Saturday, May 20, 2017

Is The Scientific Method Passé?

There's a series of posts to be created from analyzing this post-modern profession of faith, but for now, let's start with the most basic part. Here is the premise of the post, written by a mathematician and approvingly commented by many on that same site.
I probably want you to quit your job, or at least take a demotion. Statistically speaking, you are probably taking up room that should go to someone else. If you are a white cis man (meaning you identify as male and you were assigned male at birth) you almost certainly should resign from your position of power...

(M)ost success happens on the backs of others who did not consent. You have no idea how successful you would have been if you were still you, but with an additional marginalization (not white, or not male, or not cis gender, or with a disability, etc).

Right now, I want to talk about gender equality because the fact that women aren’t actually a demographic minority makes certain arguments easier, but please know that actual solutions require women of color and trans people. Remember having white cis women run the world is no kind of solution.
So, to make it short, white males should resign faculty positions and hand them over to a cornucopia of diverse peoples, selected on the basis of their epidermises and groins.

When you put it that way, it's like describing the mating habits of some birds where plumage and strutting land the babe. It's probably not a bad analogy as this kind of increasingly common drivel is becoming more widely accepted. It's like watching civilization crawl back into the crib and grab its stuffed animals.

But I digress.  Like I said, the post and the approval it has received is a treasure trove of content.

The post was published on the American Mathematical Society blog. (The AMS! Look at the level of approval!) One presumes that at one point in time, the AMS had some connection with science and might have chosen to nod, at least casually, to the concept of the scientific method. Here's my question that is unasked in the intersectional feminism sect of post-modern religion.

With what we know from biology, would one expect to see performance differences between the sexes?

Biology shows that male and female brains differ in architecture, size and activating body chemistries. Could this explain the difference in outcomes? Evolution suggests that there should be differences as the two sexes have different roles to play in the propagation of genetic material through time.

That this question isn't addressed, even in passing, is the most telling part of the whole thing. Biology and evolution have been utterly discarded on the website of the American Mathematical Society.

It's stunning, really.


tim eisele said...

"One presumes that at one point in time, the AMS had some connection with science and might have chosen to nod, at least casually, to the concept of the scientific method. "

Maybe not. I have been informed by mathematicians that they are not scientists, and do not depend on the scientific method. And I often get the impression that they kind of look down on fields where you have to piece things together from actual evidence, rather than defining a set of postulates and then deriving the results with no actual direct reference to the physical world.

K T Cat said...

I'm a mathematician (by degree, at least) and this blows me away. If I were a member of the AMS, I'd cancel my membership. This is like taking up column inches by interviewing a drunk at the El Paso Greyhound bus station. Whatever it is, it isn't math.

As for looking down on the sciences, my professors were more ignorant than sneering. They wanted to be left alone to play with proofs and calculations all day. It didn't matter if it applied to gear ratios, population models or quarks and gluons, they just liked thinking about math stuff.