Friday, February 8, 2019

The Dizzyingly Complex And Diverse World Of The Determination of Sex Difference

If you ever want to look for information on species around which an industry has arisen that isn't directly connected to their economic utility online, good luck trying to find it.  I used my, I'm immodest enough to say, not inconsiderable skill with search terms to try to find out what scheme of sex determination exists in lobsters if there's even just one, and have not been able to find it.   Too bad, I really could use some Jordan Peterson mockery to divert me as I cough and hack and try one expectorant after another to try to avoid dying.

That said, this is an excellent introduction to the wide range of schemes that nature has for determining sex in different species, ignorance of which I recall encountering during the Darwin wars, though the exact context doesn't come to mind.   I don't remember ever writing anything formal about it so I suspect it was in comments somewhere.    Anyway, here's Judith Mank in a Royal Institute video giving a lot to think about.  I would call your attention to the chart of pie graphs that show that among different classes of animals there is an incredible range of different schemes of sex determination, that variation even occurring within classes and it not being closely related to closeness of relatedness in evolutionary distance.

I look at this and wonder if the way we talk about gender and sex among different species, with such different mechanisms and results and wonder if the concept, so obviously derived from our experience of our own species isn't foolish.  Clearly, the meaning of gender and sex that is so radically different has, sometimes, analogous aspects that make them like human sex difference but, often, there are also extreme differences that makes those less than the whole picture.   Remember this the next time they write about "lesbian" penguins at a zoo.  What does that even mean?

I will use this to make fun of Jordan Peterson, the meat-headed (literally) pseudo-science peddling guru of slacker, screen-based male resentment.  But not only him but the evolutionary psychology which I am not unhappy to say, gets saddled with his pronouncements as it gradually decays and tumbles into the boneyard of discontinued science.  I wonder if Peterson was ever challenged on his theory that women shouldn't be paid as much as men because something about lobsters and our common ancestor 500,000,000 years ago.  If you hadn't read me pointing it out before, we share exactly the same common ancestor with lobsters that we share with preying mantis - that fun group in which it's known for females to pull the head off of males who come to copulate with them, eating it as his headless body completes the act before going on to eat the rest of him.  And, also, the black widow spider.   I think someone should tell those incel losers about that fly in the lubricant.  Their man-god is a total, psychology based fraud.  Oh, yeah, and psychology gets to wear Jordan Peterson, too.  If the human species has a future, I predict that what is called "psychology" will be noted for the pseudo-science it is and always has been with very, very little exception.  Jordan Peterson might serve as a text book example,  I hope they mention lobsters.  And his families' all beef diet scam.

OK, I was determined to get that out of this.  Back to the steam kettle.

Update:  I found this online resource to get an idea of how much more complex the situation is, specifically in the group that lobsters are a part of:

The Decapod Researcher’s Guide to the Galaxy of Sex Determination

which is incredibly confusing, especially to someone like, I suspect, Jordan Peterson who doesn't have a clue about what they're talking about when they talk about "sex roles" in lobsters.  To make comparisons with human sex and gender roles and patterns is as absurdly naive a practice that gets called science as any before us, now.  That is Ken Ham level, meathead stupidity only secular, which makes it OK (see relevant post of the other day below).  Only no one calls what he does "science".

No comments:

Post a Comment