient asymmetry in gametes and the joining together of one of each type that gives rise to the sexes. The small, mobile gamete we class as male and the larger, and immobile one we class as female.

In multicellular organisms like us where anisogamy rules, the *sex determining mechanism* (the SRY gene) is used to switch between two sets of genes that develop different phenotypes to support each gamete type – males and females.

To suggest that there are more than two sexes, or even more extreme, that somehow sex forms a continuum, a distribution or a spectrum is completely incompatible with this view of life and sexual reproduction. (The idea that ‘sex is a spectrum’ is a core part of the credo of gender ideology.)

As usual, he misses the point. He is correct that there are two functional classes of gametes in humans. Generally speaking, an individual can only form one or the other, or none at all. But so what? Am I going to have to provide a semen sample before I’m allowed to use a public restroom? From a policy and social interaction perspective, this is a non-starter.

But most importantly, people are not gametes. Every person is the product of a fusion of two haploid gametes, one large immobile one and one small mobile one, so we start as a mixture of both. We then go through a complex developmental process with many steps that produce the messy diverse multicellular organism that may try to practice mating behavior of one sort or another, or contribute to the upbringing of more messy diploid multicellular organisms, or tries to shape the culture that we use to propagate ourselves. I, for one, do not consider myself a lumbering sperm delivery system, nor do I consider my wife an ambulatory incubator/ovum generator. I am also rather offended that a dilettante with only a superficial knowledge of evolution would think that evolutionary biology can be used to justify such an absurdly reductionist view of humanity.

Yes, I have gonads that produce sperm. It is categorically wrong to think that somehow tells you anything more about my nature, my sexual preferences, or whether I should be allowed to wear a skirt or not.

We see defenders of evolution such as @pzmyers reacting like the worst frothing mouth evangelical preacher when asked to defend the idea that women can have penises. …

One would have thought that Myers would have taken the opportunity to use this as a quirky way to explain how evolution works and ends up with counterintuitive results. But no. Shouting and screaming instead.

I can only assume that Mr Lewis trusts that none of his readers will ever follow a link he gives, because there is no frothing mouth evangelical preacher or Shouting and screaming at that link. Go ahead, check.

There does seem to be a lot of shouting from TERFs over pragmatically useless distinctions between human individuals. I just don’t need to know about chromosomes or reproductive apparatuses in the people I interact with. As I said back then,

The presence or absence of a penis is possibly the worst gender signal ever, because we keep those hidden in almost all of our social interactions. I’d have to be really close, very intimate friends with a woman before she’d show me her penis.

I’d have to be even more intimate with her before I’d ask her to ejaculate for me.

Lewis also snipes at David Gorski.

And @oracknows screaming ‘TERF’ because I suggested the biggest sceptical issue that should be covered right now is the denial of the material reality of sex among gender ideologists. (now appears to be deleted.)

Tell me, has it ever been accurate to say David Gorski was screaming? It’d be fair to say I sometimes get worked up and rage loudly at the universe, but David is always careful and objective. I also can’t quite imagine him (or me, for that matter), denying the material reality of sex. Sex is most definitely real. It’s just not the simple phenomenon that Lewis thinks it is.