Re: Bipedalism and theorizing... was Re: Morgan and creationists

Richard Foy (
Sat, 6 Jul 1996 14:14:08 GMT

In article <>,
Stephen Barnard <> wrote:
>Richard Foy wrote:
>> In article <>,
>> Stephen Barnard <> wrote:
>> >Richard Foy wrote:
>> >>
>> >> This is a very interesting speculation. It is the only speculation
>> >> about human breasts that I have heard that doesn't seem to be a
>> >> sexist.
>> >> --
>> >
>> >I'm wondering what you think qualifies speculation as "sexist". Is it
>> >impermissible and incorrect to speculate that humans might be subject
>> >to sexual selection, just like many other animals are? I'm not
>> >talking about "incorrect" in the sense of "factually wrong" -- I'm
>> >talking about "incorrect" in the sense of "politically incorrect".
>> Much of the speculation about the evolution of womens breasts seems
>> to be not much more than justified by thinking like, "I like womens
>> breasts, therefor womens breasts evolved by sexual selection."
>> There have been many discussions in this group clearly explaining why
>> womens breasts evolving as a result of sexual selection is highly
>> improbable, at least as improbable as the AAH and even less testable.
>It wasn't at all clear to me that there was a consensus about this. Not
>at all. Not the least little bit. You just said "much" of the
>speculation, but before you implied "all" of the speculation (preceding
>the most recent one) was sexist.

Howevere, in my first statement I said "seems." Would you have been
less critical if I had said "seems to me?" Which I would think would
be implied and is a statement about my beliefs, thoughts etc.

>Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the speculation that women's
>breasts evolved as a result of sexual selection is improbable and
>untestable (two characteristics that are not uncommon among speculations
>in this newsgroup), does that make the speculation ipso facto "sexist"?
>That's question #1.


>Question #2 is: Is it ever permissible, according to the "sexist" litmus
>test, to speculate that human evolution might be influenced by sexual

I am not sure what you mean by sexist "litmus" test. In my view it is
permissible to speculate about anything, including things that are
sexual selection.

However, in my view speculations that are influenced by biases have a
lower probability of being right than those that are not. Sexism can
be a very strong bias.

"The form is the content in motion, and the content is the form at
rest." --Northrup Frye

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